A “State of the Heart” Address

Typically every January, our president gives the State of the Union Address.  While of course at times politics can be involved, in general, it’s kind of neat concept to pause and look around and see where we are at as a country.  Today, as I was reading Luke 3:15 we get a similar “state of the union” type address from John about God’s people at the time right before Jesus came on the scene in public ministry.  Before Jesus had been born, there had been 400 YEARS of silence from God.  Oh, He was still working, but the people hadn’t heard from him in centuries.  With that context I find this verse interesting and refreshing:

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. (Luke 3:15)

So, they might have been a little off about WHO the Messiah was, but I love that after all this time, they were still “waiting expectantly” for the One God promised to send as a Savior.  This was a collective thing, but only because individually their hearts were, as another translation put it, “in expectation”.  It’s almost as if this is a “state of the heart” address about the people of God.

As we prepare to enter into the season of Lent, maybe it’s time for us to stop and figure out what we would say if we were to give a “state of the heart” address.  So often questions like “How are you?” elicit vague responses, if any, and perhaps even lies as we brush people off with “fine” and “okay”.  We avoid the extremes like “I’m doing awesome! God is doing amazing things in my life” as well as being honest when we’re not fine or not okay.  What would you say is the state of your heart today?

The great thing is that God welcomes us no matter what the state of our heart is.  It can be joyful, hurting, broken, doubting, skeptical, grieving, shameful, or at peace.  No matter what the state of our heart, God simply says, “Come”.  The only thing he asks is that we’re honest.  Hebrews 10:22-23 puts it this way:

“let us draw near with a true heart…”

And verse 23 tells us why this is possible:

“…for He who promised is faithful”

We serve a faithful God, one who is not scared about what we might say about our hearts… he knows it all anyway!  May we come to him today with a true heart, in honesty before Him.  May this Lenten season be one in which we can continually examine our hearts in light of God’s Word and God’s grace that we may grow closer to Him and more confident in the truth that He is faithful to all He has promised!

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