What Does It Mean to Follow Christ? (Jeremiah 24:7) - Radical

What Does It Mean to Follow Christ? (Jeremiah 24:7)

“I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord, and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. For they shall return to Me with their whole heart.”
– Jeremiah 24:7

Did you hear the emphasis in this verse on the heart, on returning to God with a whole heart and God saying at the beginning of this verse, “I will give them a heart.”? Do you see the picture here that is being promised in the Old Testament that becomes a reality in the New Testament through the new covenant, through what we call regeneration, the change of heart that happens inside of us by the power of the Holy Spirit when we want to know the Lord, when we want to walk in obedience to Him, we want to obey His commands, and we return to God with our hearts?

Jeremiah 24:7 Reminds Us that Christianity is Not About Following Rules

Oh, see the picture here. Following Jesus, Christianity is not about following a set of rules and regulations on the outside devoid of total supernatural change in the inside. It actually all starts, following Jesus starts with God, by His grace, giving us a new heart, putting a new spirit in us, opening our eyes to our sin and our need for Jesus as our savior and giving us a want, a desire to follow Him, to trust in Him, to turn from sin and return to Him with our whole hearts.

And then to realize that once this miracle of regeneration happens in our lives that there is a process, what we call sanctification of our hearts continually being renewed, our heart’s continually being softened so that we follow God every single day with our whole hearts. Isn’t this the great commandment that Jesus has told us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength?”

Jeremiah 24:7 Helps Us to Grow Each Day

So we pray, “God, we want this to be reality in each of our hearts. God, please keep us from cold, in many senses, dead, lifeless attempts to obey You, to walk with You. God, we want to be in relationship with You. We want to grow every single day in our love for You and our understanding of Your love for us.

God, I pray this over my own life and the lives of every single person listening right now that You would give each of us ever-increasing hearts to know You as the Lord of our lives, to love You with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength. God, we pray that You would help us to love You like this, even as we are overwhelmed by Your love for us, that You would call us today, me, others who are listening to this, Your people. You are our God, our Lord, our savior, our king, the one who is worthy of all of our hearts.”

Help Us to Continually Turn to You

So God, help us to continually turn to you with all of our hearts, help us to turn away from sin today. God help us to turn towards You in obedience. As You tell us, Lord Jesus, in John 15, to love You by obeying Your commands, by walking with You. Please transform more and more and more our minds, our thoughts. Our desires, our affections, our lives, our decisions, our words, our actions, everything, oh God. That everything might be done in our lives in love for You with all of our hearts. God, do this work in us today. Just as You promised in Jeremiah 20:40, You would give us hearts like this. We ask for hearts like this, for ever-increasing hearts to know and love You with everything we have.

God, we pray for the spread of Your love through our lives. Through our families, through our churches, among the nations, that You might give the nations new hearts. God, we pray today for Jordanian Arabs, over four million of them, so few of them followers of Jesus. I think of some of them who I know, friends who are following You, making disciples in Jordan. God, we pray for the spread of the gospel in Jordan. For new hearts to be formed all over Jordan to Your glory. Oh God, we pray all of this according to Your Word in Jeremiah 24:7. In Jesus’ name, in the name of the one who makes a new heart possible. A reality in each of our lives and anyone’s life in Jordan. Anyone’s life among the nations, we ask for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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