The Heart of Things

He looked around them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. Mark 3:5 NRSV

MC900444825[1]During Jesus’ ministry he encountered many who refused to believe he was the Messiah. Not surprisingly, they also had trouble recognizing their need for his saving grace, redeeming love and healing power.

Through signs, wonders and the resurrection, Jesus gave ample evidence of his true identity and mission. An open and unbiased examination of his life and teachings would lead most to recognize that he was not just another religious radical or Jewish heretic. But Jesus encountered many who were unwilling to examine his claims and miracles in an open and unbiased way.MP900443384[1]

Jesus recognized and rebuked those who sought to discredit him. He knew their real  problem was not just a lack of faith, but a hard-heartedness in their hearts. They were puffed up with self-conceit. With all they had going for them, they thought they had no need for the hope, help and healing Jesus was offering.

On the same day Jesus dealt with these hard-hearted men, he met a man who not only had a need, but had a heart that was open to receiving whatever Jesus was willing to give. Recognizing his need for healing, and seeing that his heart was ready to respond, Jesus helped him.

MC900434722[1] An open heart is a heart that recognizes its need for help and healing. It’s a heart that acknowledges its need for God’s love, grace and power. An open heart is a heart that welcomes Jesus Christ, listens to what he has to say, willingly receives all that he has to give, and then responds to his call!

It really is a matter of the heart. Jesus did all that had to be done. Now it’s up to us.

It’s a matter of the heart!

The question is, are we going to allow Jesus to step into our life each and every day? Are we going to seek out the healing power, redeeming grace and abundant life he offers? Or are we going to fall back into a spirit of self-sufficiency, and keep Jesus at arm’s length?

Are you keeping Jesus at arm’s length?

It all depends on the heart. May we be always aware of our need for Jesus, always ready to respond to his call, and willing to receive the love, grace and power he came to give!

Open Your Heart To Jesus, Today!

Prayer:

Son of God and Savior of the world, I need you, and I have put my faith in you. Come and fill me with the love you give, with the peace you offer and the power you promise!

Amen.

 Sing copy

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