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December 14, 2018

Open Your Heart: Part 5

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God.” 2 Corinthians 9:8-10 9 (MSG) 

Jude offers three simple steps for living with wide open hearts!  

  1. Rest in the goodness of God’s heart.

Jude says, “Rest, everything’s coming together….”  Jude 1:2b (MSG)  We can rest when we affirm God’s goodness.  Resting in His goodness enables us to live with a wide-open heart.

  1. Reveal the wound in my heart.

Jude says, “Relax, everything is going to be alright….” Jude 1:2a (MSG)  When I rest in the goodness of God’s heart, I can relax and trust that, one day, He will make everything alright.  It may seem all wrong for now; but, one day, everything is going to be alright. With that confidence, I can reveal the wound in my heart and begin healing.  Hiding my hurt prevents healing and closes my heart.  Revealing brings healing!  

  1. Receive God’s unconditional love.

Jude challenges us, “Open your hearts, love is on the way!” Jude 1:2c (MSG)  God’s love is a free gift to receive!  When I receive His unconditional love, I can live with a wide-open heart! 

There’s one final step to living with a wide-open heart.

  1. Risk giving and living from your heart!

I love the way the Message paraphrases Ephesians 3:19-20.

“Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. God can do anything, you know – far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!  He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.” 

This is the life Jesus came to offer us!  It is the life He fought for us to have!  There is a battle waging for your heart, and Jesus came to win that battle!  He longs for us to live with a wide-open heart.  Satan fears it!  He knows what God can do with a heart that’s wide-open!  Risk giving and living from your heart!  Quit holding back! Look what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:8-10 again,

“God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it, He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out. This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God.” 

My favorite line in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas is “… they say – that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day” when he risked giving!

You can risk giving and living from your heart when you live with a heart wide open because the Bible says,

“Love never fails!”  1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)