Does YOUR heart have two, three or four chambers? I’ll bet you’ve never been asked before! But I’m asking to illustrate a point.
Well, before I get into that, let me open MY heart and welcome you to “Mornings with Bishop Robert.” I’m glad you and I can get together this morning. My goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today speaks to your heart, then let me invite you to like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
You don’t have a heart with two chambers unless you’re a FISH. Among the other characteristics of fish is this one – they are cold-blooded. Fish have their body temperature determined by their surroundings. When people live like this, they allow their emotions to be controlled by their environment. We were not created to be controlled by our emotions. It’s supposed to work the other way around.
You don’t have a heart with three chambers unless you’re a REPTILE. These creatures are also cold-blooded. But, at least in my mind, they remind me of another definition of that term — callous, cruel and without emotion. One way some people try to eliminate being emotionally controlled by their surroundings is to isolate themselves from them. We were not created to be emotionless automatons, and our verse reminds us of that.
Today’s verse tells us BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER JUST AS GOD THROUGH CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN YOU.
As people, we are supposed to control our hearts and make choices with our emotions. As followers of Christ, our choices are guided by His example.
The first thing this verse calls us to do is BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. Seems simple enough, right? But in order to truly be kind, we need to remove the roadblocks that are stopping us; the things INSIDE US that give us pain and harden our hearts. When we get rid of the things that make our inner pot boil – bitterness, rage, anger – then it will eliminate the harsh words and slander that come out of our mouths, as well as all types of evil behavior. If we let them stay inside us, they will harden our hearts. When we give those things to Jesus, He begins to heal our heart and make it like His – tender and loving.
If we are to be tenderhearted, the Holy Spirit needs to renew our thoughts and attitudes. He’s the key to not letting our anger and pain lead us into sin.
I think the key to the first part of the verse is actually in the second part of the verse. There is only one way we can truly BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED. We have to constantly be FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER JUST AS GOD THROUGH CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN YOU.
But that begs the question of whether that forgiveness has been received into your heart yet. Have you come to the place in your life where you’ve decided to follow Jesus, or are you still on the way? Jesus has already bought and paid for the forgiveness you need. But there is a very big difference between GIVEN and RECEIVED.
I recently bought a birthday card for someone who’s decided to put some distance in our relationship. I deliberately keep reaching out because I love and value them, and want to be deliberate about doing all I can to restore it. Actually, not only did I buy a birthday card, but I also purchased an Amazon gift card for them. Both were selected and purchased, both sent electronically. I know the notice of the birthday card and the gift card arrived, but neither one has been claimed. So a gift communicating my love and delivering something of real value is sitting within reach of its intended recipient, awaiting only their decision to accept it.
The key is this – even though I’ve paid the full price and sent the gift directly to them – it’s value has absolutely no worth FOR THEM until they choose to accept it. And, gift cards being what they are, until they do they will never have access to its benefits. Everything these gifts have to offer is one decision away.
That’s precisely what Christ’s offer of forgiveness and life is like. He’s bought and paid for it. He’s freely offered it to you and I. But as amazing and generous as the gift is, it’s of absolutely no value FOR YOU until you choose to accept it.
If you’re one decision away from real life, telling you that is the kindest thing I can do.
BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER, TENDERHEARTED, FORGIVING ONE ANOTHER JUST AS GOD THROUGH CHRIST HAS FORGIVEN YOU