My son and I went geocaching last Thursday and got to see Arkabutla Lake. To get there you take “Scenic 304”. Along the way there are the gravel stops where you can take a break and take in the view. Today’s post is like that; a brief stop to take in an interesting portion of God’s word.
This study of walking in love has led to a look at Matthew’s use of the word “heart”. Every use of the word “heart” in Matthew’s gospel is spoken by Jesus. There is an expression that Christ uses three times in Matthew that I almost passed over: “take heart”:
Matthew 9:2 And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
Matthew 9:22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
Matthew 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” (ESV)
We can act and speak and even think courageously, confidently and without anxiety because of His presence. Jesus can calm our storms, heal our sickness, and most importantly, He can forgive our sins. When we as believers love Him with all our heart, we can trust Him, and this changes our behavior.