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The Cross, My Hard Heart and Jesus’ Transformation
Written by me on 3/19/19 (edited by me on 3/22/19)
(copied and pasted from a Facebook post I made on 3/22/19)
“We cannot reach the ends of the earth until we have reached the end of ourselves.” Steve Conway #GYC18
“Before we can reach the deepest, darkest corners of the world, we must let God reach the deepest, darkest corners of our hearts.” Taj Pacleb #GYC18
Last night, God gave me a revelation about myself. I cried for a few minutes and prayed earnestly and then I knew that God had set my heart free and that He had indeed given me my heart’s desire, which was in accordance with His will.
God showed me that I really did love myself supremely. I told God, “I don’t really love anybody!” I was so sorrowful, so disturbed by the things that I was seeing about myself.
Wasn’t jealousy the first sin? Isn’t pride jealousy’s twin? Why can’t I be happy for others to have more than I have? Why don’t I have more compassion and self sacrificial interest in those that have less than I have? Why am I so determined to stay even with those who are similarly situated to myself in life?
I am tired of using people as tools for pride and prestige! I am tired of looking to people for undue sympathy! I am also tired of using people as crutches! I’m tired of being irritable over things that frustrate me everyday. I’m tired of expressing irritation instead of praising God and and thus creating a more pleasant atmosphere for those around me.
Right now, I’m thinking about the cross. Jesus’ love compares to no other. People spat in His face. People falsely accused Him. The people Jesus created treated Him with utter disrespect. People who had once followed Him and professed to love Him mocked Him, or ran away from Him. They revealed that they loved themselves more than they loved Him. For all the love that Jesus showed the Pharisees, which too often had to be tough love because of the state of their hearts, they returned His gestures with a degrading display of hate. In the face of all of this Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do…” Luke 23:34 (NKJV)
Now, I’m thinking about Jesus’ life before the cross. He loved the publicans, the tax collectors, the foreigners who were scorned, the Romans, Mary Magdalene, demon possessed people, and yes, people rarely say it but it needs to be said, He even loved the Pharisees! Read John chapter 3, the story of Nicodemus, if you don’t believe me!
So, I know what I need. I need to become like Jesus, and I’m opening my heart to Him. He has forgiven me for not loving people in the way that He loves them and He has promised to make me an overcomer like He is. I know that this overcoming process will involve a tremendous struggle. Throughout the duration of my experience with Him, it generally has. But He is always by my side to encourage me, and as long as I am willing to cling to Him, to be watchful, prayerful and decidedly determined to be on His side no matter how hard this is, my victory is assured. I’m trusting God. Thank you Jesus. 🙂