Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

The Lord Jesus in Our Hearts

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In the beginning, human beings rejected God's rules and ran their lives their own way. The result was to be condemned by God and face death and judgment. But because of God's great love and generosity, He did not want to leave us to suffer the consequence of our foolish rebellion. So to save us, God sent His only Son into our world to become a human being just like us, with a heart, body and soul. Jesus Christ lived on earth and made His body submit to God, to love and care for others and also to suffer for our sake.

Imagine your heart is a room and this room is filled with self confidence (that you can do anything), self ego (that everything is under control), and lots of self-knowledge. Sooner or later, you will start to loose control and your problems will get heavier to handle on your own and your heart will start to be fill with darkness.

Now imagine your heart is an empty room that God's spirit can come and fill it up with love, peace, wisdom, forgiveness...Think how much light will be in this room. Not only will you feel it, but also everyone around you will come to God through you.

"He who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:8).

It is wonderful to know that God loves all His children the same, for we all are His children and our bodies are formed by His own hand; our spirits are part of His own breath. God poured out the same love and spirit on all His children, like living water. And if we are receptive to him and open to His will, the living water will not only quench our thirst, but also flows out to others around us. On the other hand, if our heart is filled with other things away from God, only a few drops are able to come in.

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).

Unless we rely on the Holy Spirit in all we do, our efforts will be ineffective; like a beautiful car with no engine, it will look great but it certainly would not run. For the Holy Spirit will draw people to the Lord and bring the fruit of the spirit (holiness, righteousness, obedience...etc.) and make us become sensitive to Christ's work and then we begin to see things from a divine perspective. It will remind us of our complete dependence on Christ and show us how we can deal with our daily troubles and turn them into joy.

"Put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:24).

God's love never changes even when we are away from him. But God will refuse to leave us that way. He wants to change our hearts to have a new life that stretches past death and into forever, to have a better relationship with Him. And God wants to bless us like he blessed Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Peter...etc.

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the son can do nothing of himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the son also does in like manner'" (John 5:19).

Jesus Christ's heart was spiritual and His life reflected His love and intimate relationship with the Father. Jesus also had a great heart filled with compassion towards all people. God appointed Jesus Christ as mediator to show us how to live the way God intended from the beginning and to be our Savior.

St. Paul said, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1).

If we want to be like Jesus Christ and imitate Him in our life, we need first to know all about Him. Then we must pray that God would grant us the heart to allow us to come close to Him and be an effective member of His body.

What can we learn from the heart of Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ's Relationship With God

  • Jesus had clear understanding of the Holy Bible: From a young age, Jesus learned the word of God by heart. He was sitting in the temple court asking questions, listening, and also providing insights that were beyond the abilities of the professional scholars (Luke 11:40-49).

Why we need to read the Holy Bible?

  • The Holy Bible tells us about how the world came into existence.
  • The Holy Bible tells us about the true origin and nature of man.
  • The Holy Bible is the singular written will of God for man.
  • The Holy Bible is the only book that tells us of God's eternal plan.
  • The Holy Bible tells us about Jesus Christ and His relationship to God, His incarnation, and His death on the cross for mankind and His resurrection.
  • The Holy Bible tells us about God's eternal kingdom, the church.
  • The Holy Bible is the only divine source that tells us that within God's eternal kingdom there is salvation, forgiveness of sins, and hope for eternal life in the presence of God.
  • The Holy Bible tells us how we should live as members of God's kingdom.
  • The Holy Bible tells us of man's eternal destiny.


  • The Holy Bible helps to awaken our spirit.
  • The Holy Bible allows us to feed and nourish the spirit that is inside of us.
  • The Holy Bible is overflowing with God's goodness.
  • The Holy Bible moves our soul toward heaven.
  • The Holy Bible makes us live the life of thanksgiving.
  • The Holy Bible makes a person full of wisdom and understanding.
  • The Holy Bible fill's your heart with joy and gladness.
  • The Holy Bible strengthens our relationship with God.

How we read the Holy Bible?

  • Pray before reading the Holy Bible for God to grant you understanding and wisdom and help you keep your mind on His words.
  • Read the Holy Bible when you are alert.
  • Find a quiet place that allows you privacy and less distractions.
  • Feed your spirit with God's word.
  • Study the Holy Bible a little at a time - value quality over length.
  • Read until a verse hits you, then stop and meditate.
  • Those who seek to plant the word in their hearts and desire to be changed meditate only on the word of God.
  • Write the verse in a notebook.
  • Reflect on the verse during the day.
  • Use it in your life – put it into practice.
  • Find out what God intends for your life.
  • Make a habit every day to read the Holy Bible and it will bring you closer and closer to God.

After Jesus' baptism in the river, He immediately followed it by the forty days and forty nights of fasting in the desert. Fasting is a spiritual discipline that is taught in the Holy Bible:

  • Moses fasted before he received the ten commandments (Exodus 34:28).
  • Daniel fasted in order to make request and to receive God's answer and guidance (Daniel 9:3).
  • Nehemiah fasted before starting to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:4).
  • Jesus fasted for the purpose of being tested by the devil; in His preparation of His ministry (Luke 4:2).

What is the purpose of fasting?

  • Develop self-control (emotions, passions, and desires)
  • Develop self-discipline (be a better Christian)
  • Strengthens the spirit
  • Signifies the rejection of the world
  • Purify our hearts (to be pleasing to God)
  • Gain love of communion with God
  • Preparation for spiritual celebration (Resurrection, Nativity)
  • Helps us to be more capable of loving others
  • Prepares us for God's answer to our prayer

What does the temptation of Christ teach us?

Arm and defend ourselves from temptation with God's word by knowing scripture well enough and applying it in every circumstance in your life to help you reject doubt and self-reliance. For when men are weak in spirit, they cannot resist and prevent wrong.

Jesus Christ loved his Father and communicated with him often. Both traditional prayer and spontaneous prayer had a place in Jesus' prayer life. Jesus went off by Himself to pray and also prayed in front of the crowd. Jesus

  • Prayed to praise and rejoice God (Luke 10:21)
  • Prayed with sorrow and anguish (Luke 22:41-42)
  • Prayed for God to guide Him and let Him act according to God's will (Mark 1:35)
  • Prayed before He chose His disciples (Luke 6:12-13)
  • Prayed a prayer of thanksgiving (Mark 14:22)
  • Prayed before healing or raising the dead (Mark 7:34; John 11:41)
  • Prayed to intercede for his disciples (John 17:15)
  • Prayed for Peter (Luke 22:31-32)
  • Prayed for His disciples (John 17:6-19)
  • Prayed for all believers (John 17:20-26)
  • Taught His followers how to pray (Matthew 6:5-15)
  • Prayed during the last supper (Mark 14:26)
  • Prayed with agony in Gethsemane before crucifixion (Mark 14:32-35)
  • Prayed on the cross (Matthew 27:46)

What do we learn about prayers?

  • Prayer is a conversation between Our Father in heaven and us; for God loves to communicate with us.
  • Prayer will allow us to build a relationship with God.
  • God already knows our thoughts and our hearts, but talking to God helps us to express our desires and to release our burdens.
  • We should be in an attitude of prayer at all time (at work, at home, driving...etc.) but also at special times.
  • We should pray in private but also in public worship.
  • We should designate a quiet place without distraction to pray and hear God speak to us in return.
  • We should pray without ceasing - always ready to pray at any moment.
  • We should trust that God will answer our prayers according to His word - Elijah prayed to God and it did not rain for three years and he prayed again and it rained (1 Kings 17:1; 18:41).
  • God does not necessarily give what we ask for, but what is best for everyone involved.

What should we pray about?

  • We praise God's characters and work
  • We pray on behalf of others
  • We give thanks always for all things we received
  • We ask for forgiveness of sins
  • We ask God to help us resist temptation
  • We ask for good health
  • We ask for the necessities of life
  • We ask God to grant us wisdom and understanding for His will in our life
  • We ask God to help us in our service

Jesus Christ in Relationship With Others

Jesus' life on earth reflected what God meant by being kind and loving to one another. Jesus was full of kindness and compassion to all people through the Bible:

  • Jesus shared the good news that he was Christ with a woman of Samaria (John 4:7-29)
  • Jesus allowed a woman of ill reputation to wash his feet with her tears of repentance (Luke 7: 36-39)
  • Jesus promised the thief on the cross that he will be with Jesus in paradise (Luke 23:43)
  • Jesus did not hesitate to touch and heal the people with leprosy (Mark 1:40-41)
  • Jesus defended and showed mercy for the poor and the oppressed (Luke 14:12-15)

Builds bridges instead of walls
Finds a way to heal instead of hurt
It mellows the hardness and warms the coldness
Is a good way of encouraging others instead of disappointing

One can be kind when...

  • He shows friendship (1 Samuel 20:17)
  • He is merciful toward his enemies (2 Samuel 9:7)
  • He has compassion (2 Corinthians 2:5-8)
  • He is hospitable (Act 28:2)
  • He is forgiving (Ephesians 4:32)
  • He shares another's burdens (Colossians 3:13)
  • He sees others needs (1 Thessalonians 4:18)

How to be a kind person?

  • Ask God to help you develop the desire to be kind
  • Study scripture, meditate on them, and memorize them
  • Practice the presence of God through out the day
  • Jesus fasted before he started his ministry
  • Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed
  • Ask God for help and guidance in every circumstance
  • Practice spiritual disciplines in your life
  • Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you
  • Have your heart fixed on Jesus' teaching

Jesus loved and accepted everyone, which inspired many to change their life for the better:

  • Tax collector named Levi (Luke 5:27)
  • Woman caught in adultery (John 8:4-11)
  • Ordinary people that Jesus forgave their sins
    • Paralyzed man (Luke 5:18-20)
    • A woman with issue is healed (Mark 5:25-34)
    • Christ heals the blind man (John 9:1-38)
  • Although Jesus knew His disciples' thoughts and what they were about to do after His arrest, He poured water into a basin and washed the disciples' feet (John 13:20).
  • When Jesus was on the cross, He asked His father on behalf of us, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do" (Luke 23:34).

So many times we get so upset with others and we forget to turn our problems to God and ask Him to help us through it. As Christians we are told to love and forgive everyone even our enemies, and leave our problems to God to deal with them. Forgiveness is intended to benefit both parties:

  • Win over the person
  • Restore our relationship with him
  • Bring us closer to God

"I can do anything and all things through Christ who strength me" (Philippians 4:13).

God will come near to the truly humble: one of the greatest promises in the Holy Bible. Who is God seeking?

  • One who walks with gentleness, submission, without rebellion, tenderhearted, and his anger is under control.
  • One who loves with patience and is not short tempered.
  • One who learns God's word, praises him, prays to him, and has fellowship with him.
  • One who is always giving thanks for all things.
  • One who pray without ceasing, which means to turn to God whenever he needs God.

For...It is up to us to

  • Give ourselves to God and allow the power of the spirit to work in us.
  • Change our attitude toward others and not be judgmental or have a negative attitude.
  • Recognize Sin that disrupts our relationship with God; and damage the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
  • Return the insult with blessing, return bitterness with prayer.
  • Hold on to God to receive every blessing heaven can offer.

Finally, we need to recognize that our job is to bring God to our own life and to others (his spirit, his love, his comfort and his wisdom). Also, knowing that we are not the ones who are to accomplish this great work. Through us, God wants to show people His glory and His desire to enter their life.

So... pray and
Ask God to enlarge your heart
Ask Him to protect you from the enemies
Ask Him to reveal to you His purpose in your life
Ask Him to pour down His Holy Spirit like living water
Ask Him to grant you knowledge and understanding of His words
And when you lose all courage...Recognize someone who is greater than you is working everything out and remember that God is just a prayer away

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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