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The Joy of an Open Heart!

Read: Acts 8:26-35; Acts 16:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:13

 

Summer came this week. At least the date that signals the changing from one season to another. Summer often brings with it picnics and gatherings both small and large, and that makes me think of a very special time of food and family, but we'll get back to that. Before we do, let's remind ourselves of a wonder that is lovelier than the beauty of the changing seasons. The wonder of God's love being poured into a heart He has opened, 2 Corinthians 4:4-6.

 

I love hearing the stories of the myriads of ways God has made Himself known to people. Both in biblical times and now. Portraits of the seeking Savior are so beautiful.

One of my favorites from the Bible is found in Acts 8. There we meet Philip whom the angel of the Lord has just directed to go on a mission. As far as we are told, Philip neither knew the length of the journey he would take nor whom he would meet, but off he went. What a sweet encounter the Lord gave him. After having been directed to join an Ethiopian man's chariot, Philip heard this hitherto unknown man reading right out of Isaiah 53. The incredible prophesy that so clearly predicted the sufferings the Messiah would endure because of His love for sinners like us. Upon hearing the words from Isaiah, Philip asked politely if the Ethiopian understood the words he was reading. I can't fathom his joy when the man longed for someone to answer the questions he had.

What a sweet God-ordained encounter. The beauty of an open heart that receives the truth of God. Taking it in as 1 Thessalonians 2:13 says, as God's Word and not man's opinion.

 

I admit it. That's the kind of person I would like the Lord to put directly in my path. Yet, the sweet thing about the grace of God is that it not only saves us, Ephesians 2:8-9, that same grace also sometimes places open hearts of already saved people in our paths. Exactly when the timing is right for them to be nourished and grow in their understanding of God's truth. With that in mind, let's get back to that special picnic my husband and I found so memorable. This not to be forgotten outing took place more than two decades ago. At that time, my niece had been dating a nice young man who had, through the teaching he had received from a male friend, just received the gift of salvation. Oh, so there won't be any loose ends, my niece married him. He was new in his understanding of the Bible, but his heart was brimming with questions and open to what the Bible had to say. That was why my husband and I, on one very special day were in a pretty park with my niece and her now husband Dan We planned a picnic. Close to home in a quiet place. We had good food and a Bible. It was a beautiful day in every way to connect with a heart God had opened, and Dan's questions were heart felt, and we enjoyed going to the verses that were so meaningful to him because of the understanding the Holy Spirit was giving him. We had a front row seat, and we joyfully watched God unfold truth like He opens the tight bud of a peony, exposing the beauty that is there. Just waiting to open up.

Something wonderful happens when God opens a heart of either one who belongs to Him or one He is making new. A beautiful transformation or change, and the honor for all that is done belongs to the Lord. Thinking back to that day, what a privilege we had to speak truth into a life that Jesus had made new, 2 Corinthians 5:17. As I remember the joy of that day, I wonder if it isn't similar to the wonder Philip surely felt as he realized that he had been a conduit of God's grace. Oh yes. I still long to share the good news with someone that hasn't yet understood it and wants to do so. Yet, I thank the Lord for each time he has allowed me to speak His truth into the heart of one of His children. That is something we can all do. If we have hidden truth in our hearts, it is there to share when someone needs encouragement, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

 

As Proverbs 25:11 says:

A Word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.

 

Lord, Give us the right words at the right time and the boldness to speak them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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