Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Fettuccini Alfredo! It's that great Italian dish that has buttered noodles served in a rich, creamy cheese sauce. Unfortunately, it's not recommended as health food. It's more like "heart attack on a plate." Maybe that's a bit of an overstatement, but the fact is that a lot of foods do contribute to the slow shutdown of the valves that happen to carry the blood and oxygen into your heart. I love what one commercial called it - blood sludge. Medical people refer to the hardening of the arteries - the process in which foods that are high in cholesterol and fat start building up these hard deposits in your arteries. If this hardening in your heart is allowed to continue long enough, it's no laughing matter. It can threaten your life.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Your Heart Turns Hard to What Breaks God's Heart."
Hearts can harden physically and hearts can harden spiritually. It can become really dangerous in the heart of any man or woman who is trying to make a difference for Jesus Christ. It was Jesus' heart that motivated all He did - a heart that the Bible says was "moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes." He was deeply moved. He saw them the Bible says, as "threatened and helpless sheep without a shepherd." He wept over His city Jerusalem because they wouldn't come to Him and the life He wanted to give them. Paul was a model for all of us who want to serve Christ when he revealed what drove him to suffer incredible pain and to sacrifice so much to tell people about Jesus. It's our word for today from the Word of God in 2 Corinthians 5:14. "Christ's love compels us."
I was once told about a pastor in one of America's major cities. Often, he wouldn't come into the service until a few minutes before his message. But this one particular Sunday, it came time for the sermon and the pastor wasn't on the platform. A couple of church leaders went to check his office, and there he was looking out over the endless rows of apartments and houses that jammed their depressed neighborhood. And he was weeping. One of the men who had come looking for him said gently, "Pastor, I understand, you're weeping because of the great needs all around us, aren't you?" "No," the pastor told him, "I'm weeping because it doesn't move me like it used to."
That is cause for weeping. This servant of God realized that something had happened to his heart. Like a person with hardening of the arteries, his heart had started to close up - to harden. Maybe yours is, too. Like that physical hardening, it happens slowly and imperceptibly, but the longer it goes unchecked, the more dangerous it becomes.
Most of us start serving the Lord with a healthy heart. We're moved by the lostness of people who don't have a Savior. We realize the life-or-death importance of getting to them with the message about Jesus. Heaven and hell are at stake. And we come into the Lord's work with a heart that's soft toward the pain and suffering and the dysfunction that sin is causing in lives all around us. We ask the Lord to use us to make a difference whatever it takes.
But for some of us, that healthy heart started to harden somewhere along the way with all the pressures, the politics, the disillusionments, the programs, the conflicts. We can no longer say that it is this burning love of Christ for the lost and the hurting that drives us. What once was a passion has become profession. What once was a deep affair of the heart has become an exercise of our head and our busy hands. And the joy, the fire is going out...or gone.
But the One who gave you that original piece of His heart wants to give it to you again if you'll recognize the crisis of your closing heart and tell your Master that you want His life-changing heart surgery - to open up what the deposits of the years have closed, and to give you a new heart, throbbing with His love, with His passion and with His tears for the lost. Without that, there ultimately is no life.
Go to the Master Heart Surgeon today and tell Him you want a heart like His.