Consider it Checked
Who can make sense of the heart? The seat where a person's desires, cravings, and aspirations sit in the hold of their motives, virtues, and aspirations. One minute it can have a deep conviction, the next it is lost in a fog of insecure choices that it can't seem to settle into. So much has been built and torn down because the heart was steadfast and true, or because it was unable to stay true to what was profitable for a life to remain thriving and functional.
Preaching yesterday I sought to deliver on my strong desire to bring the heart and the burden of urgency for the state of the lost in our world to come to the forefront of my congregation's mind and attention. What is clear is that I may be asking some to consider the next step in a life of faith in Christ in that it is key to consider how we have been commissioned to be a sent people. We are a people with a mission to all corners of the world that we exist and live in. For others, I have to be reminded that the heart is needing a deep check to the state is sits towards God, each other, and its willingness to trust and obey all that Christ has commanded.
The role of a pastor is one I am learning more and more to have a deep heart of compassion, but to ultimately entrust others to God's keep and care. At times there will be people whom I have devoted time, prayer, and a large investment into out of my love for them and for the calling to serve them. Yet, this can at times not be reciprocated or fully received as room to take steps forward in a heart that is being checked and seeking to grow in love with all the heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).
This isn't a critique, but a reality that all I can do is continue to say "I love you" and "I am for you to grow in Jesus' image". In that space where communities of God's people are coming together and authentically abandoning mistrust, self driven desires, or an unwillingness to love deeply, we find the kind of love that Jesus prayed for us to have.
"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." John 13:35
This is where I consider how are we proving to the world that we are the disciples of Jesus by how we aren't quick to do the opposite of what love does and is. How are we seeing that if we desire to be echo a great faith like Paul who says; "Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful" (1 Col 4:2) that we make this proven in us by having our hearts checked if we are loving in a manner that Jesus was drawing is to? That is my hope for anyone who reads these words to check your heart and realize that the work of discipleship is a labor of love that is not in vain if it is done to serve and honor the Lord.
It will only benefit you to overcome or replace the ways in which you have been able to love your neighbor, your God, and yourself.
Consider how today you can check the heart to be more in a position to make good on the trust, or the kingdom of Heaven, that you have been commanded to invest and grow in your life. May you push, pray, and devote yourself to deeper levels of love with a heart considered checked.
Keep looking Up!