After Adam sinned, Scriptures resound with God crying out
‘Does any man want Me?'(Is.65:2,63:5/Rm.10:21)
The Son answered
“Let Me give them my heart for you Father”.
So, in plain sight,
for anyone to ‘buy’.
Jesus freely offers His heart.
Will you say ‘the investment… too high’.
My friend, please listen. It is the last days.
Seize; THE POWER OF HEART
In reading this title, some of you might think this ‘heart of Jesus’ stuff is a bit sentimental ‘fluff’ for the every day dealings of hard-core sinners. Well, let me tell you, Jesus doesn’t think so. Cuz I work with hardened criminals and “bad ass” gangsters who have committed unspeakable acts. They live in a giant cage with five layers of barbed wire (a concept that was pioneered by Hitler for German concentration camps) with no possessions or freedom. They are herded like animals. They are oppressed and deeply wounded, every night having to toil, not just with the weeping of cellmates, but their own internal combustion of torment. Guilt, regret, rage, depression and thoughts of suicide turn in their mind like chain links in bike socket.
Do you really think they’d give me one second of time if what I presented them was not of impact? Yet we are invited to hundreds of prisons effecting thousands of men. You see, I don’t stand in front of them with knowledge or lace-woven concepts of a theoretical image. But as a man of God living in a down and dirty nature and world. This is the brutal reality encompassed in the heart of Jesus. Above all, He did not come in the lofty notions of a holy God, but as a despicable criminal punished on a cross, bearing the identity of a human slave, a brother to anyone that would come by His side (Phil. 2:5-8 /Heb. 2:9:-18).
So I stand before my fellow brothers and rely on His Spirit; that they see His heart through mine. “See it fellas? It’s Jesus. He’s not the one seen on a stained glass church window but One washing the feet of the worst degenerate and most depraved man on earth”. Paul said That’s me. I am the worst sinner (1 Tim.1:15). Do you realize what this means? Imagine all the depraved people Paul met. Yet he says, he is worse than them all.
I’ve dealt with guys who’ve done things that would make some vomit. But I know His blood dripped with love, understanding, forgiveness and brotherhood. One drop of His merciful heart either covers everything or nothing. This is the gospel; GOOD NEWS. I deal with prison officials who get mad at me because they want to insist they are not like criminals. They say “You don’t know the criminal mind or the evil of their acts”. I say “You don’t know the mind of God or perfection of His act of His righteousness”. God says “come let us reason together though sins be as scarlet they shall be white snow”.
They resent the implication that, in God’s eyes, they are no better than the prisoners. I once lifted 405 lbs. My CMU teammates marveled how a little guy like me could have such power. It was heart. My heart was set. My heart is set to believe God’s love for me, for all men, always is compassion no matter what. If you set your heart on it will be yours. Jesus says wherever your heart is so is your treasure. My soul is on fire for my Brother Jesus so men see Him, not me. They don’t need to ‘get it right’. They need to see the heart of Jesus as a Brother Who loves them dearly regardless of their sin.
There was a time when I could decide who I loved. No longer. His heart in me compels me to love the unloved and care as He cares (2 Cor. 5:14). I don’t say this to brag but simply as a matter of His doing. Actually it ruins my life but marvel of divine love dissipates all loss.
No mountain to climb. No ocean to swim. No puzzle to solve. No “getting it right” with a moral image to impress anyone. It doesn’t start with an attainment of knowledge. It starts here with you believing me, Him in me, speaking to you here and now.
The beginning is the end. He awaits you in the chambers of your heart, getting beneath outward image. Opening your heart is like coming into a top notch mechanic shop filled with the highest grade tools to use.
This secret chamber contains latent powers of individual capacity to actually access the Character of God. The majority go to the grave never tapping this wonder within blinded, wounded and driven by sin. Instead, men exist at the level of common human instincts and intellect. They settle for outward religious appearance.
One time a reporter interviewed me for an article she was doing. It was obvious she was trying to portray me as a wild ‘hell fire and brimstone’ maniac. I remember telling her that following Jesus was all about HEART. She was stunned. She expected some complex code, lifestyle or legalistic list of moral demands. I’ll never forget her response. She said “Oh Michael, that’s nothing. I have a great heart”. I thought to my self “How can you be so trite about something so profound?”.
God says the heart is “desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). So it actually takes a heart(individual) to get beyond the heart (common). It takes the individual facet of the heart to freely admit its’ own impediment of original sin. Sin does not have to bar us from God. Quite the contrary, as a result of faith in His magnificent plan, our wicked ways qualify us to discover The Power of Heart; GRACE i.e. “Where sin increases grace abounds all the more” (Romans 5:20).
Stay with me. My friend, In this crazy wicked world, saturated with christian delusion, it is a natural instinct to give up on finding the reality of God. So much hurt and so many doing the hurting. It seems the multitudes of “desperate hearts” have no where to turn. They can not meet the standards set by high lofty ‘better than thou’ “Christians so they just ‘fake it’. But let me feed you some utterly beautiful and magnificent truth.
The answer starts in this magical “something” located right within you. No need to go anywhere or do anything. Paul says “the words are in your heart…for with the heart a person believes” (Rm.10:8-10).
Jesus did not want to leave us alone on earth. He had spent thirty three years in a body like ours walking the earth one step in front of the other. Every human situation we face today was of His concern then. He entered into every feasible situation, relationship and challenge. God actually walked this earth in Jesus. Every minute of every hour of every day Jesus analyzed, felt and took on and concluded what we needed. It was no little thing. Nothing this world or any man could supply.
We all have lazy tendencies in reading Scripture. But if we allow our heart to engage we grasp beyond letters, doctrines and knowledge to Jesus. We see that in His words He is offering us revelation of Himself. We can all read what He says of peace, love and justice. But can you realize that essentially Jesus is saying in every word “My heart I leave with you My heart I give to you” (John 16:33). In John 16:13ff Jesus is saying that HIs heart will guide us into all truth.
It is not as though I live by a message or philosophy as my daily source. I still my spirit, like an eagle riding the wind, and give way to His Presence. Jesus sees into the deep motives of our human nature and why we do and think crazy things we ourselves don’t understand. He beckons us to let go and let His wind lift and carry us. Recently I was laying on my back in the grass pondering God’s glory in cloud formations. Suddenly an eagle came into the picture thousands of feet in altitude. It went so far, so fast without moving its’ wings. Completely still and profound. This is the “place” where heart meets Heart. Where nothing matters but Him (John 3:6-8). We hover in the wind . We live in Christ.
Jesus understands why we are so consumed with ourselves and would never truly want God. Our flesh, that He took on, is “hostile” to God (Rm.8). He realizes the reason for our hypocrisy and the regret of unintended words and actions. He felt it. No one on earth, back then, and in all time, has the answers that He alone holds within His heart. Bible verses don’t supply the answers. His heart supplies the grace. We must have Him to have answers. The King of compassion not only identifies with us but offers to substitute His heart for ours.
Jesus could see this day coming so long ago. This world is crazy and insane. He thought of us as desperate orphans. We once worked with a large amount of orphans in Bogota, Colombia. It was heart breaking to hear of how they were abused and abandoned. They were so grateful for our love teaching Tae Kwon Do and befriending them in trips to the zoo etc. We continue to deal with this tragic life situation in meeting so many prisoners who were abandoned. One guy told me he was driving with his parents and they suddenly just stopped and made him get out of the car on a remote highway. Imagine.
We often think of God as if behind a steel wall. But He is a revolving door goes with us into darkness to bring us into light. There isn’t one person on the face of the earth that does not struggle with the torment of loneliness and sin. Countless crimes and human depravity is a result of simply feeling abandoned and left behind that wall. Jesus saw into this great infirmity, derived from the rebellion of Adam. He thought to Himself “If I could just leave them My heart, it would be the power of love they need to overcome it all?”
Despite the insinuation of “Christians”, who insist they are all alone and have no one, no where to turn or any answers to their problems, I am here to tell you the truth. Either Jesus is a liar or we have access to His very heart here and now. It is up to our heart to find His. It is not a sentiment any more than any living person is a walking sentiment. The composite of His Person constitutes a heart full of limitless forgiveness, understanding with very specific answers as real as any mechanism on earth.
Jesus says “I do not leave you as orphans…I will come to you…” (John 14:18). Everything is about contemplating that God the Father actually sent the Holy Spirit of Jesus to any man to bring His very heart into our conscious existence.
There was this young guy who grew up as the youngest in a big family of brothers. Nobody thought much of him cuz, as many youngest of the family, they are thought of as not having a clue to the realities of life. Well this kid, guy, man, warrior named David didn’t let any of that stuff bother him one bit. The stones they threw at him he took and used to slay a giant. How? Why? God answers this very clearly. He says “I have found David…a man AFTER MY HEART who will do my will (1 Samuel 13:14/Acts 13:22).
David possessed the greatest power on earth; a heart for God. His will was SET. People are dumbfounded how a simple family of eight walk Pinot the dangerous streets, ghettos, prisons with no flinch. Answer: We each have the heart of David. He looked no where and to no one to give Him the love God gave him. He wrote numerous Psalms full of heavenly descriptions of all things. How did David get this stuff? He was a shepherd not a theologian. How could he command armies and remain safe when thousands in battle were out for his head? The power of heart.
The ‘down to earth’ simplicity of it all is mind-blowing. It is the very thing that gave a wretch like me the far distant thought that I, me, Michael, wicked man that I am, could actually have the heart of Jesus. It sounds almost blasphemous if it wasn’t real. The revolving Door constantly, personally, mediates my darkness for His light. God designed a marvelous plan undeniable in its’ childlike sincerity. It requires no superior moral accomplishment. It requires no sophisticated education. It requires no ability to say right things in right ways. It only requires YOU. You have all you need within you.
Most people live by instinct. People as a whole respond the same to life situations. Some go a step farther and develop some intelligence. They say “On second thought, I change my mind to this or that”. But who will go the distance to find the 3rd Answer? The answer that lies within Him.
God told a farmer named Ezekiel “Behold I have made your face as hard as their faces and your forehead as hard as their forehead. Like emory harder than flint I have made your forehead. Do not be afraid of them…take into your heart all MY words which I WILL SPEAK TO YOU”. (Ez.3:8). So the goal is to hear His voice (John 10:27). It is the very first thing I set out to do when I gave my life to Jesus. Without it you are like a tumbleweed blowing here and there. You feel one way one day and another way another day. Something on TV or at work makes you think a certain way. This guy tells you one thing another guy tells you something different. Truth isn neither of them, know squat. There is so much vast profound stuff waiting for you brother, or sister, but it will only come to you when and if you start to be aware of the power of your heart. Utilize all that “violent” attitude you developed for other things in life. Switch it.
We don’t even realize it but we have all been indoctrinated into the system of American Christianity where Jesus is separated into categories of theology and knowledge. He is lost amidst the maze of stuff about Him. The “sinners prayer” mentality to “accept Christ” lays a ground work of God as THEORY not a living Person. You gain more knowledge about Him than life in Him. Those who propagate these ways don’t do it for you but for themselves. You are just a means to their earthly reward of ego.
It is outrageous when you start to realize the truth.The entire world of christianity is set on one thing; feeling better than others. The stairway of self-righteousness may seem like it goes up to heaven but it is headed down to hell. It is the exact opposite of Jesus’ compassion and what the Word of God explicitly teaches (Romans 3:9ff).
The heart of Jesus was the epitome of humility and humiliation (Phil.2). Prison christianity epitomizes the general thinking of Americans. It is interwoven with the whole thinking of “rehabilitation”. So “getting better” becomes the goal that is really secular based. It is a life long failed venture built on anti-christ; self-improvement. It is a crock of crap in light of God wanting to make you a NEW man not better (2 Cor.5:17). An entirely new identity. The very heart of God real within you. The power of heart is the only power able to propel me through all life.
That’s what the cross is all about. Getting rid of the old you. Not just bad habits or wicked ways but your essential constitution as a man of this world (1 Cor.15:45). Paul says that the cross is the power of God because it frees you from yourself to love Him (1 Cor.1:18).
I have seen hundreds, if not thousands of times, how men attack me because they want to insist there is nothing more to the Lord than what they know. They don’t want to go deep. Shallow. Trite. But none of it works. None of it gives you the Depth of the Incarnate Jesus Christ. What happens? Tragic takedown. Just what Jesus saw on earth and why He knew He had to leave His heart. Because no man can follow God without His heart within them.
People ask me how Rachel and I could raise six selfless children. How could we do so without hard driving legalism or fluff-bucket christianity. The answer is we let them see and learn the heart of Jesus within us.
A guy who suffered greatly was another simple farmer named Isaiah. In chapter 53 he speaks of what he saw in himself as a prototype for Who Jesus would be. The key to not only bearing up under injustice and terrible inner grief was the RESOLUTE WILL to BELIEVE GOD. And God richly rewarded him.
“For the Lord God helps me therefore I am not disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint and I know I will not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:7). He’s not talking setting his face on farming. His eyes gazed upon the One Who sits on high. He was A Resolute. No wimpy mambie pampie set on living for himself. Where is that defiance you had to do acts of darkness? It must never be thrown aside. You learned a great deal in developing the fearless resolution. But now the question is will you sanctify it in truth and do so for Jesus.
He offers far more than anything you wanted. The one thing that is greater than anything you can think you want in life is the thing you can’t IMAGINE. The thing you never thought of is the very thing God offers you; His very heart in Jesus. A profound identity of destiny in His sonship.
But it requires no ordinary man. This is what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 11:12: “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men take it by force”. There is so so so much waiting for you to SEIZE. But if you give in to the system of men they are lazy ass pretty boys who don’t really want anything to do with the heart for Jesus. The whole thing is to appear righteous before others (Mt.23:28). Look at ME<ME<ME. If you get what I’m trying to say you can catch “the wave” of a life time. You will pick up the “the wind” in regards to all things you deal with (John 3:8).
Jesus says the ME of we must die so He can live (John 12:25/Rm.6:6). This is true freedom (John8:32). It’s not about finding YOUR LIFE but losing your life to find His. It’s not about going from one set of rules to another. Jesus created the gospel for the poor, the simple, the guys like you and me. Not theology. Reality.
Jesus told the Pharisees they loved Him with their lips but their HEART was far from Him (Mark 7:6). You may have come out of the false churches but their ways still remain in you as long as your life is based on words rather than heart.
Face to face Jesus confronted the hypocrites; “You are those who justify in the sight of men, but God knows your heart; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God” (Luke16:15).
Think Jesus. Contemplate His words and thoughts. What a man. What a MAN. What a God. He says all of life comes down to your thoughts and words. It is not about where you go or what you do (John 6:63). It is not about outward physical movement. It is about how and why you think what you do and why and how you live. God has abundantly opened doors into prisons for us to bring Jesus. It is an extremely demanding and exhausting work. Many times we have suffered severe sickness in opening ourselves to their environment. All times we face hard, cold faces determined to not budge, that we inevitably do far more than budge. Countless saved souls. Anxiety often fills our hearts but we tap the individual choice to go beyond ourselves. We have a code word: “Ground Zero”. It reminds us to go to the very bottom of life and realize these men will have nothing unless we give them the heart of Jesus which is simply being ourselves. Many times we have done several performances in the hot burning sun and suffered heat stroke. Nobody knows. Nobody cares. That’s fine because we have everything in the very heart of Jesusl. Come, my precious friend, please, seize the power of heart within you to enter into the heart of the Son and the Father by His Spirit.
BELOW IS SOMETHING I WROTE TO DISTRIBUTE IN THIS PRESENT DAY WITH ITS SECULAR EMPHASIS ON “THERAPY” AS THE CURE-ALL FOR ALL THE SOCIAL CHAOS.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COPY AND USE IT.
Jesus stretched out His arms on the cross and, I say with Him, “I love you so much.”
TRT – Thought Replacement Therapy – My friend, I know you hurt inside. So do I. Neither drugs, sex or money can heal. You know this. Contrary to what you think, this pain is not you. It is something in you. It is sin in you (Rm.7:15-8:4). There is One Who cares. The living Jesus yearns to explain this and comfort you. Judgment day is near. Please, listen to me. Come directly to the living Jesus. Sit all alone. Be still. Talk to Him (Mt.11: 25:30/Jn.6:37,7:37). As seen in the New Testament, Jesus engages individuals. Don’t look for outside affirmation. You will stand alone before Him (2 Cor.5:10). If you really want His relief, freedom and full resolution of sin Read included Scriptures.
1.John 3:14—15- This is no little statement. Jesus uses Numbers 21:9 to spotlight as an epic truth to “Gaze upon” Him and His specific work on the cross. Face your sin. Realize the depravity and consequences. Let it break self righteous pride. Proportionate sorrow is a good thing. Repentance grounds you in humility and eliminates catastrophic presumption 2 Cor. 7:10-11 -Remorse leads to lingering morbid self-introspection (2 Cor.7:10). When the conscience is cleansed the compass for life switches to being led by the Holy Spirit. There is No Return to “dead works” of self-improvement (Hebrews 10:18,22,9:14). Reject regret over past actions (Phil.3:13). Requires “Violence” of will (Matthew 11:12).
2.John 3:14–17-Put all your sin (self) on Jesus on cross – Like the snake on Moses’ staff, Jesus embodied all poison of evil, contemplate, God’s love and forgiveness for you in Jesus to “bear” all your sin for your entire life (1 Peter 2:24). Obey God by faith in Jesus
3. 2 Cor 10:3-5 Must “Cast down” all thoughts and imaginations connected to sin. False piety and self-pity is disobedience to God’s revelation. “Excessive sorrow” is rebellion- (2 Cor.2:7). As far as Jesus is concerned His shed blood resolved the healing process for all the pain of sin.
4. Replacement therapy changes brain paths in your mind. -Thoughts are mere unseen ideas, fueled by obedience or demonic inspired emotion. You are not fighting a vicious bull dog but your own free will. You can replace a thought faster than you can say “How could I do that? I have no hope.” Quality of life is rooted in quality of thoughts and words. Once you stop dwelling on the severity and depression of failure and switch to faith in the Word of God His reality opens to His Spirit. God says “Your thoughts are not My thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). So LEARN to replace yours with the multitudes in Scripture like these:
“I have called you by name…I love you“ (Isaiah 43)
“not counting their trespasses against them”- ALL sin- no sin left uncovered- No matter how deliberate or intentional (2 Cor. 5:19).
“If we sin we have an advocate”- (1 John 2:1-2).
“Everyone born of the Spirt is as the Wind” (John3:3-8)
“out of your inner most being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). These actions of obedience begin, not a ‘better’ life, but a new life (2 Cor.5:17). Resurrection life replaces self-remorse (Jn.12:25/Rm.6:6ff/1 Cor.15:45/Rom.5:12ff). God requires one thing; a sincere heart (Ps.51:17). No dwelling on how bad you may think your sin is or what you think you must do or feel but resolute faith in God’s revelation. Absolute surrender. His love is worth any rejection by others . If you stand for Him, Jesus promises to stand for you (Matthew 10:32).
Thought Replacement Therapy has 100% success rate. If you implement this discipline for this process it will take hold and become your foundation. You will fail. It will take time. But once the anchor is set in your WILL, the boat is secure. The mind will change. Like multitudes do for thousands of secular programs of “therapy”, SUCESS DEPENDS ON YOUR COMMITMENT. THE REWARD: divine freedom, redemption for all your failure, eternal life and salvation from hell (John 8:32-36,11:25/Rev.20:12-15). I pray for you, my friend, asking God for the one seeking Him. I love you as a fellow warrior.