Welcome to 2023! I am so excited about what The LORD is going to do for, and in, us
throughout this year.
As I was praying over this letter, The LORD led me to share a message I taught in church
many years ago. It had to do with what we consider priority in our lives. To understand our own
priorities more clearly, we need to first look at God’s priorities. Here is what The LORD spoke to me while teaching the message:
“People are the very heartbeat of God. They are His first priority.”
It is easy to open our hearts toward others when we realize just how precious and valuable
they are to God. Let me give you some personal examples.
First, I am a husband. Ephesians 5:23 instructs me to love my wife as Christ loves the Church.
Pastor Terri is extremely precious and valuable to me. She is my priority.
Second, I am a father and grandfather. In Ephesians 3:14-15 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition), Paul
tells us, “I bow my knees before the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ, for Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named [that Father from Whom all fatherhood takes its title and derives its name].” My children and grandchildren are extremely precious and valuable to me. They are my priority.
Third, I am a pastor and CEO. I think about the KCM staff and the EMIC congregation
all the time. All these people are extremely precious and valuable to me. I pray for them often,
prepare my meetings and messages in light of my prayers for them, and believe for their continual
prosperity and health.
Right now, just receive for yourself the prayer I pray from 3 John 2 (AMPC) : “Beloved, I pray
that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul
keeps well and prospers.” You are my priority.
And thank you for your supply of the spirit and your faithfulness to EMIC. You are extremely
precious and valuable to the work of the Kingdom of God, as well as to Pastor Terri and me. Thank
you for all you do for our ministry and church. I am standing in faith right now for God to do
exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all you dare ask, dream, think or pray.
When I first taught this message, The LORD challenged me to inspire our church to become
better witnesses for The LORD Jesus Christ. I was instructed to teach them to reach out beyond
themselves and make others their priority. Our part of this Great Awakening is to tell people about
Jesus. We are to let them know that Jesus redeemed us from the curse and translated us into His
kingdom—the kingdom of His BLESSING. All of us have a ministry to reach out to those in our
circles of influence and introduce them to our Redeemer (2 Corinthians 5:20).
One of the best ways to talk to people about Jesus is to open our hearts to them and
demonstrate God’s Love. His Love is irresistible. I have been praying this prayer a lot lately:
“LORD, I open my heart to those around me. Whose life can I touch today?
Whose pain can I relieve? To whom can I give? What question can I answer?
My heart is wide open to allow Your Love to flow through me.”
First John 3:17 (AMPC) says, “But if anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining
life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against
him, how can the Love of God live and remain in him?”
If we can close our hearts towards someone, then we can certainly open our hearts to him
or her. Love is a choice.
One of the Greek words for love is agape. It can be defined as “a wide opening and a gaping
hole.” The wider the opening of our hearts, the greater God’s love will be able to flow through us
to others. In 2 Corinthians 6:11 (New Living Translation), Paul told the church that “our hearts are
open to you.” He then said in verse 13: “Open wide your hearts also [to us]” (AMPC).
Jesus’ heart was wide open to everyone He came in contact with. Matthew 9:36 says, “When
he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were
scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
We will have no problem opening our hearts and demonstrating God’s Love to others once
we know how precious they are to God. Look at Job 7:17-18 (AMPC): “What is man that You should magnify him and think him important? And that You should set Your mind upon him? And that You should visit him every morning and try him every moment?”
If people are that precious and valuable to God, then how much more precious and valuable
should they be to us?
“Father, thank You for how wide open Your heart is for people. It is our desire to follow Your
example. If the world is precious to You, then the world is precious to us. If people are valuable to
You, then people are valuable to us. Our hearts are wide open and ready to minister to anyone You
desire for us to minister to. We will fulfill Your heart’s desire—that none may perish.”
With my heart wide open,
PS. I encourage you to stir up your faith by going back and listening to Pastor Terri’s outstanding
messages on Core Values! You can find all of them at emic.org/corevalues.