Summary: 12th in First John Series
THE CURE FOR AN ACCUSING HEART
INTRO: SIN can rob us of the enjoyment of God’s love. When we get sin in our hearts we’re not as open to that love of God as we ought to be. SATAN can rob us of the love of God. Satan wants to steal that awareness of God’s love from our hearts. Satan wants to fill us with doubts about whether or not God could really love us and care for us as much as the Bible says He does.
SELF can also cause us not to enjoy that love of God by causing us to fail to love one another. But there is another thing that can keep us from enjoying the love of God the way we ought to enjoy it and that is what I call, the problem of an ACCUSING HEART. Look at v. 20 very, very carefully. It says, “For if our heart condemn us.” That’s the thought I want to build this message upon.
Multitudes in America are on tranquilizers. They have to have a pill to get them up going in the morning. They have to have a pill to put them to sleep at night. Another pill to enable them to deal with their own condemnation of heart. The sad fact is that there are many Christians who lack peace in their heart the same as those who do not know the Lord Jesus as their Savior.
I. THE WAY OF ASSURANCE (v. 19).
The word assure means to persuade our hearts, or to put our hearts at rest. Notice that little prepositional phrase before him. It is only as we assure our hearts before Him that we can deal with this problem of accusation in our heart. There are two kinds of hearts that are mentioned in these verses.
The Condemned Heart (v. 20). — The human heart is a very sensitive, spiritual organism. I’m not talking about the physical heart but about the spiritual heart, about the real you. The human heart has its ups and downs and we can be plagued with an accusing conscience, an accusing heart. Let me explain what I’m talking about. It says, “if our heart condemn us.” The word condemn really means “to know down” or “to be put down.” Sometimes our own heart puts us down. You’ve received the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you’re trying to live for the Lord and you’re sincere in your heart’s desire to do that. Then past sins begin to eat at you and you allow yourself to dwell on those sins.
When Satan sees you beginning to allow your heart to accuse you about your past sins he begins to accuse you as well. We then find ourselves in a worse situation. We don’t pray, read the Bible or seek God because of our guilt.
What do you do with the problem of an accusing heart? Look at v. 20. What we have to do when our own heart condemns us is turn to the Lord.
The Confident Heart (v. 21). — When my heart condemns me, do you know what I do? I look to the omnipotence of God, the greatness of the mercy of God. Look at the second thing you do. It says God is greater than our heart and knows all things. God knows all things, that’s God’s omniscience.
Why is that a comfort for an accusing heart? Because God knows everything there is to know about us and He still loves us! There’s not a gossip in the world that can tell God anything about you that He doesn’t already know. No enemy of yours can disclose anything about you to God that God doesn’t already know. He knows all about you and isn’t it good news to know that though He knows all things about you He still loves you. Someone once said, “Only God could love a human being.”
II. THE WAY OF ANSWERED PRAYER (v. 22).
Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” The Bible says whatsoever we ask we receive of Him. But there’s a condition. You can have answers to prayer in your life if you will keep His commandments.
DO YOU KNOW ONE OF THE BEST WAYS IN THE WORLD TO GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED? Study the Scriptures and find the commandments of God. Then start obeying those commandments and on the basis of the Word of God claim what God has told you in the Bible you can have.
What is one of His commandments? Look at v. 23. Are you believing on the Lord Jesus? Are you trusting in the Lord, are you loving your brothers and sisters in Christ? Then you’re on prayer answering ground. You’re keeping His commandments.