We have no idea what it means when we say and sing: “…break my heart for what breaks Yours”.
I realised during the past two months that our physical bodies cannot handle the kind of holy anguish that Jesus must have felt. Our hearts are transformed to love – yes – and can maybe get close to the intensity of Jesus’ anguish in Gethsemane, but I’ve never sweated blood….have you? The only way I can describe what I’ve felt the last few weeks, is an overwhelming, unconditional love for people that gets so close to marrow that it hurts so bad. My tears are continually just beneath the surface…
What breaks my heart?: Newspaper headlines in general; children getting hurt and abused; man’s hunger for power and greed and the people destroyed in the process; eloquent debates and philosophies causing others to miss out on His love that goes beyond understanding and human experience (which is what it’s all about, isn’t it?); comfortable Christians not bothered whether the person next to him is saved (everyone for himself, right?); preachers painting a picture of an angry God, robbing people from boldness to approach a loving and forgiving God; when my intentions and motives for serving are questioned; when I’m constantly pressured to reconsider my “calling” and re-enter the “marketplace”…. The list goes on and on….
From Sunday School age we hear the verse in Luke 10:
“Then He said to them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray to the Lord of the harvest that He may send forth labourers into His harvest.”
So… we’ve been praying and the good news is, there are scores of people willing to serve to reap the harvest.
But are we willing to support the willing ones when they step out in faith?
Here is one thought that I read on a missionary’s blog a couple of days ago:
Mission may require the sacrifice of our friends, dignity, and comfort.
- People will think we’re nuts.
- People will humiliate us.
- We may have to have uncomfortable conversations.
- We may have to do unpopular/politically incorrect things.
- On the foreign mission field, we may have to sleep in unusual places and eat food we don’t like.
- We may not get to sit on our over-stuffed sofas as much as we used to.
- We may need to lower our standard of living in order to invest more money in our mission.
- Ultimately, we may even have to suffer emotional or physical pain for the mission.
When all was said and done, the mission cost Jesus his very life. He suffered like no one in human history before or since, but he did not compromise the mission. He gave everything he had to give, even his own heartbeat and breath.
And the truth remains…Christ’s love compels me… I cannot not care anymore… I’ve seen and experienced too much to turn back now. I’m encouraged by Paul when he writes to the Corinthians:
“… in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three – sin, guilt, death – are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don’t hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
When you live for His glory, your life takes on a new meaning and purpose, and not everyone will understand that. Maybe it’s time to get back to basics and let Jesus be the centre? The Gospel is not a list of things to-do for God; it’s about what God – personally present in Jesus – did for us and who we are as a result.
“… I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. In it the righteousness of God is revealed…” ~ Romans 1:16-17
“…when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; For I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:1
What I live for:
- Knowing Jesus more intimately
- For others to encounter His unfailing, unconditional, unfathomable love
- To see lives transform through the power of His love
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16
“This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. IT IS BEARING FRUIT everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.” ~ Colossians 1:6
Nothing else matters…