Cut to the Heart

by Richard Mansel, assistant editor
heavyheart.jpgWe guard our hearts with a ferocious spirit. People see what we allow them to see because we are not sure that people will like the person we really are. In our unguarded moments, we have lowered our defenses and become vulnerable. We reserve these moments for only the safest situations.
The gospel call seeks to dismantle this fortress. God wants us to open ourselves to him completely. He will always treat us with tenderness and love, so we can do so fearlessly.
How will the gospel elude our defenses?
We all have different maneuvers to avoid admitting error. Rationalization is one of the most active forces in human nature. We will believe anything we can think of, in order to persevere in our sin.
Somehow, we must find a way to eradicate this weakness or it will destroy us. Being honest with ourselves is one of the bravest acts a human can perform.
Each of us are moved by different things, from emotions to bravery and everything in between. We have triggers that reach into our hearts and spur us to action.
We have examples of people being “cut to the heart” by the Word of God. They had different reactions.
King David took Bathsheba to his bed and arranged the death of her husband, Uriah. When God sent Nathan to deliver a message to David, the King is told a story about a man whose only lamb was taken from him. David becomes indignant and demands retribution, only to find that “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7, NKJV). David says, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). He and his family suffered the consequences, but he admitted his error before God.
Stephen, the brave man of God, preaches to a hostile Jewish crowd and leads them through the Old Testament to show that they were guilty of the murder of Christ, the Messiah.
“When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth” (Acts 7:54). “Their smoldering anger exploded into rage.”/1 They raised stones and killed Stephen for airing their sins.
When the first gospel sermon was preached, the people of Jerusalem heard Peter and the Apostles present the truth of their sins. “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
Three thousand admitted their sins and were immersed into Christ (Acts 2:38-41). They repented when they heard ostensibly the same message that Stephen preached before he was killed.
We all have sinned and sometimes we fall away completely (Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23; James 1:14-15; Hebrews 6:4-6).
Our sins will continue to exist and remain rationalized until we honestly allow God’s Word to penetrate our souls. We must be “cut to the heart” if we will find true spiritual healing. Sin is killing us and the blood of Christ is the cure (Romans 5:6-9).
How do we accomplish this goal?
First, we must value our souls above our own way and feelings. Second, we must be painfully honest with ourselves about our sins. Third, once we do so, we must be courageous enough to rid ourselves of them (Acts 22:16; Luke 13:3-5). Fourth, we must fear God more than men. Finally, we must prepare for heaven and yearn to be there with every fiber of our being.
We must remain tenderhearted to our sins and continue to reside in the grace and mercy of our Lord. It is a glorious abode!
1/ I do not remember the source of the quote.

3 Replies to “Cut to the Heart”

  1. Richard, I read your article again today, this time not as an editor, but for my personal benefit. Unfortunately, the editor’s eyes are what often see the material without the needy inner eyes taking it to heart and applying it personally. So as I read again this morning, I found your introduction to be one of the best things I’ve read in a while. The points on how to accomplish the goal felt abbreviated; the paragraph left me wanting more. I guess that’s a good sign. Thanks again.

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