Mark 12:30-31 (Amplified Bible) - "And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment. (31) The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these."
I can't do this.
I remember myself thinking that at one time.
"I can't do this."
I was right. I couldn't do it.
And neither could you.
In our own strength we cannot fulfill these commandments of Jesus Christ.
This is why we need God.
We cannot love God, ourselves, or anybody for that matter without God.
1 John 4:19 (Amplified Bible) - "We love Him, because He first loved us."
This is why we are able to love.
We can love Him, our own selves, and others because He took the first step toward us.
Love is always the first step, and the reason for all the steps after.
Love initiates, love keeps it all flowing.
My heart was stone. He softened it to flesh.
It was a rocky soil, He made it fallow to receive His love.
Ezekiel 36:26 (Amplified Bible) - "A new heart will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."
I was a Tin Man before that. A "clinking, clanking, clattering collection of caliginous....junk."
Useless. Rusting away. Ready for the scrap heap.
Now there is a beating heart of flesh softened by the Spirit of God.
Tin Man's new heart was tested and proven when it started to break at Dorothy's farewell.
"Now I know I've got a heart -- 'cause it's breaking."
Yes, it breaks, but it keeps us in touch with God.
In my humble opinion the breaking heart, and the sometimes overwhelming feeling of helplessness that accompanies it is our tangible link to God.
Maybe it's different for you, but I know there was a time when it didn't break and I was far from God.
It breaks today and I sense a closeness to Him I wouldn't trade for all the cold hearted stoicism in the world no matter how much money it brought with it.
How's your heart today? Warm? Beating?
Is it breaking? I hope so. There is much surrounding you that will cause it to.
Get in touch with it. Embrace it. It's the heart of God in you.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><