My whole life I missed an essential part of the story.  I didn’t know that my heart mattered to God.  I always tried to just get it right.  You know, be better behaved.  I thought God just wanted me to be obedient and serve Him.  

God cares more about our hearts and the hearts of those around us   Jesus chose

Isaiah 61

Good News for the Oppressed

 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
      for the Lord has anointed me
      to bring good news to the poor.
   He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
      and to proclaim that captives will be released
      and prisoners will be freed.[a]
 2 He has sent me to tell those who mourn
      that the time of the Lord’s favor has come,[b]
      and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies.
 3 To all who mourn in Israel,[c]
      he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
   a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
      festive praise instead of despair.
   In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
      that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
as His passage of scripture to explain why He came.  It wasn’t just because we sucked as human beings so He had to come down and put skin on and deal with our sin.  He came for our hearts because we were hurting, mourning and because we were being held captive.  It grieves me when people talk to unbelievers and they start out with John 3:16 with the ultimate goal of “saving them”.  That is a terrible place to start in the beautiful story about a God who loves us and created us for relationship.  Yes we need the rescue of the cross for sure and cannot live without it but there are so many christians walking around saved but hurting, grieving their own existance, and completely captive to the false identity that the enemy has been reinforcing  throughout their whole story.  They have no idea how much they really mean to God.  I meet with so many women that have been christians their whole lives and never knew that their hearts mattered to God.  They have been busy being obedient and killing their hearts as a sacrifce when God came to restore their hearts and rescue them. 

(to be continued…)