Sentinels For Christ :: Hearts of Stone

Hearts of Stone

Posted by jimgrier on October 22, 2015

Recently we have been exposed to an all too familiar evil that hits close to home. The shootings that have happened over the last few weeks are difficult to wrap our minds around, and we wonder what we can do as Christians to combat it. Feelings of hopelessness creep in, and we are tired of all of the negativity. What is the solution, and what can one person do against all of this evil? Why does it happen?

Here is an excerpt from a blog that I found last week which I believe does a good job of presenting the “why”, and where it all stems from…

Is There Hope For the End of School Shootings? (by Kris Vallotton)

I am saddened by another school shooting. My heart goes out to the families that suffered loss this week. I understand that justice and peace for these terrible losses can only be found in Jesus. We mourn with those who mourn and continue to pray for those that are wounded. As our president rightly pointed out, we are being becoming desensitized to this crisis in our country. But what is the real problem? Is it just too easy to get guns in our America? Probably! But remember, we are not talking about gun accidents, we are talking about violent people searching for ways to kill others. I would guess that these people would have found ways to hurt others no matter what the gun control situation was, but maybe not quite as easily. In some ways, violence is part of humanity’s struggle with sin. Remember when Cain killed Able, the crime rate on the earth was 25%.

America has known violence since its inception. We were established through the conflict with the native Americans and the massacres that ensued. Then it was the War of Independence, the Civil War, and 2 world wars. Furthermore, for 3 decades, the mafia ruled our streets with violence, then the Hells Angels joined them, and now it’s the radical Muslims. When Paul said, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood,” he was writing from a dungeon underneath the ground. He wasn’t denying that we have problems with people bent on evil. He was simply saying that these evil souls have partnered with principalities that are dedicated to killing, stealing, and destroying others. They are puppets, carrying out the dirty work of a foe so evil that he defies description!

Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” Matthew 15:19. Ultimately, these violent people have a heart problem.

When we let jealousy in our hearts like Cain, we have begun the process of partnership with evil, which left unchecked, ends in murder. Jealousy and envy are open doors to every kind of wicked spirit. These spirits partner with bitterness and unforgiveness, rotting the very foundation of goodness from within our souls. Soon hatred so deep that it blinds us to the very nature of God within grips our hearts. Then a passionate rage seeps into the depths of our souls until it ravages our minds and destroys our conscience. Now we are puppets under the hypothetical power of satan; zombies who mindlessly carry out his destructive plots against humanity, who are made in the image of God Himself.
BUT this entire cycle of evil is destroyed through the simple key of forgiveness. It was purchased through a violent act of grace on the Cross, and it’s a free gift to anyone who asks Jesus for it. If you, or someone you know, is stuck in hatred, there is an antidote for this disease; IT IS JESUS. He came into my life in 1973 and delivered me from the spirit of murder, so I know this cycle first-hand. He will do the same for you if you let Him. Today could be the first day of the rest of your life. May God bless everyone who reads this blog.”

Very wise words, and I can certainly attest to the power of forgiveness in my own life, which was something that I just couldn’t do on my own. My heart was filled with bitterness, guilt, pain, resentment, sadness and anger. But the moment I surrendered these strongholds up to Him, freedom came like a flood. My heart began to change, and I was able to see the world differently and walk in grace for the first time. He allowed me to forgive not only the people who had hurt me, but also gave me the ability to forgive myself, which was the greatest challenge. Where the Spirit of God is, there is FREEDOM.

There is tremendous power in grace, love and forgiveness, but it is counter-cultural to our fallen nature. So how can we make a difference in the world armed with these truths, and partner up with God to walk in them? The solution is the power of GOD in our lives, and it is accomplished by His love poured out with the Holy Spirit in our hearts! We are called to show the world who the real Jesus is. We might be the only opportunity that a person has to be introduced to our Savior and King.

We can pray to God for strength every day to fight the evil in this world with love. We can ask Him to break our heart for what His heart breaks for. We can point our time, talent and treasure at the people and pursuits that help to advance the Kingdom. We can keep our eyes open for opportunities to speak truth, encourage, and love into someone’s life, which might be the difference between life and death. We can show people that they are valued by acknowledging them and offering up acts of kindness. We can spend time with those who have lost their way or are experiencing loneliness. And we can participate in changing the world, and changing hearts, one person at a time. The question is, where are our hearts right now?

Ezekiel 36:26  “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”

I just recently had the privilege of going on a six month mission trip through YWAM, and through the discipleship training school, I was blessed to gain some valuable wisdom on Islam and the Muslim world, different cultures, languages, build relationships, and see and participate in amazing things that God is doing in the hearts of people around the world! I would love to share some stories that I have collected while on this journey! And I would welcome any insight that you may have, and personal experiences that might relate to the topics discussed. Be blessed brothers in Christ, and know we are all in this together! Please continue to send prayer requests out for any challenges that you might have, and please keep our brother Jim in your prayers as well for strength, perseverance, comfort and an outpouring of love from his Father. Amen!

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