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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Inside Becomes the Outside

“Baby, It's Cold Outside” might be a song title made famous by Bing Crosby decades ago (for younger ones it was sung in the movie “Elf”) but that song title perfectly describes what this morning feels like. Seven degrees! It is cold outside! And for Southerners it is REALLY a frozen morning. Thank heavens it is warm inside!

This kind of describes how we are sometimes. Except our description is backwards to this one. Our “outside” often is not the one that is frozen. Our facade....our smiles.... our gestures... our outward appearance might appear warm and friendly, but our “inside” sometimes claims a frozen and stony heart. We can appear to be filled with joy. We can appear to be forgiving. We can appear to be what our heart says we are not. We can “walk the walk and talk the talk”, but inside we can have a heart that needs to be melted by the Holy Spirit.

At sometime in your life you will face a stony heart about something. You will be living your life joyfully in Jesus Christ, and sharing your warm heart with others. And then suddenly something happens to you. It might be a circumstance that is hurtful or fearful. It might be someone of something that reminds you of a pain in your past. It might be a friend that misleads you or betrays you. It may be a loss. Whatever it is, your heart, which was once soft and moved by the Holy Spirit, becomes hard and as cold as ice.

It is what you do with that stony heart that speaks either life or death. If you hold on to it, it will kill Jesus' life in you. The minute your heart hardens is the moment you must fall on your face before the Lord. It is the moment that you must seek His heart to help you forgive. It is your moment of decision whether you let the Holy Spirit melt whatever gives you a stony heart or hold on to it as a monument in your life. 

“I will give you a new heart,” says the Lord, “and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). He will give you a new heart and a new perspective and a new attitude and a new spirit....His Spirit. He will remove your hurt that makes your heart hard. But you decide to let it go. You pray for His love to invade your heart and set it free. You ask Him to come and bring you His freedom.

He is faithful to you. Just like this hard seven degree freeze will gradually dispel until it is completely gone, so will be the melting of your heart. It may come in steps as you release your pain to Him. When you seek, you shall find. When you let go, He will come and take away that coldness that has claimed your heart. And joy will come. When you smile, it will be genuine. When you listen to someone else, it will be with your new heart. When you praise Him, it will no longer be an act, it will be real as He is in you. 

If you have a yielded will, God always gives a new heart, and puts His forgiving and loving and joyful spirit in you. He gives it again and again as you live a surrendered life in Him. When you heart is soft, life is all about Him. It is peace and joy. Every moment is an expectation of wonder. And the beauty of your inside becomes the real beauty of your outside.

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