One of the first things I noticed after the operation was that I could feel my heart beat. I know that might sound weird but unbeknownst to me over the years I hadn’t really been feeling my heart beat…I really felt it when they pulled the last drainage tube and it hit my heart on the way out sending me into a-fib for about an hour…it made my heart feel all out of rhythm and beating very powerfully but I was a peace with the Lord and the people around me weren’t panicking they were confident, at peace and did what they were called to do.

It was an odd thing for me to realize I hadn’t felt my own heart beat in so long and realizing despite that with all the time I have been putting in here and in the community, God was keeping me alive and as I listened to His heart beat for me, he protected His plans to use me for the future, to change the world with His heart beat.

I want to just share briefly today about his heart beat for you…

Revelation 2: 1-3

Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands:

2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.

He could be describing all Christians of real faith in this whole region. We are hard-working, patient with the slowness of change. We have at the very same time a low tolerance for people who say they are one thing but live like another. We have put up with much loss in the region and we stand as a testimony to our strength as a people. Think about, one simple thing when our sports teams stink, we still support them, they are our team…..No the blood flow problems did not affect my brain…but we are known for our loyalty to our teams despite their performance….. Just as a side note in each letter in Revelation the lampstands are on earth and in Chapter 4:5 once John is told to come up here ( to heaven) the lampstands are all now in heaven before the judgment is poured out on the earth.

But now we get to the part of our hearts and His

Revelation 2: 4-7

4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. 6 But this is in your favor: You hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans, just as I do.

7 “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give fruit from the tree of life in the paradise of God.

This is a very loving statement from Jesus…He is saying to this proud, strong self-sufficient church you are making life so much more difficult for yourself. I want each day full of victory and I want you to taste heaven even now, through your relationship with me and each other.

There is so much value in truly loving the Lord and the people around you.

It is just so easy without even noticing that love has grown cold. It took 64 years for my arteries to block; I didn’t even notice that I couldn’t feel my heart beat. I was so busy doing all the things for the Lord. I have no regrets because I was doing the inconvenient to keep my heart soft, keep my love for him fresh so I could hear that still small voice…more about the inconvenient in a moment. I was definitely given the fruit from the tree of life physically but I always want that fruit spiritually as well.

Allowing your heart to grow cold, to grow hard is not a unusual.

Ezekiel 36: 26,27

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.

This promise of God is for His people.  The people of God had been reckless toward one another, not loving on each other or God. They had allowed their hearts to grow cold because of the dailiness of life. Believing God’s word wasn’t true.

God had no choice but to allow his people to go into captivity and it broke his heart, it brought shame on Him the world could think the God of Israel could not care enough for his people to keep them out of captivity (read the book of Ezekiel for more details) The nation goes the way of the people and it is so easy to grow cold if we are not willing to do the inconvenient 

You are saying ok this is the second time you brought this inconvenience stuff up, “What does this mean?”

Something becomes inconvenient to us when we don’t feel we have the time, we don’t have the energy, or we simply want to have our own way. It is in our nature of being American’s and it tends to bleed over to our faith.

Jesus told the church at Ephesus their hearts had grown cold to God and to others as they had once felt. As God Spoke through Ezekiel their hearts had grown cold.

Be honest with yourself and with God today. First are you in bondage of worry, anxiety, physical, mental, emotional, financial, health, job limitations. 

I know they all seem real! We know there is enough to worry about in this life, I know health issues are real, worrying about the future of your family, your job, your finances but can we today to begin to be honest with God.

I know it is a lot easier to worry about things than to bring them to the Lord. I honestly didn’t know if the Lord was going to spare my life or not but I was at peace with whatever he was going to do because everyday I do that which is inconvenient, I spend time with him in prayer, I spend time getting to know Him better through reading His word, every day.

Yes I am busy, I always have so much to do but what good is any of it if my relationship with Him has grown cold, if He is not my number one priority. He is the one who loves me the most.

He wants my worries, my anxieties, my fears, my concerns, and He has my future in the palm of His hands as long as I am daily to do that which inconvenient and that keeps my heart fresh and I can feel His heart beat.

Beyond that we must be willing to be Jesus to everyone, always that can become very inconvenient

The Holy Spirit once again speaking through Ezekiel was challenging the people of God about the way they respond to the needs around them, stressing there was a greater need than they realized and it is their responsibility to do something about it, no matter how inconvenient

Ezekiel 16:47-50

But you (people of God) have not merely sinned as they did. You quickly surpassed them in corruption. 48 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign LORD, Sodom and her daughters were never as wicked as you and your daughters. 49 Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. 50 She was proud and committed detestable sins, so I wiped her out, as you have seen.

Sodom’s heart had become so hard with pride, focused on filling their bellies, and being lazy that they ignored the needs that God was trying to show them around them.

Listen I know some are so tied up with your kids events it is easy to not see the needs around you. I also know some of you feel, “I have paid my dues I don’t need to serve any more!” I also know some of you feel, “What can I do I don’t have skills?”

It is inconvenient to serve in the church, outreaches, daycare but serving others keeps you close to his heart. How many children have been ministered to at camps, children’s church because even though it was inconvenient but someone was still there.

I know you work hard at your jobs, raising your kids, or you have served in the past, or maybe you are just lost and don’t know how to serve.

I want you free from bondage today, I want your heart free to be who God has called you to be. I want you to know that still small voice that can lead you through the darkness of this world to bring hope to a broken world.

I know there are lots of things going on in the world that can make your heart hard but please don’t be afraid of the inconvenience

Keep your heart soft by inconveniently spending time with the Lord in prayer and the word and I guarantee he will lift the burden, handle the worry, concerns, unforgiveness and other things that rob you of your joy, love and peace.

Keep your heart soft so you can hear him more clearly by choosing to serve others, Jesus did (we will be studying that later in John) You will hear His voice through the hearts of those you choose to serve

Our world, our nation, our communities and our families need us to keep our hearts soft. Just like in my room in the hospital when my heart freaked out, you too can be at peace as all of those around you are doing what God is calling them to do everything will be OK

I know it is inconvenient but get to feel his heartbeat beating in your chest again.

As I mentioned earlier…. Jesus wants each day full of victory and wants you to taste heaven even now, through your relationship with Him and each other.