Posted by: matt25 | March 10, 2011

This Year, Change Our Hearts

Take a moment right now to think about your relationship with God.  Is it where it should be?  Of course, I can’t answer for you, but speaking for myself, I’ve got some work to do.  Some changes need to be made if I want to be right with God and right with the people God has placed in my life.

I am so very thankful that the Church has given us this season of Lent as a special time to focus on, and work on, our relationship with God.  The readings for Ash Wednesday used in Catholic liturgy are so very clear on what we are to do.  The prophet Joel tells us we are to return to God with our whole heart (Joel 2:12-18) and Paul tells us why.  We must do this because we are ambassadors for Christ!  (2 Corinthians 5:20 – 6:2) If you and I are Christians, we represent Christ.  The truth is that some people have never picked up a Bible and all they know of Christ is how we Christians act.  The things that you and I say and do either bring people closer to God or make them think our faith is hypocritical and without meaning.

Did you ever stop to think, that you could be the lifeline from God that will help another decide not to commit suicide, to return to the church, to choose life for their baby, or to turn away from a life of committed sinfulness?   Yes, you could be an instrument of healing and grace, I have seen it happen many times.  However, sometimes we have to change our hearts to allow God to work through us.

It truly is a matter of our hearts and not our heads.  It is important that we not only do the right things but that we do them for the right reasons, out of love rather than self-interest, sometimes anonymously. (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18)  This change of heart is not a “one and done” thing.  It is something that we have to work on all the time.  In fact your heart may be good now, or while you are at church, but what about in half an hour when you are in a place where it may be difficult to focus on God at all.  What can you do to change your heart then?

Maybe this year you and I can enter into and live this season of Lent in a way that will discipline our hearts for the kingdom.  Are you giving something up for Lent?  Are you doing something extra for Lent?  Why not make it something that will help to pull your heart back and give it to Christ.

If you give something up, you will be tempted to have it.  GOOD!  That is an opportunity to say a silent prayer. “Please God, change my heart”.

If you have committed to something extra, you will be tempted to skip it.  GOOD!  That is an opportunity to pray. “Please God, change my heart”.

If you are tempted to react in anger rather than love to a disagreeable person you have to see every day, GOOD!  That is an opportunity to pray. “Please God, change my heart”.

You may have “gotten” your ashes on your forehead, but did you “mean” your ashes in your heart?

If you aren’t sure, GOOD!  That is an opportunity to pray. “Please God, change my heart”.

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