Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Hard Has Your Heart Become?

Last night at church was a time for both reflection and if I must say, a bit of conviction. We were asked if we have ever been hurt before, and I can honestly say, I think that everyone had raised their hand, mine included. I mean who hasn't. Even as believers when we face the pain of rejection from a friend or even a family member, we have a tendency to harden our hearts. We put up those walls to ensure that no one will hurt us like that again.

We can see evidence even in the lives of believers. We find ourselves becoming a bit hardened ourselves when our efforts to reach the lost come back void. When after all those attempts at sharing the gospel message is rejected again and again. Just what will it take to reach those people.

Compassion for one.

Compassion defined simply put is love in action.

God has called every single one of us as believers to be an active participant. Not simply to walk away when the going gets tough. In fact we are challenged not to leave when it's hard, but to leave when it's easy instead.

I mean you can see countless times where we, as believers in Jesus, can grow hard. When we pass that homeless person who is still sitting at that same corner with the same sign asking for money. You have a firm belief they are just faking it to make a quick buck and not get a real job.

Oh what about those noisy neighbors that refuse to turn the music down, clean up their yards, or simply be a part of the community. Why even reach out yet again? All of our efforts have failed this far.

Or what about the person who keeps emailing you, leaving negative comments on your Facebook page, Twitter or Blog telling you what a joke your faith in Christ is? Why even engage that person?

Because God has called us to.

I love the quote from G. Campbell Morgan which states it pretty clear,
“Organized Christianity that fails to make a disturbance is dead.”

So what does that mean for us?

It means we need to get out of our comfort zone and spread compassion to our friends and family. It means we need to help others. There are so many hurting people who have thrown up their hands in frustration simply believing that we care for possessions, our position and protection more than we do people.

And you know what, they are right!

We have do have a heart for God in order to love people. Our mission trip in our lives is to serve Christ wherever we are. We don't have to travel to another country. We can get to our neighbors, our coworkers, our family, our community and share compassion with them.

How many of your coworkers are having a difficult time in their marriages, their relationships with their children, their addictions, their finances, and we have no clue? How many young teens are struggling just to find one person who cares anymore about them? How can we help?

That is simply all they are looking for.

Someone to help.

Perhaps it's buying a coworker coffee today, or taking them to lunch. Visiting your neighbor and bringing them cookies. Helping to fill a friend or family member's gas tank when they are struggling to make ends meet. If you are able, how about helping to pay a person's bill or bills for the month? What about simply volunteering more to help out where you can?

What a difference we would make in the lives of unbelievers if we simply stepped outside ourselves and putting all we have into the hands of Jesus and allowing Him to work through us.

How about if you join what God is doing right now.

Wherever you all there.

Use what you have to help someone else.

Stop making every excuse and make every effort instead.

I challenge you today, to make a difference to someone today whomever God puts in your path. Reach out, even if its uncomfortable. See what a difference it will make. They might not even share what that impact has had, but God knows and that is good enough for us. He sees it!

Jesus said, “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around, how quickly a little power goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” Matthew 20:25-28 (The Message.) 

Dear Jesus,
Thank You for an amazing message in church last night. Often times we forget our true mission as believers, to take the Good News into all the world and share not only our testimony but what having You in our lives has done to change us. Help us to look around and not be so hardened by what we see. Help us to have softened hearts and to break them in ways we can see those people sitting right next to us at work, or in our neighborhoods or schools that are so broken and in need of help. I ask that you provide us with divine insight to know just how to help them. Let us be more compassionate to where people are in their lives. They may be experiencing brokenness in their marriages, their relationships with their children, facing overcoming an unexpected illness or an addiction, or simply trying to make ends meet to pay their bills this month. Let us reach out to our neighbors today, whomever that may be. Let us offer to buy them lunch, fill their gas tanks, go for coffee or simply if we are able to help pay their bills. Help us to not miss the opportunities you have placed in our laps today, Father, but to extend Your helping hand to show others the love you have for them today. In Jesus Name ~ AMEN


LV said...

Another inspiring master piece. Glad you to see you out again, or have I just missed you?

Sharon said...

Sometimes I think it all boils down to that old cliche (but so true) WWJD - What Would Jesus Do?

If we follow His example, the One who always took the time to notice, to engage, to speak, to interact with people, then we will be spreading His goodness into the world.

May the Lord keep our hearts soft and our faith firm.