Wednesday, June 17, 2009

where is our heart?

After Peter's denial of Jesus, and before Jesus reinstates Peter in love we read that once the disciples realized it was the risen Lord who was on the seashore, that Peter jumps into the water to get to Jesus.

The words from Michael Card's song, Stranger on the Shore (both recordings are great, but I especially like the original recording) come to mind:
The one who had denied Him,
who had once walked on the water
Jumped in and swam to Him
to be confronted on the shore
You need to be confronted
by the stranger on the shore
You need to have Him search your soul;
you need to hear the call
You need to learn exactly
what it means for you to follow
You need to realize
that He's asking for it all
This presents the question to us, Where is our heart? Though Peter had to be full of guilt and remorse because of his denials, there was still a living faith, hope and love that lingered. We can only imagine the peace and joy that settled on Peter, after the Lord reinstated him in love, and in spite of the Lord's words as to how he would die so as to glorify God. We are indeed called in this life to share in Christ's sufferings, if we are to share in his glory.

Where is our heart? James speaks of the double-minded person, unstable in all they do. Peter tells us that now that our hearts are purified we are to love the brothers and sisters deeply.

The world says, "Follow your heart." But that's only good if your heart is leading you in a good direction. Left to ourselves our hearts always do go astray. But because of God's grace in Jesus and by the Spirit, God gives us a new heart, which can only be satisfied in finding itself at home in God through Christ. Meaning in God's good will.

So Peter ran, as only Peter would (though I know at least a couple of guys who remind me of Peter!). I'm sure there were tears in his eyes while Jesus was reinstating him, just as there had been at least after Peter denied Jesus. Peter could never be the same. Indeed a broken and contrite heart God will never despise.

What if we could get our way in our hearts at times? We can ask ourselves for a good test, Where is our heart in this? Our hearts can easily deceive us, and if we don't believe that, then we don't believe it when Scripture tells us repeatedly that we can deceive ourselves. I like the words of Rich Mullins in the song My Deliverer (from The Jesus Record):
I will never doubt His promise
though I doubt my heart, I doubt my eyes
If we're struggling in our hearts, the great penitential psalm, 51, is a good place to dwell. Like Peter we can find our heart's home back into the arms and joy of our Lord, then out into the world, in sevice to him.

What would you like to add to these words?


Anonymous said...

i don't have anything to add to this.

i posted it on my blog.

thanks for sharing, brother.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, nAncY. And thanks for sharing it on your blog!