Posts Tagged ‘conquered’

Capturing A Heart

I am Your Chosen Child

Jesus is the Master… “At Capturing A Heart”

It was what a friend of mine calls “a life intervention”, between Saul of Tarsus and the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet it becomes the life changing event where Saul becames Paul and a destiny is transformed. It was somewhere along the Damascus Road that a light from Heaven peered directly into a very dark place… Saul’s heart.

A Stubborn Heart:

His was no ordinary heart, it was thirsting for blood and zealous for a law without mercy. The determination and hatred seemed to overflow in his quest for letters of approval from the governing leaders of Jerusalem. It made him a persecuter of the Church and pursuer of Christians. “Still breathing out threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord”, this ruthless man seemed convinced that the followers of “The Way” needed “to be bound and brought to Jerusalem”.

Divine Encounter:

What could have been an end, becomes a transformation. A light from Heaven, the voice of Jesus and three days without physical sight made all that seemed so desperate, pale in its urgency. Saul was now waiting for a visitor in a place he had never been, from someone he had never met, with a message he would never have imagined.

What could this mean?

While at the house of a man named Judas, on Straight Street, Saul was left to consider the vision of the Risen Lord Jesus for three long days. Would this end in death? Would it be quick or was God’s Son so angry that He would torture the persecuter? Saul would have no sight, just an echo in his heart of an encounter that struck him to the ground. ”Could it really be true that this Jesus had risen from the dead?” This would re-focus anyone’s life, but what could Jesus mean by “you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:6).

Receiving Sight!

Ananias enters the house; and laying his hands on Saul he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). Jesus was saying, “I have chosen you as My vessel to bear My name before Gentiles, Kings and the Children of Israel” (Acts 9:14), but more than that, He was capturing the heart by an encounter with the Holy Spirit. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he would never be the same again! Scales fell away and a new determination was birthed within his heart. Saul would be wrecked forever, because his heart had been captured by Love, Himself… not the emotion, the Holy Spirit.

Filled with the Holy Spirit!

The Lord Jesus captured the heart of the persecuter; Saul, by filling him with the Holy Spirit. There is no doubt for anyone to become completely captured, they must be completely filled with the Holy Spirit. I have heard it said that in order to remove a passion from a heart, like fear or hate; it must be conquered by a greater passion, like chosenness and love. My only comment is that when the Holy Spirit fills a person, He captures the seat of all passion.

“I count all things loss…that I may gain Christ.” (Phil 3:8)

We read in the Apostle Paul’s words, an expression of the captured  heart. He holds forth a compelling satisfaction in knowing Christ Jesus as Lord and a desire to see the salvation of his fellow countrymen. This formerly driven persecuter was now focused on preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to all people, Jews and Gentiles alike (Rom 10:1-4). His greatest desire and prayer to God for all of them was that they might be saved. His longing was that they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for the capturing of their own hearts.

Incredible Love

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called Children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” (1 Jn 3:1)

The Apostle Paul tells us that while other things pass away - love lasts, it never fails (1 Cor 13:8). It is powerful and fierce, precious and tender, yet it only has one source… God! All that it requires is that we behold it, receive it and give it away… but it will change you in the process. It is able to be released upon the worthy and unworthy alike. And all the world is longing to experience its reality… through us.

“And now abide faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these [is] love.” (1 Cor 13:13)

Were you to accept the challenge to truly love others the way that God, in Christ has loved you, well, you might find yourself frustrated and exhausted. The key is being emersed in the Father’s love. Letting yourself be loved by God and allow that flow of life to advance through you to others… its Christ in you, the hope of Glory (Col 1:27).

CHRIST IN YOU… SUFFERS LONG - This is a patience not merely with circumstances, but with people. When you have the power to hold unforgiveness against another person and don’t do it. Literally, you are showing long-suffering. The ability to be wronged over and over again, is a love that equips us to see beyond the present.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL BE KIND – The other side of patience is taking grief in stride, without resentment. Offering kind words and giving anything to be helpful and useful. Kindness is a balm for healing wounds.

CHRIST IN YOU… DOES NOT ENVY - Never jealous. The root word here is “to boil or seethe”. This is not merely to want what others have; it’s the compelling feelings of not wanting others to have what I can’t have.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL NOT PARADE ITSELF - Is not boastful or full of itself. The root word… “windbag”. I’ve said enough.

CHRIST IN YOU… IS NOT PUFFED UP -  Not conceited. The attitude of pride. Believing, “we are better than others.” It is when one becomes inflated with their own importance.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL NOT BEHAVE RUDELY- Being rude is seen as living with a lack of grace. The Greek word for grace and charm are the same. In Christ we become honorable people.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL NOT SEEK IT’S OWN – Or isn’t insistent upon its rights. The idea that it must be “my way” sounds good in a song, but is not a Biblical ethic. Jesus took upon Himself the form of a servant (Phil 2:5-8).

CHRIST IN YOU… IS NOT PROVOKED – Never flies into a rage. This speaks to the idea of becoming exasperated. Solomon said, “Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls.” (Pr 25:28)Our mindset must be selfless.

CHRIST IN YOU… THINKS NO EVIL -  It refuses to store up the memory of any wrong received. What a liberating truth to grasp. Be like an accountant and clear the ledger. God does not hold our sins against us and we must choose to release others (Rom 4:8).

CHRIST IN YOU… DOES NOT REJOICE IN INIQUITY – Love takes no pleasure in evil reports (Rom 1:32). The meaning of iniquity is sin against God. Love never rejoices in sin.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL REJOICE IN THE TRUTH – In harmony with the truth and partaking of a fellowship that is based upon a love of the truth. Love celebrates when truth is revealed in the life of others.

CHRIST IN YOU… BEARS ALL THINGS – Literally to cover on all sides, to cover in silence. Love will warn, exhort, rebuke and discipline; but also cover that sin, not exposing it to create shame.

CHRIST IN YOU… WILL BELIEVE ALL THINGS -  Not suspicious, but trusting God’s plan. Love believes the best about others. Love is able to see weakness, but throws a “mantle of honor” over it and then believes the best.

CHRIST IN YOU… HOPES ALL THINGS – Even in the midst of repeated disappointments there is a constant assurance that God has a future and is working all things for His own glory.

CHRIST IN YOU… ENDURES ALL THINGS -  Bearing everything with triumphant endurance. The Greek term translated “endure” is a military term which has to do with being positioned in the middle of a violent battle.  The emphasis is not on handling little, minor annoyances. It refers to love that stands wounded and bleeding against incredible opposition and still loves.

Love never fails. Love never, even remotely falls short, because it is a resource from God. God is love and therefore, love has no end. Love cannot be conquered, because God cannot be conquered. Love is indestructible and incredible. Should we not… behold it, treasure it and live in it?

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us… that we should be (discover ourselves in being) called the Children of God.”

Imitate the King

Since he could not sleep, the young knight took out his sword, sat by the fire and started to sharpen it. Sharpening a sword was no easy task. It took a lot of patience, discipline, and a steady hand. Sharpening his sword was a task the knight did not mind, but he found little time to accomplish. He knew that a good warrior always keeps his sword sharp…

 that’s what he wanted to be – a good warrior.

Eventually, exhaustion conquered the knight and he fell asleep with the sword in his hand. In the morning, the knight felt surprisingly refreshed. He was ready to face another day in the service of his King. He got his armor ready and in order. His shield shone in the morning sun, his sword was sharp in its sheath and fixed to his side. Everyone around him saw him diligently getting ready for battle and they could not help but be inspired.

 The knight knew he had to press on and keep his eyes on his mission. He also knew that others would look to him for a word of comfort and encouragement. The more he thought about it the more he felt inadequate to handle the task given to him by the King.

 The King! The King would know exactly what to do and say.

 The knight thought of the King and how He would act in a similar situation. A glimmer of hope ran across his heart and he looked up at the sunny day… today, he would imitate the King once again!

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