Valentine's day is also National Donor day and is a time to focus on all types of donation -
organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets and marrow. I recently heard a touching story about a heart transplant. I think it is one we can all relate to.
Vicki Brannon’s son, Matthew McIntyre, was killed in 1996 when a friend accidentally shot him in the neck with a handgun, which he had retrieved from an unlocked cabinet. She made the choice to donate Matthew’s organs and Ms Lentini, who suffered from heart muscle disease, received the heart the next day at age 13. Eighteen years later, the donor's mother and the recipient met in person. During their tearful first meeting, Ms. Brannon asked if she could hold her ear to Ms Lentini’s chest and listen. When she was given permission, she leaned down and put her ear to Ms. Lentini's chest. “My Matthew is in there,” the mother said.
This story was shared at our revival recently and the pastor reminded us that we have a decision to make. Are we going to invite Jesus in or not? God uses our hearts for so many things. He already knows our heart. Mark 2: 6-8, "But there were some experts in the law sitting there and thinking in their hearts, 'Why does this fellow speak like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins except God alone?' Jesus immediately knew in his spirit that they were thinking this way within themselves. He asked them, 'Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?'" If we do not listen to God, our hearts will become hardened. Matthew 13: 15, "Because this people’s heart has grown callous, their ears are hard of hearing. They have closed their eyes. Otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, turn, and I would heal them."
God even uses our hearts to determine what we want to give and to help us be a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9: 7, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Our spiritual heart determines every aspect of our life! God's Word can penetrate our heart. Hebrews 4: 12, "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, even being able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart."
Back to the story. When the mother leaned over to hear the recipients heart, she said, "that is my son's heart." The pastor asked us that night., "would God lean down, listening to your heart, and say, that is my Son in there"?
The rest of the story said that "Lentini was able to express her gratitude — something she’d hoped to do for a long time. 'For years all I ever wanted to do is say thank you. I knew there was nothing I could buy them and not enough words in the dictionary for me to say thank you. I just wanted to say, 'you gave me the gift of life.'"
Have you thanked God for the gift of life? Have you thanked God for the gift of eternal life?
Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price for us all. And He paid the price in full! Romans 6: 23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” When we learn how much we have to be thankful for - that will be enough!