daily devotional

There’s so much goodness inside of you, there’s the potential to change countless lives. Because of the sheer amount of goodness in you, you come under attack. The enemy knows the impact your love could make so guess what he does … he works to shrink your heart. He schemes to make you cynical. He plots to make you hardened. He offers the bricks to build your walls. How successful has he been in shrinking your heart?

God wants you to live with a wide open heart, just as Jesus did. Jesus loved without concern of rejection. He loved without need for a thank you. He loved without strings, without boundaries. You do understand that Jesus shared his last meal with the very man he knew would betray him? He knew it, yet he loved him. Jesus lived out loud with a wide open heart and outstretched arms. And this is the life you and I are being called to.

2 Corinthians 6: 11-13 reading from the MSG translation says “I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!”

We were each created for a BIG life, but sometimes we are playing little because we have closed off our hearts and tied strings to our love. We may be justified in our tall walls and guarded hearts, but we may also be miserable. You were designed to love. You were formed as a vessel of God’s love flowing through you, working as his hands and feet here on Earth. The creator never designed a single person with the flaw of a bad attitude and perpetually grouchy mood. He never made one human being with the intention of that person not being able to love others, intolerable of people.

God doesn’t work that way.
But the enemy sure does.

One of Satan’s greatest works is to convince you that your way is the only way, everyone else is an idiot, and you can’t trust anyone. Is that the record playing in your head? Is that how you view others? A possible threat? A potential bad motive? Have you become cynical and hardened with a closed off heart? Have you created hoops for others to jump through to get to your love?

Yesterday we studied the story of the Prodigal Son. Remember has this son had taken his inheritance early and promptly blew every dollar on wild living and ended up at rock bottom. He then realized who he really was and that he was so much better than the way he had been living, so he began the journey back. Now notice what his father did. When the father saw his son returning home, did he stand there with his arms crossed? Did begin preaching saying how wrong the son had been and how right he had been? Did he make his son jump through hoops to come back? Did he make it hard for him? No! Quite the opposite. Scripture says the father ran to him with open arms!

This is what we’re to do. So someone screwed up. Someone has hurt you in the past. You have every reason for your walls. Your heart is calloused. You’re terrified to open back up because what if it happens again? Trust that God will take care of you if you will just love BIG. You don’t need to make it harder than it already is. Open up your arms and live with a wide open heart. Refuse to allow the enemy to shrink your heart again.

BIG lives begin with BIG, wide open hearts. God is calling you to live a wide open life without hoops and obstacles for others to jump through to receive your love.

Somewhere in the future your life looks totally different because of your choice to tear down those walls today. Somewhere in the future, your broken relationships are restored because of your choice to no longer make it so darn hard for them to come back. Somewhere in the future, your life is so much bigger because you no longer accept the enemy’s offer of a bad attitude or a bad mood.

You were created out of love, and you were created to love. You may be real busy. You may be working real hard. You may be building and accumulating and creating a real nice life for yourself, but are you missing the point? Are you missing that you are here to love. None of this other stuff matters. It will all grow old and one day sit in a junk yard or be sold for a buck at a garage sale. But the love you offer today can radically change a life.

My guess is you’re listening today because there’s someone in your world who desperately needs your love. They don’t need you to preach at them. They already know they were wrong and you were right. You don’t have to say it. They know. They don’t need a guilt trip. They don’t need to rehash it all again. They just need your love. I’ve witnessed love do what rules and punishments could never do in our family. I’ve witnessed love radically change someone.

And you have that power today. You have the power to choose love. The power to step into the BIG Life you were created for and stop playing little with tall walls and a guarded heart.