My son is going to the dentist today and I’m nervous for him. I remember spending two and a half hours in the dentist chair last year getting a root canal! My tooth decided that it was no longer needed and the cells started self-decaying from the inside out. This kind of internal rot was about six months away from killing my tooth entirely! The crazy part is that I didn’t feel anything weird or suspect a problem at all. It’s a good thing I went to the dentist and got X-rays! So, while I was enduring the tooth torture my root canal reminded me of another rotting problem.

Kids from the area have their teeth checked out and cleaned during Free Dental Clinic DAy at 360 W 125th St in Manhattan Sherard Weathers has second thoughts when the work begins   Original Filename: 6d800k0n.JPG
Kids from the area have their teeth checked out and cleaned during Free Dental Clinic DAy at 360 W 125th St in Manhattan
Sherard Weathers has second thoughts when the work begins Original Filename: 6d800k0n.JPG

Our hearts are ROTTEN and in desperate need of a great a remedy:

1 – Every Heart is Rotten to the Core – Every heart has its wicked side. No one can claim pure innocence. We have wicked thoughts or actions on our records. Even if we don’t want to admit it the diagnosis is clear: you and I have a heart decay problem. From the Psalmist to the Apostle Paul the Bible explains that our heart condition is a product of sin. (Rom. 1-3) Sin is like the cells that erode our heart from the inside out. Nothing good comes from sin, in fact sin only leads to death. If we don’t find a way to take care of these self-destructive “sin cells” in our heart we will eventually die. But hey, you might think there is nothing wrong with your heart and that it doesn’t need any help. Well, that’s what I thought about my tooth.

2 – We Need a Heart Check up – Just like I needed X-rays to see the decay in my teeth we need God’s word to evaluate our heart. Again the Psalmist expresses this when he says, “Search my heart and see if there is any wickedness in me.” (Psalm 139) Have you ever given God permission to examine your heart? Have you looked inside the Bible lately to get a heart check up? Many people want to look other places to evaluate their heart. They want to compare their life to others or compile a list of good things they’ve done. But, nothing you can do on your own will fix your heart problem. That’s like me thinking if I just ate healthier I wouldn’t need a root canal. That would be some dangerous denial! The decay can only be taken care of one way. It has to be killed.

3 – The Gospel is God’s remedy for Heart Decay – Only through the work of “the great dentist” (jk) can our sick heart be healed. Check out this great paraphrase of Ephesians 2:1-5:

“It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.”

God can take your sin dead heart and give it life! He can reach into your heart of decay and stop the destruction. Only by His sacrifice on the cross and through His grace does God say, “come to me all who are decaying, and I will give you life.” “Sit in my chair and trust me to take away your decay problem.”grace over sin

4 – The Great Exchange – The dentist took out the decaying cells and replaced them with a strong and enduring material to save my tooth. If I had waited any longer than 6 months I might not have been able to save the tooth. We must always act quickly and depend upon God to rescue us from our sinful decay and destruction. It is a matter of urgency. Have you allowed God to reach in and pull out the decay of your sin, forgive it, and give you His life instead? By God’s grace through salvation He gives us His Spirit to dwell inside us. He takes up residence where those sin cells once controlled you. Instead of a destiny of destruction you now have a future of glory! Out with the old and in with the new. God gives us life for death.

You have been made alive in Christ! What a marvelous truth. So simple and yet so life changing. Free from decay! Given new life!

Don’t go it alone and think you know all the answers to life and your heart. Get a professional opinion for what you need most. When it comes to matters of your spiritual destiny I suggest seeking out the God who made it all. I think His professional opinion on your heart condition will save you a lot of pain in the long run. You can trust Him to not only diagnose what you need but to fix it and make you stronger than you ever were before.

-Josh