Hardened

Photo credit

“Hardening of the heart ages people more quickly than hardening of the arteries.” ~ [think exist]

“I tell you now! You can’t have it your way!” yelled the deputy to a belligerent, young male inmate escorted by one deputy. More deputies were summoned over the radio as this inmate started fighting with one deputy who was escorting him from their unit to bring him to the Clinic and be evaluated.

“No, Ma’am! But these deputies will make me do it!” he blurted out to me when I asked him if he wanted to hurt himself.

“She’s just trying to help you! Answer her appropriately!” a cutting remark from one of the deputies wove in through our conversation.

“I’ll see if I can give you something to help you sleep like what you requested. But I’m sorry that I can’t give you any psych meds. Not until the psychiatrist has evaluated you and ordered something specific, the nurses cannot give you anything related to your mental health condition. I just want to request for you to be patient because I would try to have someone from Mental Health Services see you sooner!” my eyes trying to have a contact with his. His head remained looking down on the floor, only to look up when he wanted to say something in between or tried to free his wrists from the handcuff behind his back.

“You’re always patient. Thank you,” whispered one deputy.

“Because getting angry at him will not help in anyway. Thank you,” I replied.

How could I respond with anger? Knowing that he had a history of ingesting 2 bags of heroin and was treated at the hospital. He was fortunate to remain alive. He was one of those who was always in and out of jail for drug violations. Growing marijuana. Selling other drugs. Robbing places to sustain this ill habit. I could imagine the judge warning him many times to change. But trapped in this dangerous vice, he chose to not listen. His heart became callous to good advices.

Strong conviction for God’s Word lacks nowadays among many people. Many are doing things based on what is right on their own eyes. “Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against him.” - Ephesians 4:18-19. As believers, we can’t do anything to change a blind person and with a hardened heart. That is the work of the Spirit. “My job was to plant the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God, not we, who made it grow. The ones who do the planting or watering aren‘t important, but God is important because he is the one who makes the seed grow.” - 1 Corinthians 3:6,7.

“Apollos watered…” It is allowing a person to see Christ through us. Through our actions. We are here to plant and water. But we must leave the “growing part” to God. It is frustrating to share the Good News to someone with a hardened heart. But we must persevere. Let’s start with examining where our own hearts are… [Matthew 6:21 - “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.”]

Which pot are you when the seeds [Word of God] got planted in you?



13This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' - Matthew 13: 13-15 [Parable of the Sower]

Sowing the Seed: Evangelism Stories for Children

Divine Nature - Sowing the Seeds of Faith & Scripture Study
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends