Minds and Hearts

Minds and Hearts

11 July 2019

Minds and Hearts
Jim Stephens

Reading: Isaiah 8-10; Hebrews 8

10 But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already. 12 And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.” (Hebrews 8:10-12 NLT)

Hebrews 8:10-12 is a quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34. Jeremiah looked forward in faith to a time when God would relate to his people in a whole new way. God’s laws would be in his people’s minds and hearts rather than written in books or carved in stone. The writer of Hebrews says, “This is it! The new way of relating to God is here and it’s better!”

God’s new way of relating to his people is this:
Through faith in Jesus Christ, each person, every individual, gets to know God firsthand. Under God’s new plan we don’t merely learn about God in a class, or from a book, we get to know God in a living relationship.

I believe that teaching is important.
“Teacher” is one of the grace-gifts God gives the church by his Holy Spirit. I am a pastor and teacher, and I’ve spent most of my adult life teaching God’s Word and God’s ways. When I read these words, I examine my teaching and shepherding of God’s people. I ask myself whether I am merely teaching people facts about God, or I’m teaching people – by words, stories, and my own example – how to know God personally in the ups and downs of life.

One thing I know for certain, it’s not “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About God In Five Easy Lessons.” It’s very much more a matter of “Get To Know God For Yourself through his Word, by his Spirit, and in the experiences and challenges of living a God-centered life!”


Father, Thanks for making a new plan that lets me know you personally. I want to know you more. Put your laws in my mind and write them on my heart. I want to help others learn not to rely merely on knowing about you but to know you personally and well. Help me to do that better. Amen.

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