Thursday, January 17, 2019

Open your heart - open it wide; someone is standing outside.

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Scripture Text: (HEB 3:7-14)
The Holy Spirit says:
Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
"Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried me
and saw my works for forty years.
Because of this I was provoked with that generation
and I said, 'They have always been of erring heart,
and they do not know my ways.'
As I swore in my wrath,
'They shall not enter into my rest.'"

Take care, brothers and sisters,
that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart,
so as to forsake the living God.
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still "today,"
so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
We have become partners of Christ
if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.

A hardened heart is a dangerous spiritual predicament because when our hearts are hardened nothing can touch them, nothing can enter into them; hardened hearts are closed to God’s spirit and life, closed to any possibility of healing and hope. Our hearts harden over time—sometimes so gradually that we have no idea what is happening to us—when we shut our lives to others, when we settle into self-serving routines that suck life from us and those around us, or when we become so comfortable with who we are and no longer are willing to grow and to change. With erring hearts we slip slowly away from God by letting other things (other persons, our own pleasures, money and possessions) take the place of God. With erring hearts it is not that we suddenly begin to love the wrong things, but that we love them in the wrong ways, giving lesser goods far more attention than they deserve. And with evil and unfaithful hearts we act as if we ourselves are gods, doing whatever we want and getting whatever we want no matter how much hurt and harm it brings to others.

So maybe it is time for a heart checkup. Like people who are sick long before they receive a proper diagnosis, we need to periodically check the condition of our hearts to be sure we are not denying ourselves the love, healing, mercy, and wholeness that God wants to give us and that we need to truly live.

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