How do we measure who we are as a person? How do we measure the change from whom we were in the past? These two questions lead me to an old Proverb: "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.", Proverbs 4:3. It is at the root of the heart where we can find the answer to these two questions.
We can observe a person as they carry themselves throughout a day. We can observe them at home, as they arise to start the routine of the day. We can also observe them at work, as they carry out tasks or interact with their co-workers. We can observe them during the meal-time, whether it is breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even at break-time. We can observe them as they come to the end of the day and prepare to go to sleep and put to rest their body, mind, and soul. In all of these observations, we can find a common denominator, the root-source of who they are and how they expressed themselves, ... the heart.
In the scriptures, it is written: "But the LORD said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'”, 1 Samuel 16:7. In essence what the Lord was telling the Prophet Samuel was to not use a standard of measurement that had limits to the five senses, but to look further, deeper, and to the root-source of a man, ... their heart. It is at the heart where an observer can make a full deduction as to whether a person holds the full capacity to address the tasks for which they are hired. It is at the heart, where an observer can deduce whether a person will work well as a team leader, assistant, or simply a worker. It is at the heart, where an observer will be able to evaluate the sincerity and loyalty of a few future co-worker.
The Apostle Paul wrote: "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,", Romans 8:16. The heart bears witness of the spiritual status of a person. It is the inner witness, the spiritually transformed heart, that bears a live testimony of the true fruit of the spirit by a Born-Again Christian, both young and old, in their walk with their Savior and Lord, Christ Jesus. John Wesley, himself, strongly believed that the "inner witness of the Holy Spirit" gave testimony of the salvation of a person through Christ Jesus. What is this inner witness? What is this "fruit of the spirit"? "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.", Galatians 5:22-23. Additionally, Ephesians 5:9 adds ... "is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth". We can see that all of these facets of the fruit of the Spirit are core to the character of a person. They are what an observer will witness from a person, and should conclusively deduce that this person is a Born-Again Christian. Christ Jesus is their Savior and Lord; this is very good.
Let us pray: Lord God, You who are great and grand, I come before You and thank You for the work of Christ Jesus on a cross so that I could have the opportunity to accept Him as my Savior and Lord. In addition, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit, whom refines me daily to be more like Christ Jesus as well as to bear the fruit of the Spirit. Please continue to refine my heart and maintain it well nourished with an active relationship with You. Amen.
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R. A. Gómez