18 years ago, I received the life-giving gift of a new heart.
My biological father had died of a heart attack at the young age of 56 and little did I know my mother would pass away just 15 years later, from heart failure. Seems genetically, I was predestined to inherit a “bad heart”.
For many years I didn’t know how bad mine really was. But as each year passed, my decline marked evidence I would have to undergo the daunting procedure that required….
…that someone would have to die to allow me to continue to live. It meant I lay down my pride, my self sufficiency … and receive this gift of life, and a new beginning.
The Day I’ll Never Forget
I can still remember the operating room wasn’t its usual cold and sterile setting. The Master Surgeon so skillfully and delicately operating in my soul that early morning. Fully awake, more alive than ever, I sat on the edge of that hard wooden pew, hanging onto every word that Baptist preacher read,
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Something was happening.
The pastor explained that Someone had died to give me my new heart… that my wait was over.
He seemed to know my condition even better than I did.
Peering straight into my soul he said, “That someone was Jesus.”
In essence, God donated His own Son’s heart, that whosoever receives it, has the promise of the eternal heart of God (The Holy Spirit) that would carry me through all eternity (John 3:16)
Life is Threatening All of Us
At the age of 21 I gave my broken confused heart to Christ. He’s been restoring it ever since. Thankfully despite my parent’s genes, I was never truly dealing with a physical life threatening issue.
Except for the reality that life IS threatening all of us. In the sense that we are all dying, the moment we are born. Aren’t we?
Despite even the healthiest of human hearts we have ALL inherited “bad hearts,” from our first ancestors Adam and Eve. The tragic result of the Fall. We are all born with sick, sinful and broken hearts that need the life giving transplant of Jesus Christ our Donor.
And just like no surgeon is going to hunt us down and strap us to the Emergency Room bed and perform surgery with out our consent. The same is true of God.
Until we realize the desperate diseased spiritual condition of our heart. We will not be willing to give up our old one in order to accept His new one… We can’t have both.
A Heart of Stone
Spiritually speaking our “heart” or our “spirit” is the center of who we are. It lives out our personality, thoughts, desires and wills.
The heart always hungers for what it most desires. The Spirit of God living in us, lives out God’s personality, desires and will.
A heart of stone cannot feel, grow, move, breathe or sustain life.
*Symptoms Check list:
You do not desire God, His Word, or His will. Spiritual growth is the least of your concerns. Your friends (few that you may have) consider you an angry, unkind, unforgiving, embittered, controlling, insecure, manipulative person lacking self control, enthusiasm for life, depressed, unstable, co-dependent, prideful, unable to receive correction or admit your wrong. Believe you’re always thinking of your self. You set up walls to protect yourself. Hide under some facade. You are on a path of self destruction, sick, depressed, maybe even suicidal today. Open the Bible only to feel confused and more lost. Or to feel superior than others. You fear almost everything. Struggle with loving God and people, ALL the while may even claim to have God’s heart and be a Christian!
(*Disclaimer: Designed to help you understand what your symptoms could mean, in order to make informed decisions for better spiritual health. Pretending you do not have these symptoms, only complicates treatment. In no way is this a diagnostic tool to determine salvation!)
Replaced With a Fruitful Heart (Gal. 5:22)
God is Love. With His heart, we receive the ability to love like Him. (1 Cor. 13) See people through His eyes, have compassion, forgive, be forgiven, avoid sin, desire good, love our enemies, sacrifice for others, be slow to anger, enjoy peace, joy, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control, humility, endure hardships, trust, obey, change, receive spiritual truths, have a deep close fellowship with God and others, and above all this – have power over death…
THIS is God’s very own DNA pulsing through our veins, alive in us through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Like David, the imperfect man “after God’s own heart”…I wish this process were more like a transplant but in reality it is more like a transformation. Sometimes it’s a slow, sanctifying process.
Taking dead superficial hearts and turning them into living superfruitful ones, re-formed by the Heart of God, to the Heart of God, takes time.
Is He Your Last Resort?
Maybe the fragility and uncertainty of this life is meant to prompt us to the process of looking for something more permanent and real?
Heart transplants are usually reserved as a last resort. For people who have tried medications or other surgeries, with no improvement. I was the perfect candidate spiritually. Hitting wall after wall of dead ends in life, relationships and religion. Unable to love God, other people or even myself. Feeling an emptiness like a tomb I couldn’t claw my way out of.
Maybe you’ve treated Jesus like one of the many heart medicines you can try out to see if it works. But my dear friend, He isn’t just another pill to pop to make life more comfortable. His heart was given not to just help us live better but so that we could LOVE better. His heart never fails.
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him…”(1 John 4:7-9)
Have you Truly Received His Heart of Love?
Song to PRAY
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