COMFORTABLE WORDS

If you have a hole in your heart, that is NOT a good thing! Amazingly, it is not a medical emergency; but if left untreated it can be fatal.
Today we’re going to talk about one hole in your heart that most people have AND that can be fixed without surgery.

Before we get to your heart this morning, let me tell you that my heart is thrilled that you’re here. Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert.” 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!

Medically speaking, the term atrial septal defect describes a hole in the part of the heart that separates the two upper chambers. I’m not a medical doctor, so I’m not going to give medical advice. I will tell you that, while some types of atrial septal defects will actually close on their own, the type of “hole in your heart” we’re going to speak about today NEVER closes on its own. The good news is that it can be fixed in a matter of minutes, requires no surgery, and will provide improvement for the duration of your life. And beyond.

Three words that we all love to hear are “I Love You.” Without feeling loved , we can never develop into the fullness of who we were created to be. But the pathway to recognizing and receiving love at its deepest level often requires three other words – “I Forgive You.”

Try as we might, we never get the relationship thing perfectly. Temper, pride, laziness and a hundred other factors cause us to mess up and offend others. When that happens, a heartfelt apology is in order. When sincerely offered and received it begins the healing process. There’s a deep inner comfort we feel when we’ve truly been forgiven. It opens the way for us to keep moving forward in the relationships we value most.

Today’s verse says AS A MOTHER COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU.

Yesterday we spoke about fathers demonstrating compassion. The comfort of a mother is a different expression of love. Both are necessary, and both can be found in the nature and character of God.

Everyone is born with a “God-shaped hole” in their heart. We recognize a need for something we cannot fulfill from within ourselves. As we grow, God reveals Himself to every person on the planet. His word says so! What every man, woman, boy and girl CAN know about God is clear to them. God Himself has made it obvious. He designed creation itself to be like a massive advertisement proving His existence. Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen by everyone. God reveals Himself by His workmanship. Those who ignore Him are without excuse.

When His creation reveals His existence, we become aware of the “God-shaped hole” within us; or at least of a deep hunger within for something we cannot satisfy on our own. Some people look in the wrong places as they try to satisfy the gnawing hunger within. The try to fill the hole with power, money, sex, drugs, fame — anything BUT God. Nothing fills the “God-shaped hole” so nothing satisfies. When we finally find the God who can fill the hole in our heart, we instantly recognise that He is holy, and we are not. We need His forgiveness to even begin establishing our relationship. When we ask Him to forgive us, we get to experience the amazing inner comfort of God as He fills “God-shaped hole” within us with Himself.

As we grow in our relationship with Him, we recognise over and over again that we are not perfect. We fail Him and we fail those around us. Continued healing and growth requires continued forgiveness. When those around us have forgiven us, they can tell us with their words and actions. But how can we be sure that God has forgiven us?

One pathway to know this great comfort in is the power of absolution that God has placed within His priests. Under the Old Covenant and the New Covenant God Almighty has instructed His representatives to declare His forgiveness. The very day He rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to the apostles and commissioned them with the same call to proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven that Christ had received. Then He filled them with His Holy Spirit and gave them priestly authority by telling them, “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”

This authority is held as God’s representative, and it is not arbitrary. Christ established and taught what’s necessary to obtain forgiveness and new life from God. When God’s conditions are met, the priest can pronounce God’s forgiveness in His name. That’s how authority works.

His forgiveness leads to love. His love gives us life in Him, and the “God-shaped hole” within us is filled.

AS A MOTHER COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU

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