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A person within a person

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there. You are amazing.

Let’s start with a true event found in “Word for Today,” a great quarterly publication originating in New Zealand. It made a mother’s day.

“When God said, ‘I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you’ (Ezekiel 36:26), you could call it ‘a spiritual heart transplant.’ Tara Storch understands this miracle.

In 2010, a skiing accident claimed the life of her 13-year-old daughter, Taylor. What followed for Tara and her husband, Todd, was every parent’s worst nightmare: a funeral, a burial, a flood of questions and tears. They decided to donate their daughter’s organs to needy patients.

Few people needed a heart more than Patricia Winters. Her heart had begun to fail five years earlier, leaving her too weak to do much more than sleep. Taylor’s heart gave Patricia a fresh start. Taylor’s mother had only one request: She wanted to hear her daughter’s heartbeat. She and Todd flew from Dallas to Phoenix. They went to Patricia’s home, where the two mothers embraced for a long time. Then Patricia offered Tara and Todd a stethoscope.

The question is: When they listened to the healthy rhythm, whose heart did they hear? Did they not hear the still-beating heart of their daughter? It dwelled in a different body, but the heart still was the heart of their child.

That’s quite a thought, isn’t it? When you become a Christian through belief in Jesus, you receive a new heart. In our old life before Christ, the heart of the problem was the problem of man’s heart. So, God did a spiritual heart transplant. He took our old dying heart of obsession with ourselves and gave us his heart and spirit. He gave us a fresh heart for a fresh start. When God hears our heart, does God not hear the still-beating heart of his Son?

Just think, we found a new life. The Scriptures say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” The apostle who wrote this sensed within himself not just the philosophy, ideals and influence of Christ, but also the person of Christ. He was the glove, Christ was the hand. He was under new management.

“Christ in Me.” No other religion makes such a claim. No other movement implies the living presence of its founder in his followers. One can comprehend the idea of Christ for me, or Christ with me, or ahead to me. It’s better than that, it’s Christ in me. It’s Jesus’ heart beating and pumping spiritual life, wisdom and perspective into our body.

Don’t be surprised when your life begins to elevate when you receive God’s heart. When you own a home, you rearrange it the way you want it. That’s what Jesus does in us. Jesus moves in and takes possession of your hands, feet, mind and tongue. No, you will never be perfect. But don’t underestimate the power of God to elevate you into greater things than you ever dreamed of if you will cooperate with the process.

I remember my life before Christ. I always frowned. I had frown wrinkles by the time I was 25 years old. I was moody, hard to get along with. I still see those frown wrinkles each morning, reminding me of the work a new heart can do. My sister noticed it, too. She will tell you I used to frown all the time.

When I received Jesus, the frown disappeared. God usually takes time in changing us but in my case, the change was instant and constant. Ever since then, I have been not only joyful but an imparter of joy to others. I’m so happy I could hug a tree. Jesus made me a tree hugger. Within me is a person within a person. I have a new heart, pumping spiritual life to me and others.

I’ve seldom looked back. When I do, the heart within me says, “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.”

To learn more about Pastor Ed Delph, the Church-Community Connection and Nation strategy, call 623-376-6757, e-mail, or log on