Replacing Deceit With Truth

By   •   November 13, 2010

Ever since Mark and Julie were married, they dreamed of pastoring a church. When years passed and Mark did not get the “call,” they became frustrated. They were serving at a church when the leadership made a minor decision with which they did not agree. They used this as an excuse to do what they have always dreamed of – to pastor a church. In their minds, best way for them to do this was to start their own. They even took a substantial percentage of people from their previous church with them, to the point of fracturing the health of that church.

Is it a sin to start a new church? Absolutely not. There are places all over the globe, and even in our own nation that desperately need new church plants. The issue here is Mark’s and Julia’s hearts. Their hearts deceived them into rationalizing their desire to lead a church by overreacting to the unfavorable decision made by their church leadership.

Another way Mark and Julie rationalized their desires is because it seemed like a good and noble thing to do. They thought (and defended themselves with): We’re starting a church. Why wouldn’t God be pleased with that? We followed our hearts. How could we be wrong?

What Scripture Says

Jeremiah 17:9-10 says:

The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.

As we examine this small passage in the book of Jeremiah, it is important to understand the context behind the Scripture. The prophet Jeremiah was warning the people of Judah that there was impending doom as a result of their actions. During Jeremiah’s years of prophecy, a corrupt king named Jehoiakim turned what was once a God-honoring territory into one that worshipped pagan idols. He built himself a showy palace and did not compensate the laborers. This disregard for God hurled Judah into a national crisis.

The fleshly desire for power and the overarching sin of pride, like Mark and Julie, led Jehoikim and the people of Judah into this downward spiral of destruction. Worst of all, these were God’s covenant people, and they broke this covenant through their disloyalty to Him.

Jeremiah 17:9 states the problem: the heart. Interestingly, the original Hebrew word transliterated aqob, comes from the same root as the name, Jacob, which means “heel grabber,” or “supplanter.” In Genesis 25, we read the account of Jacob’s deceit of his father and his brother to get his own personal desire – the birthright. As with Jacob, our fleshly hearts deceive us into letting our desires cloud the truth of Scripture.

This same verse also says that our hearts are sick. The New International Version uses the word incurable. Does this mean hopeless? No. It just means we can’t change our hearts on our own.

The Solution

Flip further into Jeremiah and land on 31:33. Read what it says:

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

What King Jehoikim and the people of Judah fractured as a result of their disobedience, God fully intended to restore. Through continual encouragement and warnings, Judah turned back to God and was bonded to Him once again. This new covenant was set, and God law written on their hearts was equivalent to having a new heart – a new, healthy heart turned toward Him.

As with the Judeans, the only One who can heal our incurable, deceitful hearts is God, through His Son Jesus Christ. Is His law written on your heart?

Are you sure of your salvation?

Follow the Steps to Peace online to recommit your life to Jesus.

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  1. Karin says:

    this is so very helpful…my favorite so far!

  2. Kathy Reliford says:

    I pray to god to make my heart his. To help me walk the path he wants me to walk and to live for him . I put him first in my life. Praise god. Amen

  3. Deborah says:

    I have been praying to Jesus since I was 9. I believed in Jesus then and have ever since. He is The Lord of my life .

  4. Linda Cross says:

    Thank you, Bro. Billy Graham. I thank God for you and your family. God bless them all.

  5. Attah Francis says:

    Lord heal my heart tha I may appreciate your love for me. Thank you lord.

    1. Tahwahnah says:

      God can always be trusted…. We can not. Help me Lord and all others who know you to not lie to ourself. Reveal the truth in our hearts as we go forward walking the path of faith. Open our eyes to your ways each day and heal us from ourself. Give us continued truths as we are able to handle them. I love you and pray this all in Jesus name. God bless you all who read this message. Someday we will all meet and commute with him together as one. WHAT A DAY THAT WILL BE! All my love, amen.

  6. Norman Todd says:

    I am often stunned by the deceit of my heart. But I trust in Christ to teach me from that deceit, to show me the Truth. Gods Grace is amazing!!

  7. CHIka Okoye says:

    Mmmmm God cannot be mocked, HE knows us soooo much

  8. zzzzz6666 says:


  9. Henry says:

    As always God’s truth came right on time. Thank you.