Torn Hearts

 "My people are being destroyed because they don't know Me."  Hosea 4:6...."Oh, how can I give you up, Israel?...."My heart is torn within Me, and My compassion overflows."  Hosea 11:8....."The great majority of people sitting in our churches today don'tknow the Father."  Ruth Graham

I expect most have seen at one time or another those animal rescue ads that show dogs and cats in need of adoption.  It's very hard to watch them and not be moved.  Recently I saw something on Facebook that truly impacted me and gave me some insight I never had before on the Father.  Photos were shown that had been taken by a person who encountered a stray dog along the streets of their city.  It was in a terrible state.  Very malnourished, missing clumps of its fur, and appearing to be literally, "walking death."  This person got this dog to get into its car, and then began a process of restoring it to life.  A series of photos were shown depicting that journey to health and wholeness, and I must tell you that though it was a wonderful thing to see that restoration, I was brokenhearted over the condition of that dog and the suffering it had endured. It was in that moment that I heard the whisper of His voice into my heart.  What I heard Him saying was that the condition of that dog was  also how He saw the spiritual state of all who live outside the fullness of His Life and Way.  More, that the brokenheartedness that I felt over the suffering of that dog was as nothing compared to His broken heart over all those who have chosen to live as orphans rather than as sons and daughters of the Most High God.  That these "orphans" were not found only outside His Church, but within it as well.  Within or without, the words of Hosea struck home in overwhelming truth.  People, lives, families, souls, are being destroyed because of our lack of real knowledge of who He is.  And His heart was literally torn apart within Him because of it.  Along with all of this came an even quieter question for me.  Is mine?  Is yours?

We are a culture that loves our pets.  I have no problem with this at all.  Yet what does it say about us that we can be so moved by the plight of an animal, and yet so unmoved by the lostness, the "diseased" state of so many that we encounter every day?  Not only where we live and work, but where we worship as well?  How can we see so clearly the need of a dog or cat, but be unable to see the deep spiritual need of our neighbor?
Could we own up to our lack of knowledge, of discernment, of understanding?  Beyond that, can we, will we, repent of it?  Are we willing to have our eyes opened in that way, or, will we go on seeing, but not seeing?  Will we go on being able to count who's there each week in our services, but never actually seeing them?  Seeing them as He does.  

We have become such a surface culture, and yes, surface Church, that we cannot see past that surface.  We know how to be friendly, but we don't know how to be friends.  We know how to be loving, but we don't know how to love.  We know how to do acts of compassion, but we don't know how to live lives of compassion.  Our fellowships seem to produce far more "orphans" than they do sons and daughters of the King.  We can talk a great deal about what our inheritance is, but seem to experience very little of actually living in that inheritance.  We see much, but we don't seem to see much that He sees.  We can see people as candidates to become part of our fellowships, but miss seeing them as living souls wandering through life malnourished, diseased, as walking death without Him.  When will our hearts be truly moved by that?  When will mine? When will yours?

I heard a friend remark recently that the overwhelming desire of the early church was not to get blessings from God, or to have Him make improvements on their lives, keep them safe from trouble, or grow their fellowships.  It wasn't even to see souls saved, though surely they desired that.  Their single purpose was that they might truly know Him and the power of His resurrection.  Not only that they would, but that all they ministered to, came into contact with would as well.  Brought from death to life.  From the disease of sin, to a life of righteousness.  No orphans among them, but sons and daughters of the King.  Not merely knowing of their inheritance in Christ, but living in its fullness.  May that once more be our single desire.  May it be mine, and yours.

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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