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march 22

Mark 6:45-52 is the story of the disciples being possessed by fear, and Jesus says of them that the reason they didn’t recognize Him when He came to help them was because their hearts were hard (vs. 52). These were believers. These were Jesus followers. These were disciples, and we are told they were hard-hearted. When they needed Jesus the most, and when He was walking on the water to meet them in order to calm their storm, they didn’t even recognize Him. In fact, Scripture said He almost passed them by. It is possible to follow Jesus and still allow hard stones to grow in our hearts. How do we know if our hearts have some hard spots?1. Do you find yourself saying, “I know I shouldn’t, but I am going to anyway.” When we know that we know that something we are engaged in doesn’t please God and benefit us, but we choose to do it anyway we are dealing with a hard spot in our heart.2. Is there a lack of concern for spiritual things in your life? By that, I mean do you come to church but then live separated from spiritual principles and applications throughout the week? Is church just something you attend rather than being a Christian someone you are?

3. When someone produces evidence from God’s Word about something that needs attention in your life you ignore it.

4. Do you know there is sin in your life that needs addressed, but you have found a way to desensitize yourself from it? Rather than dealing with the sin in your life do you just come to church in hopes it will offset your ungodly choices?

5. Is their pride in your heart that keeps you from being real and from making real spiritual progress?

6. Do you make deals with God? Do you say things to God like, “God, if you just fix this one area of my life, I promise I will serve you?”

7. Do you look for spiritual solutions to earthly problems? Is it to the Lord or to yourself that you look when something that is broken in your life needs fixed?

Hard-heartedness is dealt with by confessing it and repenting from it. God wants to change our hearts. Ezekiel 36:26 tells us what God wants to do with each one of us. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Are you willing to pray the prayer David prayed? “Search me O God, and know my heart…see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23–24).

The truth is we are all hard-headed and hard-hearted sometimes. We get our minds made up and our wills cemented in concrete. Today is a day that God wants to bust up that concrete and make our hearts soft, pliable and responsive to His presence, His power, and His plans. Will you let Him give you a heart of flesh today?

Pastor Melissa

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