Matthew 5 describes God's radical reconstruction of the heart.
Observe the sequence. First, we recognize we are in need (we're poor in the spirit). Next, we repent of our self-sufficiency (we're sad). We quit calling the shots and surrender control to God (we're humble). So grateful are we for His presence that we yearn for more of Him. As we grow closer to Him, we become more like Him. We forgive others (we're merciful). We change our outlook (we're pure in our thinking). We love others (we're peacemakers). We endure injustice (we're treated badly for doing good).
It is no casual shift of attitude. It is a demolition of the old structure and a creation of the new. The more radical the change, the greater the joy and it is worth every effort, for this is the joy of the Lord.
And though our heart isn't perfect, it isn't rotten.....and though we aren't invincible, at lease we are plugged in and you can bet that He who made us knows just how to purify us - from the inside out.
Change of a heart isn't something we can do on our own. We need Him, we have to seek Him, we have to listen to Him, but most of all we have to have FAITH in Him. We might not have Faith in the circumstance or we might not be able to see the ending clear but our Faith will get us through anything. God knows the outcome and He knows what we are capable of as humans here on earth. He can give us the strength if we seek Him.
He knows that His work in our lives will plant a seed in others. We must be a walking testimony for those around us. We must live and walk in Faith. Sometimes that faith will be tested and it is up to us to seek Him for guidance and protection. He will be our fighter in battles we cannot win on our own and we will be able to be the living Gospel in somebody's life. Our faith and way of life can plant a seed in somebody else's heart.
We should never underestimate the power of a seed. As far as I know, James, the epistle writer, wasn't a farmer, but he knew the power of a seed in fertile soil. The principle for peace is the same as a principle for crops. Never underestimate the power that God has in our lives.
This is a new year of change and seed planting! I'm ready for 2012!!!!!!!