When his heart becomes ours

Once God grabs us, he wants us all.

He’s not satisfied with just our heads, our intellect, though he wants that.

He wants our wills, but more than that.

He’s concerned about our walk—what we do—but again, he doesn’t stop there.

He wants our hearts, our emotions, our feelings.

In fact, Paul writes that one of the first signs that Jesus has truly become our Lord is when our hearts become his:

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, . . .” (Colossians 3:12).

He’s just written that Christians have to get rid of those old attitudes and practices—sexual immorality, anger, dishonesty, obscene speech.

But it’s not enough for our Christianity to be defined by what we don’t do. Too often we’re known more by what we’re against than what we’re for.

So Paul counterbalances his discussion on getting rid of sin by emphasizing what needs to replace those bad habits.

And first on his list is compassionate hearts.

Because the Lord now rules our lives, his heart becomes ours as our hearts become his.

The “Father of mercies and God of all comfort” sympathizes with us in our weakness, so we extend that compassion to the people around us.

What this means practically is that we care about people, and we’re especially sympathetic when they’re hurting.

It means our Christianity is often seen more clearly in the hospital than it is in the sanctuary.

Some weeks you’ll do more Christ-following at the funeral home on Thursday than you’ll do at the church building on a dozen Sundays.

An uncompassionate Christian is an oxymoron. It just doesn’t work.

God really does want all of us, including our hearts.

Especially our hearts.

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