Have you ever heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out?” It is an old computer phrase intended to explain that what comes out of a computer will only ever be as useful as the quality of the data going into it. If the computer is printing out bad data, it will be because it is receiving bad data. Our heart is a little like that too. What comes out of us is a result of what is in our hearts (Matt 15:19). So how does reading the Bible lead to life transformation?
Occasional victories over sin are not mortification.
The Mortification of Sin (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2004), 29
Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a book of the Old Testament and wonder “what on earth is this about?” I do. That is why I created some single foldable pages to help me quickly remember key elements of the Old Testament. I call them “reading assistants, and they are free, as a thank you for signing up to receive my weekly updates
When I came to Christ I was all in. Yet, after a few years and a few discouragements, my spiritual interest waned and I began to chase after the things of the world. How did this happen to me? What changed? Had I known about what the Bible says about the heart, it may have been different. If you want to develop a healthy spiritual life, knowing the three functions of the heart can be a helpful guide.
A man truly bruised judgeth sin the greatest evil, and the favour of God the greatest good.
The Bruised Reed (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1998)
Many Christians, myself included, make out that we are one thing when, on the inside, we are something else. In other words, we fake it. Not always, but more often that we’d like to admit. Christians are particularly adept at faking their spirituality. Yet, we still struggle with sin and often our spiritual lives are stagnant. Sometimes, the fake is all there is. How do we clear away the facade and live an authentic spirituality? There is one key starting point for all of us.
When I was a new Christian, I was never sure what the goal of the Christian life was. I remember going to an evangelism course and hearing that evangelism was the only reason we were here. I wasn’t convinced. Not all of us are gifted evangelists, though we all need to do it. Fortunately, as I later discovered, the scripture is clear about what Christ calls us to after salvation. Here is a quick survey of a few passages of scripture that make this clear.