How Deep Can a Stone Heart Sink?

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26 HCSB)”

There are few things that are more dangerous for the believer than sin.

Don’t get me wrong, sin alone is the ultimate separation from our Lord and Savior. I am not saying that some sin is ok, not at all. You see, sin when repented of (the true meaning of repentance) leads us only to forgiveness, mercy and grace. Paul tells us that “conviction is only through his kindness, and it leads to repentance.” Meaning, we are allowed to be convicted in order to be in the presence of the Lord blameless and clean….BECAUSE HE LOVES US.

So, what can be more harmful than sin itself? A heart of stone…

A heart of stone is the outcome of a reliance in self and a complacency in God’s mercy for oneself. We forget about who God is and rely on what we can do….or can’t do for that matter. We often find ourselves caught in the “i know” stage or working for the sake of pattern. This soon becomes monotony in our lives. We forget about the Gospel, we forget about the joy that we had when one was saved. This is why the Psalter writes “Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:12 HCSB)” When a heart of stone is fully developed, it functions as sound barrier between us and God. No transition can get through, therefore you grow cold and choose to continually rely on yourself…and the pebbles that first started grow and become a boulder…your heart, is a heart of stone. You choose not to repent. Sin left un-repented of is death.

So what’s the medication? How do we begin to erode the stone to portray flesh? The prescription is this. You recognize who God is, and who you are not. Simply stated, you must come under the authority of Jesus and remember He who saved you, because He loved,loves and will love you. Understanding that the only way to break the stone is through the authority of Christ will do several things:

1. You will know who you were…and who you are now because of Jesus.
2. You will repent of your sin and start chipping the stone.
3. You will thank God for mercy and grace.
4. You will have the joy of your salvation restored.
5. You will know, trust, and share the Gospel!
All these things are great news! It all starts with knowing who God is and who you are not.

So how deep can a stone heart sink? To the deepest trench. The question really is, will you sink with it, or will you watch it sink?

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear

and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:3 HCSB)”

How Nike gets it right

The thing about desperation is that it only changes when you yourself make a move.

I have been finding myself in desperate need for my Savior. I have been praying for God to move, I have been asking for some miracle, I have been asking him to show himself in my life. See, I have been needing a transformation in my life from waking up to sleeping…a change of colossal size needs to happen, so i have been praying for it.
Then the answer…

“JUST DO IT…”
(no particular order)

“I need to read more Lord” -So, do it.
“I need to love my wife better”- So, do it.
“I need to serve better”- So, do it.
“I need to wake up earlier”-So, do it.
“I need to spend time in prayer”-So, do it.
“I need to be about my city, my people”-So, do it
*the list goes on*

I ask the Lord to move, he gives me life.
I ask the Lord for a miracle, he gives me breathe.
I ask the Lord to show himself, he allows me to see beauty in creation.

The Lord provides answers…we must understand that when we pray…it is not us talking, it is us listening and submitting to his will…

God is Sovereign…but man must be responsible.

so…just do it!

“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! ”
-Psalm 43:3

5 Things I’ve learned from 5 year olds.

Me, I’m a teacher. I love it and hate it all at the same time. I pray for a heart that revolves around Jesus and for an attitude that radiates Jesus while at work. I teach 5 yr olds, I have breakfast with them, I sometimes have lunch with them but I ALWAYS have issues with them. Through out the day the relationship that the 5 year olds and myself as the teacher have ends up being parallel to the relationship that was given to me by Jesus with Jesus. Here is what I’ve learned about myself.

1. Constant redirecting

“Focus” Telling a student to focus is a constant in my life. Then I am reminded of how many times I have lost focus on Jesus. How often does the Lord have to tell us to “Focus”? (Matthew 14:30 Peter lost focus of Jesus)

2. Dependence

The dependency of a student in kindergarten to their teacher is immense! From working around a computer to the unbuttoning of the pants. Oh! The dependency to our Savior is much greater! We were dead in our transgressions but Jesus saved us from sin! We are dependent on Jesus because we can’t do it ourselves! (Galatians 2:20 we depend on Jesus and his finished work on the Cross)

3. Patience

One of the qualifications to teaching kindergarten should be “Tremendous Patience”. Every time I have to excercise patience (and I often don’t) I stop to think of the tremendous amount of patience that the Lord has for me! I mess up all the time, I drop the syrup in the morning, I break computers, I forget where I need to go and what I need to do ALL THE TIME! I am reminded of how much patience I lack, and how much patience He has…and I am thankful. (Mark 4:40 “have you STILL no faith?”…patience)

4. Joy

As a 5-year-old you don’t have much to worry about. You don’t sit and worry about what you will wear the next day, what you will do, where you will go…you pretty much just do. You are as joyful as they come, whether it is from talking to an imaginary friend or from getting a sticker. I learned that I am nowhere near as joyful as they are, and I miss it. I have so much to be thankful for, so much to be joyful for because of Jesus and his good gifts and I miss the picture…BE JOYFUL…(James 1:2…PURE JOY)

5. Love

No matter what the situation they know how to love. They hug you, they give you high fives, they miss you when you are out. They know how to love. So, I ask myself…”Do you love in such a way”?…I don’t…Father teach me to love the way a 5-year-old does. (Mark 12:31 “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself”)

All in all, my students have taught me more than I could ever teach them…

are you being taught?

3 Things the Gospel is Not

Working through much junk of what we have been taught the Gospel is, I was made sick to my stomach. The Gospel that is being shared in America today is NOT Gospel. Health, Wealth and Prosperity is not what the Gospel is. It is not a new car in my driveway, it’s not a “rub the lamp to have the genie make your wishes come true” theology.

The Gospel is not your story.
It is the Gospel that MAKES your story good news. Your story DOESN’T make the Gospel good news. So, stop sharing your story as gospel and start sharing the Gospel in your story.

-The Gospel is not the flavor of the week.
You don’t go into a Gospel driven church and ask for what tastes good this week! It is NOT an ice cream shop. Gospel is forever and Gospel is truth and truth offends. Stop asking for the palatable and pray for the transformation that the gospel brings.

-The Gospel is not selfish.
“hide it under a bush oh no! I’m gonna let it shine.” Truth spoken by a childhood song! Stop hiding the gospel in your life and share what has been freely given to you! do you light your lamp and cover the light? Or, does the light light up your room?

The Gospel is The Father sending his son Jesus to a fallen world (because of sin). Jesus taking off his kingly robes to wear the garments of a servant. Be born of a virgin, grow in wisdom and in stature (Luke 2:52) not counting equality with God something to be grasped (Philippians 2:6), lived a sinless life for 33 years, and was murdered on the cross by people he created in order that we may taste freedom through his completed work on the cross! That is why we live, that is why we breathe, that is why we get to be a part of his story…he is the Hero we were all waiting for!
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2nd Corinthians 5:21