Sell Your Heart Out
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (ESV)
“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Those words to that old children’s song speak directly to our hearts and our need. We all, at our core, hope they’re true. Because our hearts depend on it. Because if we’re not loved, than what are we?
Jesus calls us to be people who are on fire for Him. Over and over in the Bible God show’s us His presence through fire. The burning bush that appeared to Moses in the wilderness. Fire. The pillar that went before the Children of Israel, leading them through the desert. Fire. The Spirit of God to the disciples at Pentecost. Fire. This fire wasn’t a physically consuming, but rather, a spiritually enveloping fire. A fire meant to consume the spirit of someone. It’s a fire that sets us on fire for God. It’s a fire we want to spread to the ends of the earth. Because at the heart of this fire is a powerful love.
When you sit down and the words just won’t come out, but you know they’re there. What do you do? Do you squash them down into a small corner of your body in an attempt to forget, or do you search for them to let them out? If they’re meaningful, we try and get them out. Maybe the most meaningful word we have is “love.” It’s not always easy to say, but it’s affective and powerful. The first time you told your significant other, “I love you,” was probably difficult. You probably had to figure out a way to say it. You knew the emotive words were there, you could feel their burning, but the process of getting them out was maybe even a little painful. It was scary for sure. Because love makes us vulnerable in the place we’re most easily hurt. Our hearts.
The hardest things to do in life are usually the most important. They’re hard because those things also make us vulnerable. People want conformity because conformity removes vulnerability. It’s sorta how we’re wired. Every time we do something new or out of the ordinary we step outside normality and enter a new world of vulnerability. When you write a book, you’re not conforming to the norm. It’s hard. When you tell someone you love them, you’re stepping outside the boundaries of what most of the other people in their lives are telling them. It’s scary. Singing through a microphone to a crowd of people definitely is different than what most people are doing. It’s a challenge. All these things are hard because they make us visible, and more than that, critique-able. Especially to the people we care about most; the people closest to us.
Sell your heart out. What do I mean by that? A couple things. If you want to be a success or significant at anything, you have to sell it. If you make friendship bracelets for a living, you have to sell them. That means showing them to people and letting those people judge your work in the hopes they will approve. I also mean, giving up your heart. Our feelings often hold us back from true significance in life. Having a hobby is easy. Making things for ourselves doesn’t incur the nearly the judgements as does making things for others. At some point we have to be able to make ourselves vulnerable. We have to sell out our hearts for a greater gain.
Jesus wants our hearts. He wants us to be sold out for Him. That’s not easy. It’s easy to be a “hobby” Christian. By that I mean, being Christians for ourselves. No one sees or hears about what we believe. But in a way, God wants us to be “professional” Christians. Because professionals don’t keep their products hidden. They show them and sell them. Hoping that one out of 10 people will buy it. I know, comparing evangelism with sales isn’t normal or common. But let me tell you how I think it is a lot the same. A good and affective sales person doesn’t sell for the money. They sell best when they believe in the product so much that they want other people to experience it. Unfortunately, when you’re successful to that end, people will often call you a “sell-out.” When I was a kid there was a term for bands that became successful. Especially punk rock bands. They were called “sell-outs.” I wasn’t that into the underground music scene, so it wasn’t that big of a deal to me. But I couldn’t help but notice that all these bands that were labeled as “sell-outs” also sounded better. Maybe they were in it for the money and not the fans, but to me, they just sounded like a band a lot of people would want to hear. Many of the other bands that didn’t sell-out; well they often didn’t.
You don’t sell BMWs by describing the horrific car accidents you could get into by driving them fast. You sell them by letting people get behind the wheel and step on the gas. The urge of acceleration, the accuracy of the steering, the precision of the suspension; they’re all things that help you go fast, creating risk, but they’re all things that are enjoyable too. In kinda the same way, people want the Gospel because the Gospel is the manifestation of God’s love for us. And we all want to be loved in a profound and significant way. A lot of people don’t want to hear about Jesus. Maybe even most people. But more people want to hear about Christ’s love than God’s judgement. Both are real and true. In the same way, it doesn’t help a lot to tell people they’re gonna go to hell. Even if, by some chance (and we don’t have the ability to judge), it may be true.
If God’s judgement is a reality, the product He wants us spreading is the Gospel. And that’s also the very thing that people need. We all need the Gospel.
Don’t let the idea of staying hidden convince you of its safety. It’s not safer to be underground and invisible. Jesus said, “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” – Luke 11:33 Light is a good thing to have when it’s dark. So is the Gospel. And we’ve been given it, it’s our responsibility to show it. I hope that we can sell-out for that truth. I hope we can sell our hearts out for Jesus; for His love. It’s the greatest light the world has ever known. It shines through the darkness of sorrow and despair. And it shows the way towards hope. And we all need hope.