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Thursday, July 09, 2015
Going to the Heart - HIRD
By the Rev. Dr. Ed
It is far too easy to look at outward appearances, and miss
the heart of the matter. The Hebrew
prophet Samuel, before choosing King David, was told: “People look at the
outward appearances but God looks at the heart.” In North America, we can easily be three
thousand miles wide and one inch deep.
We can easily be swallowed by the latest cultural fad, and never
discover who we really are. I love going
to the gym, and keeping healthy. But as
mentioned in my recent book Restoring Health, it can’t just be about the outer
appearances. We need to look at health
holistically in body, mind and spirit.
The Good Book says ‘Above all else, guard your heart for out
of it are the issues of life.’ Our
‘heart’ refers to the core of our personality, our identity, whom we really
are. Many people have invested so much
into keeping other people happy that they have very little idea whom they
really are. They confuse their core
identity with their latest job, their education, their bank account or
relationships, all of which may be very transitory. The Good Shepherd said “Out of the heart, the
mouth speaks”. Sometimes in the
disappointments of life, our heart can turn hard, like a stone. Our hearts need melting, so that they can
become soft again. When our heart shuts
down, we stop caring. We slip into
cynicism and bitterness. God does not
care about how good we look on the outside.
He goes to the heart of the matter.
God wants a genuine relationship with each of us. It has been said that Jesus died on the cross
from a broken heart. He poured out his
heart of love for each of us from Calvary’s tree. Most Canadians believe in God, but we can
easily keep God at a distance. God is
into intimacy. God wants us to open our
hearts to his love. This love can never
be forced. It can only be offered. When we open our hearts to the Father’s love,
something happens at the core of our being.
When I was age 17 in the last few months of Grade 12, I had
a life-changing encounter with the Father’s love. Suddenly my heart, my core personality, was
powerfully changed. I was a new creation
in Christ. I had a new purpose and
reason to live. Within a week, I felt a
call to be an Anglican priest. My
grandmother and mother had known for years that I would become a priest. I was going to become an electrical engineer
like my father. God touched me at a
heart level. I had been going to church
for many years, but nothing had connected.
Love changes everything. When I
finally understood that God loved me deeply, I was undone. My whole world was turned undone. God loves you just as much as he loves
me. God is waiting to touch each of us
at the heart level. The heart of the
matter is our heart. My prayer for those
reading this article is that each of us will open our hearts to God’s amazing
love for each of us.