Thursday, July 26, 2007

There is a cure for the hard heart

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Jeremiah 4, 5, 6

Jeremiah 4:3-4 (NIV)

3 This is what the Lord says to the men of Judah and to Jerusalem: “Break up your unplowed ground and do not sow among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, circumcise your hearts, you men of Judah and people of Jerusalem, or my wrath will break out and burn like fire because of the evil you have done – burn with no one to quench it.”

Good morning!

What is it like to have a hard heart? My grandfather died of atherosclerosis. This is a medical condition described as a slow, degenerative process where essential nutrients and blood flow are hindered from reaching vital organs, causing a hardening of the arteries and irreversibly damaging the heart muscle. Genetics, diet and exercise all play a role in the proper function of our circulatory system. That blood carries oxygen to our vital organs and eliminates carbons from our bodies. When the blood flow is blocked and if the problem goes untreated, we will die.

The prophet Jeremiah spoke the Word of God to His people, who had become hard-hearted. Not only did their sin block them from knowing the Lord; their hardened hearts kept them from even caring. Have you ever been so angry that you just didn’t give a rip? Sometimes people are hurting so much that it is simply easier to let their wounds scab over and they become hard-hearted. It seems easier not to feel anything than to expose our pain and suffering for what it truly is. We shut up, put up, and suck up to the wrongs that need to be addressed. All the while, our hearts become harder and harder, and we continue to slowly die in deep despair. Many people have lost their battle to survive and have succumbed to a hard and lifeless heart song. Do you know someone who is dying today of a hard heart? Is there a family member or friend you know who refuses to even entertain the possibility that their life would be different, if they would choose to place their trust the only one who could change it forever? Is that someone you?

I find it extraordinary that our circulatory system illustrates the condition of our live song. The blood of Jesus Christ is the key to a new and restored life. Without His blood covering our sin, we will surely die. Christ reaches out to us, extending the hand of our heavenly Father, in love. Sometimes, our hearts become hard through the poor choices we’ve made. Maybe the hurts caused by someone we love run so deep, that His life-giving blood cannot seem to reach us. We turn away from Him, blowing the Lord of life off. We allow our pain and anger and shame to block the Father from coming inside. We are afraid of what might happen if we take one more chance and let Him inside. Still, His blood can soften even the hardest heart. The forgiveness and grace we experience is like inhaling a breath of fresh air for the very first time! The poison of our sin and the hatred we carry is washed away in His blood. Breathing Him in becomes true joy. The energy that had been zapped from our bodies is sparked with a new and full life! We find purpose and meaning in the new song we sing, and we cannot contain it!

If you find yourself suffocating inside the scars of a hard and broken heart, heed the words of the prophet Jeremiah and offer the Lord your life today. Jesus can take your worst pain and heal it through His love and grace. If you will just let it go and ask God in, He can remove those scars and give you a soft heart once again. There is hope at the foot of the cross for you today. Won’t you come experience His grace and forgiveness today?

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: God to take your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. He is willing. He is able. You can be free today from the scars that continue to harden your heart and steal your life away. Come to Jesus and live!


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.