Yes, of course these hearts beat. But this is not about pumping blood. This is about life and these hearts are empty of life. These hearts belong to good people. People who work hard and do the right thing and go to church and mow their lawns and try to treat others they way they would like to be treated.
But something of their childhood dreams has eluded them. Perhaps they came to Florida to start over. Perhaps they came to sit in the shade and watch the sun go down. Perhaps they came to fish or to start a new business or a new marriage. But sunsets and fishing tackle haven’t filled their empty hearts. Church membership and a good job still leaves a hole in their heart where the joy leaks out. The new marriage or new business or the old fantasies of childhood have filled their lives with activity but have failed to make them happy. Think of it! Within 30-40 minutes of your church, there are unnumbered empty hearts.
“What are his vital signs?” asks the paramedic over an unconscious man. Meaning, “How alive is he?” There are vital signs other than pulse and respiration rates. There is life —life itself, a spark in the eyes, a bubbling laugh, a sigh of satisfaction, the quick step of a man on a mission. These cannot be measured on medical instruments. Most people have nothing in their lives. They may be on the street, obvious in their poverty, or they may be living in the seaside mansion hiding their poverty behind wealth.
“Life does not consist in the things a man possesses.” Jesus said.
But “things, things, and more things” form the substance we try to use to fill our lives. But the hole found in empty hearts is in the empty lives too. The stuff won’t stay. It keeps draining out and leaving the life empty. Just think, unnumbered lives have just trudged through another day—hoping for the weekend and maybe some more stuff.
Meanwhile, at church, people stand and sing praises to their King—scores of them, or hundreds, or a thousand or more gathered at the appointed hour to sing and serve and seize life from their Savior. Their lives are brimming with the substance of the King’s domain—righteous, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Each has a calling—a function in life that fills him to overflowing and makes his life count for something. These hearts are full of gratitude, of praise, of adoration, of worship. Peace is found there and hope.
Yet, scattered between these worshipers, all around the edges and way up in the balcony are places where no one has put down a Bible or purse or a coat. No one stands there worshiping. The Word comes to these seats looking for a heart to invade but falls on fabric instead, the sound of the Words of Life dissipates in a cushion. Empty seats—so many spaces for someone to fill; some empty-hearted servant of the Lord who longs to be filled with the Spirit of God or some empty-lived servant of hell who never knew there was salvation.
- Empty hearts—tradition and lack of knowledge has robbed them of joy—a tragedy.
- Empty lives—sin has beaten the breath from their souls—a crime against God and man.
- Empty places—a gift from God wasted—a catastrophe.
Lord, help us. Show us how to fill the empty places. Show us how to sense the empty heart and fill it with your Sprit. Teach us to recognize the empty life and bring it to you. Lord,countless empty souls are rushing to hell as fast as they can all around us. They are shooting each other and jumping off bridges. They medicate each other with contraband and betray their vows in little, musty rooms. They roam our streets like scavengers unable to get their fill and they stalk the halls of business like predators unable to get enough.
Lord, You are what they are looking for! Please, Lord, help us fill these empty places.
Luke 12:15 NIV
Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
John 10:10 NIV
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 7:37-39 NKJV
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Lord Jesus, let my heart be broken for the lost. Help me feel the pain in Your heart when we you such lost souls here, where I live. Sensitize my soul to their emptiness. Let the very sigh of empty places in our church disturb me, strike me to the heart. Show me how to fill our empty places. Show me how to fill the empty lives all around me, beginning with mine. Help me reach out to the empty hearts within my reach. I want to be ready with the word of witness, the compassionate touch in Your name, and the loving gesture at Your command. Let the spring of Living Water in me flow so strong that those who know me best will also know that Your life flows through me. For Souls, Lord for Souls! Amen.
People Need the Lord
Words and Music: Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh
1. Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?
On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He’s the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?
We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing Life with one who’s lost?
Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved