"We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." - the teacher Paul to a church in Thessalonica (1st Century)
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love..." -the teacher Paul to a church in Corinth (1st Century)
It has been almost 20 years now since I first set upon my journey of faith. The path has often been rocky and my persistence has wavered from time to time. However, the one aspect of my walk that has often determined my experience has been the state of my heart. Ancient Hebrews believed that life was literally in the blood. Throughout the Old Testament we read of strict guidelines relating to blood. Westerners today believe that the brain is the central organ of the body, however, Hebrews considered the heart to be the control center. Personhood lived in the heart.
To be clear, when I say heart, I am not simply referring to the organ that pumps blood, but the center of our personhood. The place where we experience emotion and where our deep core beliefs reside is the place of our heart. I would also refer to this place as our soul... our mind, will and emotion. In other words, it is the place where we think, make decisions and experience emotion. The health of our heart will determine whether we experience abundant life or the destruction of lifelessness.
The New Testament writer Paul seems to sum up the walk of a Christ-follower by three elements... faith, hope and love. I believe that faith, hope and love are the three greatest influences to the health of our heart. As we live in faith, hope and love we walk in LIFE.
I find that when I am experiencing the influence of death I can heal some of the wounds of my heart by nurturing one of these three. Faith is nurtured by embracing healthy beliefs and giving God room to relate to us, Hope is strengthened by choosing to live in the truth that God is in total control of my circumstances and that He loves me, while Love is nurtured by eradicating selfishness and serving others.
May you walk in life and renew that passion of your heart. If you have never known this life, may you begin a journey to find it today! It is not an easy journey, but it is a life and death matter. It is the battle we were born to fight!
Just a thought...