My heart breaks.

In the fifth chapter of Romans Paul uses language that can cause heads to turn. He is writing to the people of Rome and he writes these words: “I speak the truth in Christ – I am not lying; my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit – I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.” He was writing as a way of saying how terrible his heart felt for those who were not in the relationship that only Christ can provide. Over the past few days I have noticed many people around me that have brought prayer request before me for various reasons. But a few have stood out. One was for a man undergoing significant medical procedures and he does not have a relationship with Christ. Another was for a woman who was in a terrible accident and as well does not have a relationship with Christ.

Over the past few weeks I have learned of other serious criminal offenses in our community. What I have realized over the past few weeks and days is that so much of the crime in our communities could be reconciled if these people had a personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Seven young people were arrested at the High School in our community for drug possession. Newton has seen numerous murders over drugs. Consistently there are pan handlers outside of the local stores. There was a drug warrant issued and served on a home in the community where a young lady was taken into custody.

This is a drug issue no doubt. But there is more to it. This is a heart issue. People need to experience the freeing power and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and suddenly at 32 years old my heart is broken for these people who feel as if there is no other way in this life except one that is bent for hell and controlled by the evil powers of this world.

I was born and raised in Wichita, KS (just a few miles south of Newton). In fact, my parents and family still live there and some drive to Newton to worship with us. I feel like Paul in Romans 9. I have great sorrow and anguish for ‘my people.’ We are Kansans. We are Newtonians. We are each other’s neighbors. We are each other’s co-workers and fellow students. My heart breaks for those in our community who do not know the saving power of Jesus Christ. It is my prayer for my own life that God will continue to break my heart for those who have a broken heart. Who is around you that you can show the love and power of Jesus Christ too?