Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You and I have a Heart Condition

I am a movie buff. There are certain movies I can watch over and over. They’re the “feel good” kind. I like to feel better after watching a movie. Uplifted, encouraged. I watched one of my favorite movies last night. The male character was a heart attack victim who got help from a friend’s mother. The mother ended up in love with him and he loved her too.  She had no problem expressing her feelings, but he did. It cost him. His inability to submit to the love he felt caused him health symptoms – heart problems. 

In the end of the movie, love wins out. I like that. I believe that. But heart trouble can cause love to be disjointed or disavowed. True love covers a multitude of sins. It thinks of the object of affection first and foremost. It protects, defends and remains. I like that too. Real love is long, and wide and huge and worth it.

Heart trouble is such a personal thing. Often it can be hidden. Often it can be ignored. Often it can be replaced with other things so that hopefully no one will notice. I’ve met all kinds of people who have heart trouble. Pastors, preachers, husbands, wives, teachers, speakers, me.  The problem with heart trouble is that left untreated, sure death will occur. For some it’s physical death and eternal separation. For others it will be the death of their ministry, their marriage, their careers. For unless a person really loves, the heart is not in it. Unless you and I get up in the morning and find the focus of our love and live it for all its worth, we will fail, we will fade, we will lose our strength and our joy.

For the believer, we have wonderful news! God is love! We can find true love, receive it fully and bask in its glory. When we have this Love, Agape love, we can love ourselves, love others and love where God sends us, who God sends us to and what He wants us to do.  We love HIM because He first loved us. But there’s more, oh so much more.  We love each other because He first loved us. We love our calling because He first loved us. We love our fellow believers, ministry partners and spouses – because He first loved us.

Are you experiencing heart trouble? You either gave up on love altogether or you got left at the altar, stood up at the restaurant or put out in the cold in the church, the meeting house, the ministry. You feel great pain, your heart is wounded and your breath is short. It’s hard to go to bed; it’s harder to get up. As the song goes, “You’ve lost that lovin feelin”. You had it, you enjoyed it, you were betrayed and you gave it up.  You could be thinking it’s never going to return for you. You can’t find the spark to get it going anymore.  You’re going through the motions, reading all the lines, practicing the part, but love is not there. You may look good, talk right and seem fine. But your heart is broken or your heart is untouched by the Master’s hand. Either way, it’s a slow death and a sure curse.

If you’re having heart trouble, if you’re having trouble expressing and receiving love, then run to the Great Physician, the Lord Himself! He will either repair your heart or He will give you a complete transplant! He will fix what’s wrong and make it all new! He will restore the love, restore the joy, restore the ministry and more. His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on you. You can count on His surgery working every single time. You can count on Him giving you a transfusion of love, forgiveness, peace and joy. No other doctor can fix you. No other person can change you. But God can!

Oh beloved! God loves you and He’s for you. So much so that He’s unwilling to leave you on the gurney of pain, in the intensive care of injury or the morgue of lifelessness. Let Him give you His infusion of love, His heart of ministry and His blessing of grace. To live in the light of His love is glory! Oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful is the Savior’s love for you!

I Corinthians 13 (entire chapter)

John 13:35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.

Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Proverbs 17:3 Fire tests the purity of silver and gold, but the Lord tests the heart.

Proverbs 27:19 As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.

Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;

Romans 5:5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.

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