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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then Philip said, ‘If you believe with all your heart, you may.’ And he answered and said, ‘I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”—Acts 8:37 (NKJV)
Have you ever made a decision based on feelings or emotions? Later, you may realize you wrote a proverbial check that you aren’t able to cash. At that point, you might try to backpedal out of the emotionally-driven commitment and discreetly exit stage left.
Did you know that professions of faith can also result from emotional decisions? I don’t want to turn this devotional into a debate about salvation, but the truth is, there are people who confess Jesus as Savior but don’t experience true regeneration or salvation. (See Matthew 13:2-8.)
In fact, I was one such person.
At age 16, at the funeral of a friend, I responded to the preacher’s altar call. He asked who wanted to be saved, and I walked forward and prayed a prayer. Swayed by my emotions and seeing my peers respond in like fashion, I made a profession of faith.
But there was never any fruit in my life. You would never have suspected that I was a follower of Christ. It wasn’t until many years later in my life that I had a “come to Jesus moment,” and I confessed with all my heart that Jesus is Lord.
Did you catch it? I confessed with all my heart! Not part of it. This wasn’t a decision based on head knowledge, feelings, emotions, or peer pressure. I made a cognitive decision that I no longer wanted to be the captain of my ship. My ship was sinking quickly and I needed help. I needed Jesus! And once I opened my whole heart to Christ, not based on emotion but on my willingness to make Him my Lord and God, everything changed for me! (See John 20:28.)
The above text in Acts 8:37 illustrates for us the need to give Jesus our whole heart. It states very clearly that “if you believe in Jesus with all your heart . . .” (emphasis added). Now the context here is an Ethiopian asking Philip about baptism. Philip gives this Ethiopian the gospel message and shares with him the prerequisite for baptism, which is simply believing in Jesus with all your heart!
DIG: Read John 20:24-29, Matthew 13:2-8, Matthew 7:15-23, and Acts 8:26-37.
DISCOVER: Take a hard look in the mirror. Examine your life. Does your life produce fruit? (Matthew 7:15-20)
DISPLAY: If you’ve never confessed Christ with your “whole heart,” do it now! Make Him the captain of your ship. Make Him your Lord and God. Go and demonstrate the fruit of that amazing decision!