Are You Open?

The country may be closed; your state perhaps is shut down, your favorite stores closed until further notice or may never open, but is your heart open?
Many people are afraid to go out–between COVID-19 and political upheaval, so I don’t blame them. And with good reason. COVID-19 is a scary disease, especially for the elderly and compromised. A friend caught it in early April. She spent three weeks in bed, and after six months, is still reeling from the virus’s effect on her body. Another elderly friend perished, yet a whole family I know caught it, and they breezed through it, and one of them has cancer. It’s a strange disease, causing different symptoms in each person. I am diabetic and have had respiratory issues many times, so, yes, I am fearful of catching this disease. Therefore, I take precautions. I wear that dreaded mask and sanitize or wash my hands often.
The political state of this country is scarier yet. People chased my brother, yelling obscenities and threatening him because of a specific sticker on his truck. People are being beaten and killed for the color of their skin; stores are vandalized and looted, and militias out for retribution and blood comb the streets in some states. Some are even calling for civil war. Didn’t we have one? Haven’t we made considerable strides in the last 150 years? Why do people want to go backward, not forward?
I only mention these two things COVID and politics, because people are scared. (Not looking for any debates.) Their minds and hearts are closed right along with the country’s shutdown.
But my question is, is your heart open?
Do you accept people for who they are despite how they vote?
Are you kind when others are hateful?
Do you smile and open doors for others? Maybe they can’t see your mouth, so your smile must reach your eyes.
Do you pay it forward?
Is your heart open to God? Are you honest with Him about how you feel? You know, He already knows.
Is your heart opened to joy?
Are you living in faith or fear? One of Kevin’s favorite sayings these days is, “Faith not fear.” Whatever will happen will happen. God already knows the outcome. Our response? Read His Word, obey His commandments. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus said. And the writer of Hebrews said, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” Hebrew 12:14.
Jesus spoke to the religious leaders, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Matthew 12:34 And Proverbs 15:28 says, “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.”
I’ve seen so much hate speech coming from those that call themselves Christians. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you.” A tall order to be sure, but one to strive for.
Last, but by no means least, are your heart and mind open to receive Christ Jesus? To believe in Him who died on the cross, taking your punishment and mine so that we might be able to stand before God, righteous through Jesus’ blood?

We are all born slaves of sin, with the devil as our master. The devil’s aim? Kill, steal, and destroy. We have no open door to God but a great chasm because of our bent toward pride, which always leads us away from God, not toward Him. The problem is we could never do enough good to get to God and heaven.

The devil takes. Jesus gives. Jesus gave by His perfect life as the Son of God, His obedient death as the perfect sacrifice, His ultimate power that raised Him from the dead. He has come to give us freedom from sin, give us new life, and provide us with access to God. The Bible says to turn your back on wrongdoing, that is sin. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Are you open to living for Jesus?

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