Don’t ever stop praying for those hardened hearts…
Don’t ever stop praying for those hardened hearts because you never know, they too could have a Paul Encounter.
The Holy Word of God speaks the following about those with hardened hearts:
- Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. (Proverbs 28:13-14)
- Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ (Matthew 13:14-15)
- As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:15)
O friends of God, do not grow weary of praying for sinners, especially hardened sinners. For the Lord God can transform the hearts of stone into hearts of flesh as mentioned in His Holy Word:
- And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 24:7)
- And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Pray for each person you can think of who is in need of repentance, and pray for that person in faith. We are not forcing people to change but simply praying to the Lord God to transform them from darkness to light and from sin to holiness. And yes, if they wish to follow the Lord God, that they be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to continue in the way of the Lord no matter what the world says.
Also, while you pray for the worst of sinners, don’t forget to pray for each other, for the devil seeks to devour who ever he can
- Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
- Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Remember our responsibility is to pray and to preach the Gospel to everyone and then let Jesus take over the situation. Do it by the way of the Lord instead of the way of man and see the difference.
Keep in mind that if any sinner listens to the Word of God and repents there will be much joy in heaven as mentioned by Jesus in the Parable of the Lost Sheep mentioned below:
So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:3-7)
Christ be with you as you pray for hardened sinners!
The Bottom Line
As Christians we must never lose site of the BOTTOM LINE. Take this example from the Business world.
A man starts a business TO MAKE MONEY.
That man hires workers, to help the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
That man hires a manager, to help the workers, which helps the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
That man buys his manager a computer, to help the manager, which helps the workers, which helps the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
That man buys his manager software, to help his computer, which helps the manager, which helps the workers, which helps the business, TO MAKE MONEY.
The business man never lost site of the BOTTOM LINE. This must also be true with the Christian Church.
Jesus came to SAVE THE LOST.
Jesus gave us the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
Jesus built His church, to preach the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
Jesus raised up Apostles, to oversee the church, to preach the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
The Apostles that Jesus raised up, trained others, to help the church, to preach the Gospel, TO SAVE THE LOST.
Unfortunately the BOTTOM LINE in the Christian Church has changed somewhat. After hearing many sermons, I’ve seen that the BOTTOM LINE is often “How to live a blessed, joyful, prosperous, abundant life.” Which is a good message, but NOT THE BOTTOM LINE!
(By Robert Brownell)
Psalm 67 (A call to all people to praise God)
Let read Psalm 67 which is a call to all people to praise God. Here we go:
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah 2 that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving power among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for thou dost judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee! 6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us. 7 God has blessed us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
When reading the above Psalm you must have seen the word ‘Selah’ and then wondered what does that mean. It’s not an English word so it’s hardly used when talking in general. It’s a Hebrew word which in the context of the Psalm means to pause and praise. There are things in life which we must not skim over and let it go. These are things to be valued and cherished. Though there are many ways to do appreciate things, one of the ways is to pause for a moment and think of it.
In the same way when you think of the things of God like his grace, blessings and saving power you just don’t do a blink and a miss on it. You take time to relish the Lord’s goodness towards us. So that is why you must pause and praise God for his revelation of love for us.
People love their blessings from God and want to be blessed even more. Who wouldn’t want their families to be prosperous in all aspects of life? However, that’s not where it ends. One of the reasons God blesses us is that the people of the earth are made aware of his saving power. Let’s therefore, not ask to be blessed only to keep it within our loved ones but also so that God’s gracious nature is manifested through us to a world of people who live in despair.
The Lord is the God of justice. Many a times people try to take revenge, sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. Yet true justice eludes them. There are the oppressed poor who have no one to speak for them. Very few care about their existence. It’s true that, we live in a fallen world and evil things do happen. The Lord God, time and again raises up men and women who strive for justice and peace for the poor and oppressed, even though not all of them know Jesus as their savior. These agents of justice have their season on earth and then pass away into eternity. The work of justice still goes on even as more people are called by God to help others. Besides, the Lord God himself executes judgement against the powers of darkness and those who love it, so that there is justice done. May the people of the world realize this truth and turn their hearts towards the Lord.
Our Lord God is not limited to judgement alone. He is the God of true and lasting blessing. He blesses his people on earth. He rewards their good deeds in this life and in the next. Even our ability to good works ultimately comes from the Lord. No doubt a person must be willing for it, and surely he or she shall be rewarded, yet we must realize that it’s mostly God’s grace in the midst of it all.
By our own works and merits we do not deserve his grace. It’s only by faith in his Son our Lord Jesus Christ, can we approach his throne of grace in times of need (see Hebrews 4:16). God’s loves those who love Christ. But he has a heart for sinners too. He also cares for the lost sheep who are still in the darkness. No wonder though they are not seated in heavenly places like us who believe in Jesus, he still let’s it rain on them too (see Matthew 5:43-45).
The harvest of the earth though has human effort and wisdom applied but it is the Lord God who protects it from dangers when we are least aware. He is the one who prevents the workers of the Evil One from doing their vile deeds against you. It is the Lord who blesses the farmer with good health, so that there is an abundant harvest. No wonder in this light of the revelation of his grace and love towards us, we must praise and thank God for his mercy and for his blessings towards us. Give thanks to Christ Jesus for the salvation that you have received from him.
A few scriptures to reflect on:
- I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. (Ecclesiastes 3:17)
- Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17)
- For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:4)
- Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable. Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor. (Proverbs 31:8-10)
- Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
- Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.(James 1:17-18)
- And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Cor 9:8)
- Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)