for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.- Mark 9:31-32 ESV
The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. (1 Cor 1:18) How you feel, IF YOU FEEL anything when you read or hear about Christ, His Cross and His Resurrection will tell you the CONDITION of your HEART! If you consider it a FABLE or mythology, then your HEART is HARD! For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:16) After Jesus death and resurrection, the Bible denotes 12 times Jesus was seen after His Resurrection and states He is the FIRST! Jesus is both first in time and first in preeminence. In the book of Revelation Christ is called the FIRSTBORN of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. (1:4) But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back. (1 Cor 15:23)
Leader, we must understand the biblical meaning of the word “HEART.” The Bible considers the heart to be the hub of human personality, producing the things we would ordinarily ascribe to the “mind.” Scripture informs us that grief (John 14:1); desires (Matthew 5:28); joy (Ephesians 5:19); understanding (Isaiah 6:10; Matthew 13:15); thoughts and reasoning (Genesis 6:5; Hebrews 4:12; Mark 2:8); and, most importantly, faith and belief (Hebrews 3:12; Romans 10:10; Mark 11:23) are all products of the heart. Also, Jesus tells us that the heart is a repository for good and evil and that what comes out of our mouth – good or bad – begins in the heart (Luke 6:43–45). The Lord of Creation put our eyes in the front of our head because we MOVE in the direction we are LOOKING, and we LOOK in the direction we are MOVING. What we desire, what we focus on daily becomes our treasure; where our HEART IS! For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:21)
Conduit, unrepentant sin causes HEARTS to grow hard. Now we know that “if we confess our sins, [Jesus] is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). However, if we don’t confess our sins, they have a cumulative and desensitizing effect on the conscience, making it difficult to even distinguish right from wrong. Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared. (1 Tim 4:1–2) Scripture makes it clear that if we continue to engage in sin, there will come a time when God will give us over to our “debased mind” and let us have it our way. The apostle Paul writes about God’s wrath of abandonment in his letter to the Romans; For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, (Rom 1:21-22) Today, REPENT, change your MIND, OPEN your heart and allow JESUS to MEND your HEART! Then you can share with others: My HEART is FULL because HIS TOMB is EMPTY! And you can thank the GREAT PHYSICIAN by LIVING FOR HIM! Amen!