2 Corinthians 6:11 « Our mouth is open unto you, O Corinthians, our heart is enlarged. »
The apostle Paul just spent 10 verses describing to the believers in the church at Corinth how he endured many trials on their behalf to bring them the gospel. Then he said to them in verse 11: Our mouth is open to you. Our heart is enlarged.
The phrase: Our mouth is open to you is a reference to the teaching and preaching ministry of the apostle Paul and his team members. This is his second letter to them and is intent on answering their numerous questions. But the most intriguing part of this text is the next phrase: our heart is enlarged.
The Greek word translated here as « enlarged » is platoono which means: to widen or to make broad. To have an enlarged heart means to be filled to overflowing with God’s love and compassion for someone.
Sacrifice is always easier when your heart is filled with love for someone. Jesus loved the church and so willingly gave himself up on the cross for her and bore the wrath of God for the sin of humanity. We will always gladly go the second mile when our hearts are filled with love for someone.
When Réanna was in the hospital, fighting for her life as a baby, it was not at all hard for us to cancel everything and be at the hospital for her. Love compelled us. It is not difficult for Kathryn and I to meet with people in the church because God has given us a great love for them.
Service and sacrifice are always difficult when we no longer have love for the people we are trying to serve. People are happy to serve in the church when they love it. Married couples are more than happy to sacrifice for one another when there is fresh love in their marriage. Brothers will gladly sacrifice for one another when their hearts are filled with love for one another.
Keith Stuart, a good friend of mine, and pastor of a close church in the US was in dire need of a kidney transplant. After being on dialysis for more than a year and a half, there was still no good candidat found. And then his wife had some routine blood samples given and it turned out she was a perfect match for her husband.
When she discovered that she was a perfect match she didn’t hesitate a moment. Love for her husband led her to give, not just her love, but her kidney as well! Now a part of her lives within her husband. And he lives because of it. That is love!
Jesus warned us that one of the signs of the end times is that the love of many would grow cold. When your love grows cold your heart constricts and becomes smaller. When that happens any kind of sacrifice becomes a major source of pain and angst. But when your love is re-fired by the graces of God it causes your heart to grow and enlarge. Then sacrifice becomes easy and even joyful.
Ask God to enlarge your heart today for your marriage partner, your children (or parents), your church and even your nation. But even more importantly, ask God to increase your love for Him, for His presence, and for His will. In these final days of the fast, God wants to fill you with an overwhelming flood of love and compassion. Your heart will enlarge to the point that will lead you to a level of such great service and sacrifice that you didn’t think you were capable of giving.