Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Wow, Jesus, you’re amazing.
You’ve fed us, healed our sick, and proven that you’re the promised Messiah and king.
So, what do I do now?
What do you mean, nothing?
Not yet, anyway.
Before you DO anything, you need to BECOME something.
Become something? What do you mean?
I mean, before you can serve me, you’ve got to become something different on the inside. You’ve got to be transformed from the inside out. That’s what I’m looking for – not outward obedience, but inward devotion.
Okay, I’m devoted to you!
Now, how do I serve you? What do you want me to do?
Whoa, slow down… You’re not there yet.
Before you can serve me, you need a new heart.
What’s the heart?
It’s your deepest selves; the part that’s most you.
That’s the part I want – I want a humble heart, that’s devoted to me.
How do I do that? Can you paint me a picture of what that looks like?
A humble, devoted heart is first and foremost an empty heart.
What?! What do you mean, empty?
Don’t interrupt me; I’m just getting started.
A humble, devoted heart is first and foremost an empty heart – empty of pride, arrogance and self-sufficiency. It doesn’t try to impress me or prove anything to me, or anyone else. It is simply empty, open, and wanting to be filled.
Like a beggar with an open hand, I want you to realize how desperately you need me.
The humble, devoted heart starts here: recognizing that I am everything, and you are nothing apart from me.
Wow, (deep breath)… okay…
Empty my pride and self-sufficiency.
I come to you as a spiritual beggar.
You are everything, and I am nothing.
I need you desperately.
Blessed are you, my child – for yours is the kingdom of Heaven.
Great! Thank you so much!
Now, let me follow you!
Whoa, not yet… We’ve just begun. Stay still and listen.
The next step is to mourn your sin – to grieve the mess you’ve made of your life. To see how far you’ve fallen, and to be deeply sorrowful.
And not just you, but all of mankind. To mourn is to look around at all the hatred, violence and self-indulgence in this world and grieve how far the world has fallen.
Yes, the world is a mess. But how do I mourn? How do I get myself to feel about it like that?
It starts with taking a hard look at yourself.
Picture your worst sin – the one you feel worst about, ever.
I was there – watching you.
I saw it all.
Your rebellion, your self-indulgence, and your rejection of me.
Can you picture it? Do you know the one I’m talking about?
Yes, Lord, I do… And I’m so ashamed of that.
It’s hard to hear that you were watching when I did that.
I was. And I’ve seen every other rebellious thought and action you’ve ever had too. What you did in secret, I saw in broad daylight.
Wow, I hang my head in shame. I’m so sorry, Lord. I’m sorry I did that to you.
I know you are, my child.
Let’s weep and mourn together…
Now, think of all the people I ever created – and how much sin I’ve seen them commit – in secret and in public. Sin after sin after sin. How do you think all of that makes me feel?
Gosh, I never thought about that. That’s overwhelming.
Yes, it’s made me want to wipe everyone out and start over a few times. It’s hard to watch.
Let’s weep and mourn together over the sin of the world – and I will comfort both of us.
What do we do, Lord? What do we do with all the sorrow and pain of our sins?
Let it change you.
Let it soften your heart.
Let it make you meek.
What does “meek” mean?
It means you’re tired of making a mess of things, and you’re ready to follow my lead – like a wild horse that’s been broken and trained – you’re still strong and spirited, but now you’re easy to lead. You listen and obey me, saying: “Your will, not mine be done.”
Amen, I’m ready to do that.
I’m tired of messing up my life.
I’m tired of making my life harder than it should be because of my sin.
I’m tired of being part of the problem in this world – I’m ready to be part of the solution – I want to be a meek and surrendered follower of yours.
Where you lead, I will follow.
Ah, blessed are the meek, for you will inherit the earth someday, and all of this shall be yours.
I want that very much, Lord. I want to do your will and live in harmony with you and the rest of your people.
Good, because that’s what comes next.
A heart that is poor in spirit, mournful, and meek will naturally want to find out what to do next – how to please me, how to do what’s right in my eyes, how to live the life of a true citizen of the kingdom.
Oh, I want that so badly, Lord. I’m tired of being a rebel! I want to please and honor my king!
Blessed are you, my child, when you hunger and thirst like that for what’s right, for you will be filled with the knowledge of my will so that you can carry it out.
Oh good; I want that.
You’re too good to me, Lord. I don’t deserve this.
No, you don’t; and it’s good that you see that.
Now, treat others with the same mercy that you’ve received from me.
Yes, that makes sense. I should extend the same mercy to others that you’ve extended to me.
But, there’s some things people have done to me that have really hurt me – badly.
So badly, that I get mad at them just thinking about it!
And what about those who hurt those I love?
And those who hate YOU and reject YOUR name? Surely you don’t expect me to be merciful to THEM, do you?
Have I ever told you the story of the unmerciful servant?
No, but I have a feeling you’re going to.
(Smile) That’s pretty funny.
Okay, listen: There once was a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.
Whoa… (big breath…) that’s intense…
Okay… I definitely get your point...
I don’t want to be like the wicked servant. You’ve forgiven me WAY MORE than you’re asking me to forgive others.
I will be merciful to others, as you have been merciful to me.
Good, that shows your heart is being purified. Like gold refined in the fire, all the dross of bitterness, pride and self-righteousness is being burned away, leaving only a pure and sincere heart that genuinely loves me and other people – no matter how underserving others may or may not be.
Thank you for purifying my heart.
This has not been easy… but somehow, I feel all CLEAN on the inside – like I’ve had a spiritual bath or something.
And the CLEANER I feel, the CLEARER I see.
Yes, indeed – blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
The cleaner your heart, the clearer your vision.
That’s how it works.
Ah, this feels so good… I wish others could feel this clean and see this clearly!
Ah, but they can. If you go and help them.
That’s the natural inclination for someone who has had the kind of heart surgery you’ve allowed me to do on you just now – they want that for others as well.
Yes, it’s true! I want EVERYONE to have the peace with you and others that you’ve given me.
Yes, that’s why the Son of Man came – to make peace between God and people – and people with each other. Blessed are you, my child, when you have that same heart – for that is the heart of true children of God.
Wow, this has been great! I feel like a new person!
And I’m ready to go – I’m ready to rock the world with this message!
Oh, my child, I wish they were as ready to receive you as you are to go to them...
But unfortunately, they are not.
What do you mean? Who would possibly turn down the happiest, most fulfilling life ever!
All this, and Heaven too!
You’d be surprised…
Remember, we have an enemy, and he has sown weeds among the wheat. Their goal is to sow fear, distrust, and suspicion in the world.
And even those who are open to you will need to enter the same door as you – the door of humility, brokenness, and submission.
Few are willing to stoop that low.
That doorway is far too uncomfortable for most to bend through.
That’s so sad.
Yes, it is.
But don’t be discouraged.
When they insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me, rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
That’s sobering… and encouraging at the same time.
Yes, remember that as my child, you’re IN this world, but not OF it. They will never accept you as their own.
But SOME WILL defect from their allegiance to the world and follow you home to me.
And that’s what makes it all worth it.
Yes, I know what you mean now.
I know that you do.
You’re ready, now, my child…
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
I will, my Lord.
I know you will, my child.
And I’m so proud of you.