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I want to tell you a secret about Jesus that can be your secret too!
When Jesus heard about the death of John the Baptist, do you remember what He did? He went off to a place of solitude to spend time in prayer. Its no secret that Jesus used prayer to maintain the heavenly connection with His father. Prayer is vital to maintaining the heavenly connection. Jesus needed to do it, and we do too. Prayer must be a part of your daily life and walk with God. We cant neglect prayer. Prayer is great. But thats not the secret I want to tell you about.
Prayer helped Jesus keep the heavenly connection. At the same time, Jesus lived and walked among us, and had to live in this world. Somehow Jesus had to maintain an earthly connection to people. You and I are in the same situation.
A single person told me, I just wish I could go to heaven and be with God right now. That is a great statement, and you cant argue with it. At the same time, people often make a statement like that because they dont feel an earthly connection. They dont feel a part. They dont feel they belong anywhere. While Jesus maintained the heavenly connection, maybe the bigger issue is how did He maintain the earthly connection?
As you read the gospels, you have to be impressed by the things Jesus did: He was a teacher, a healer, a true exorcist, a leader, the Savior. All these things involved people! Jesus HAD to have a way to maintain the earthly connection.
So, how did He do it?
Heres the secret: Jesus had (and has) a GREAT HEART!
Are you disappointed? Let down? I dont think you will be if you will let me tell you what I mean.
Think about how long you have been a Christian. How have you made an impact on the world with your faith? I have been a minister for twenty-five years, and I wonder how many lives I have touched for the Lord. Certainly not as many as I want! But then I think about this: Jesus had less than three years of ministry, and it was enough time to usher in the Kingdom of God. Wow! Jesus was the most effective person in the history of the universe. And all his work involved people. He met all kinds of folks everyday. Sometimes He was too busy helping, teaching, and healing to even stop and eat. The golden thread that runs through all his ministry? He had a GREAT HEART!
One person said Look, I dont know what ignorance and apathy is, and I dont care. Think about that statement. It sums up the attitude of people with no heart.
If you have the heart of Jesus, you will care about others too. Tonight, I sat in a late night meeting with several church leaders. It was my third major meeting of the day, and it had been a great day yet incredibly exhausting. In fact, I felt a little numb and in a hurry to finish the meeting. As we closed the meeting, each person took a turn to say a prayer for those in our congregation who asked for prayer. As I bowed my head, one of our leaders prayed for an eleven year old member of our church whose biological fathers girlfriend was pregnant. I began thinking about this precious young childs faith that reached out to her non-christian bio-dad and his girlfriends baby. That got me. I couldnt help it. Tears ran down my cheeks as I thought of the children of the world who love Jesus. That girl has a great heart. And you know what? I felt great because it showed I have a heart, too. In the middle of being tired and exhausted and all wrung out, I could still be touched.
Join me! Be thankful to God if you can cry. Its a blessing to feel compassion. It feels great, even if it seems like hurt at first.
So heres the prescription for a Great Heart: Repeat after me BY THE POWER OF GOD'S SPIRIT, MY HEART IS GREATER THAN THIS!
Thats it! Thats the formula.
When you face a problem that seems overwhelming...
With all my heart, I want you to know this will make a difference.
It will keep you from discouragement. Discouragement is Satans greatest tool. It requires very little effort on his part, and it brings him great results. Of course he wants you to be discouraged. Right now, some single person is reading this, and facing tough situations. Right now that single person is feeling lost and cynical. Right now that single is on the verge of saying God doesnt exist, or if he exists he doesnt really love me. That is discouragement. So right now, I'm praying that person will break through the bars of Satan's discouragement and say, "BY THE POWER OF GODS SPRIT, MY HEART IS GREATER THAN THIS!" It's true! Remember God's promise:
Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (Romans 5:5)
Our age has been called the Age of Emptiness. People buy, smoke, and drink things to fill up the Emptiness. People work out, move to Tibet, join the Peace Corps, and make money to fill up the Emptiness. Even Christians feel empty sometimes. The next time you feel like that, rather than run to fix it, why not just face it and say BY THE POWER OF GODS SPRIT, MY HEART IS GREATER THAN THIS!
Jesus great heart beat on this earth for some thirty-three years. Every beat was a beat of compassion. Every beat was big enough to love the whole world. And when on that old, splintered, blood-stained cross that great heart died, it only paused until it beat again in the Resurrection. Then Jesus great heart began to beat in the apostles, and in the early church, and in each and every person who saw God in Jesus. And that heart can beat in you and in me. And thats my secret! And your secret too! Shhh! Pass it on!
I love you.
Bye for now,
Title: "My Heart is Greater Than This"
Author: Cary Branscum
Publication Date: January 11, 2000
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