“I the Lord search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”
Deeds and Faith–some people dismiss one for the other. I’ve read articles whose authors struggle with second chapter of James and his focus on works. Still, others keep track of their deeds with hashtags in a journal. Jeremiah combines the two.
God spoke this prophecy. He tells us rewards definitely come through deeds. God cares about the way we act. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on which way you lean in this matter, before He decides whether the deed merits blessings, the Almighty searches our hearts and minds.
Accepting Jesus’ sacrifice is the only way to be good enough to get to heaven. If you want to have fellowship with God, faith in Christ and His blood must come first. I think God searches our hearts and minds when we come to Him. He determines our authenticity. Repeating a prayer will never be enough on its own. Behind the words there has to be a longing heart.
I started to describe what the heart should long for; however, as I thought about me and my friends, I realized our hearts may have all had a bit of a different bent. The desire in our heart has a lot to do with what we’ve come through on the journey to Jesus. Regardless of what that looks like to humans, God examines and knows whether or not we really want His Son or we’re simply trying to please some human.
But our faith journey can’t stop there. Walking with Jesus includes being Jesus to the hurting. And it’s these acts of kindness that produce the rewards God told Jeremiah about. When we do for others as a response to what Jesus did for us, the Father pours out blessings. It’s what He does! On the other hand, God can tell when our motives are selfish. When we do the deed simply for recognition or because we think God might bless us, the One who searches hearts knows, and the human praise becomes our reward.
Our daily mantra must become, “What can I do for Jesus today, even if no human sees it.” God knows your heart, He examines your mind. And He longs to bless us and give us great rewards.
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