Christian Living


Have a Happier, Healthier Heart

CBN.com - With bold red roses, I entered the hospital room. Her head faced the sun-pouring window. Her blind son sat slumped in the sofa. She smiled.

I checked the monitors to get a read.  She pivoted. She smiled. Then I searched her face.

“How are you doing, Esther?”

“Oh, could be better…” Her mouth smiled but her eyes didn’t.

“I’m sorry to hear it.” I greeted her son and approached her bed. As I stroked her hand, she admitted, “I can’t wait to go to Heaven.”

“I don’t blame you. Heaven will be gorgeous, full of beauty far better than these roses!” I motioned then furrowed my brows with concern. “But the fact is that Jesus apparently has an assignment for you still. He has a purpose for you even in this hospital room. You can still pray. You can still tell others about the Good News. And you can share Jesus’ love through those beautiful eyes of yours.”

Silence. Our eyes connected. She nodded. We prayed together, recited Scripture, and hugged. Hope in God surged in her heart  and mine. Jesus was there.

How are the hope levels in your heart today? You may not be in the hospital, but you may be hurting.

Let’s do a quick “heart check.”  In your heart, what do you hope for?  An amazing legacy?  Riches? Fame?  A lover?

Today, I know I’m guilty. I’m guilty of not loving God enough, loving this world too much, and making excuses to make myself feel better. I’m guilty. I’m broken before a holy God.

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise.” –Psalm 51:17 (NKJV)

Yes, I am so weak. But Jesus is so strong! Jesus deserves all credit and praise.

If your heart is broken today, come to the God whose arms await you. No sin is too great for Jesus to forgive. His blood purifies completely.

Today, let’s focus on 7 Rx’s to a Happier, Healthier Heart:

1. Believe and receive God’s love. Love God and love others.

In Matthew 22:36-39, an intellectual questioned Jesus, “’Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?’ Jesus answered, ‘”Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.”' This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'"

2. Embrace grace. Fully accept what Jesus did for you personally on the cross.

“So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed.” (I Peter 1:13, AMP)

3. You’re a child of God –not an adult peer. Know your role as a trusting child. (Click here to learn how to become a child of God.) Jesus said it best:

“’I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” (Excerpt from Mark 10:14-16, NIV)

4. Toss out legalism. But treasure and pursue holiness.

“Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord…” (Hebrews 12:14, NKJV)

“But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living.” (I Peter 1:15, AMP)

5. Obey. Simply obey. Depend on God’s strength to obey Him.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” – Jesus, in John 14:15 (NIV)

“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV)

Be sure you’re not playing on the wrong team. Get on Jesus’ team. I include this in a previous column, “Playing on Jesus’ Team?” and address how to stop giving excuses about living for God.

6. Worship!  Discover more about God’s infinitely awesome character and treasure Him for Who He is!

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalm 29:2, KJV)
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:2, NIV)

7. Hope in God alone! Don’t hope in the Internet, your friends, your parents, your talents, your intellect, your manipulating abilities or charisma, your strength, your money, etc. Just hope in the Creator! He alone deserves our complete love. He will never let us down. Can you think of any greater hope than the Creator? No way!

“Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this.” Jeremiah 14:22 (NIV)

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (Psalm 43:5, NIV)

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” (Psalm 62:5, NIV)

If you start taking God’s Word for it and obeying Him, your heart’s health will improve and your joy levels rise! When we get our highs from knowing God Most High, we know true joy and fulfillment. He is so worthy! How I love Him and yearn to love Him more!

Getting back to the story about Esther, let me share something very moving:

Esther died. At the visitation prior to Esther’s funeral, the family shared something amazing that I treasure:

“Esther’s heart was so hopeful near the end. She used her time to even share about Jesus with the nurses, the nurses aids, and even the doctor. She treasured your visit.”

My heart warmed and felt overwhelmed. I wanted to correct them: Jesus visited Esther – not me. Jesus gives hope – not people. Jesus. How I love Him! Do you?

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