The Christian’s Measure of Maturity: The Heart of Christ

Devotional and Discussion Thought of the Day:God, who am I?

10  He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11  He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12  But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13  They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. 14  So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John 1:10-14 (NLT)

11  Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12  Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13  This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13 (NLT)

813         I give you thanks, my Jesus, for your decision to become perfect Man, with a Heart which loved and is most lovable; which loved unto death and suffered; which was filled with joy and sorrow; which delighted in the things of men and showed us the way to Heaven; which subjected itself heroically to duty and acted with mercy; which watched over the poor and the rich and cared for sinners and the just… I give you thanks, my Jesus. Give us hearts to measure up to Yours!  (1)

There is much theologically to say about the two natures of Christ.  How Jesus is fully man, and fully God.  Martin Chemnitz wrote a wonderful concise 3 inch thick volume about the subject, all of its implications, all of its potential issues.  It is well worth reading, an amazing work about an amazing subject. It leaves you in awe, first of Chemnitz’s brilliance, and far more, of our Lord of whom the words describe.

Even so, I think that all the theology needs to be seen through something like the prayer that is written by St. Josemaria Escriva above.  Which takes the incarnation seriously, which explores quickly the implications of Christ leaving His throne and being incarnate into our world, walking in our flesh. As St John’s gospel so beautifully states – He has made His home with us, The God whose love for us, whose faithfulness to the promises He made to us and to all, became present in their lives. We know His glory.

I pray your understand that this incarnation has not only been witnessed to by the apostles, by the early church, by Jesus mother who stored all these things in her heart.  That incarnation, that glorious news that God has come to dwell with us, today, in these turbulent times.  HE IS HERE!  He dwells with His people still!  We still see His glory.

As Josemaria prays that we all measure up to Christ heart, that prayer is perhaps of the highest level of theology, as well as the simplest.  It is not the knowledge we would attain of God, though we desire to know Him. It is not that we could conjur up miracles that would mark as measuring up to Christ Jesus.

It is to be known to be like King David, to be a man after God’s own heart, a man who desires that which God desires, the reconciliation of all.  To desire it so much that we are willing to pay whatever price to see it occur. Read those descriptions, a heart that loves and is lovable, which loves unto even death (I think of Romans 12:11 here.) Who embrace sorrow, filled with joy and sorrow, delighting in the things of men and showing them the way to heaven and heroically does what is needed with mercy, watching the poor and rich, caring for sinners and just.

That is the description of those whose hearts are growing to the measure of the sacred heart of Christ. It is the goal that pastors and others who minister long to see developed in their people.

Lord develop in us the Heart we long for, and as you promised through Ezekiel, may You replaced our shattered stone hearts with Your Heart of Flesh.  Amen!

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 3352-3356). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on August 9, 2014, in Devotions, The Furrow and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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