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Beyond the Heart's Deception

Following Jesus... In preparation for Palm Sunday

As we approach Palm Sunday, we are reminded of the stark contrast between the jubilant cries of "Hosanna" and the chilling shouts of "Crucify him" that echoed within the same crowd. It is a poignant reminder of the fickleness of human hearts, swayed by the tides of emotion and circumstance.

In the midst of this, we are confronted with the truth articulated by Jeremiah: "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" (Jeremiah 17:9). These words cut deep, revealing the inherent tendency within us to be led astray by our own desires and impulses.

In our culture, there is a prevailing sentiment that encourages us to "follow our hearts." Yet, as followers of Christ, we must recognize the fallacy of this notion. The meme depicting Dwight from "The Office" with the caption "Just follow your heart" may draw a chuckle, but its underlying message is far from amusing. It is a falsehood that can lead us down paths of destruction and betrayal, much like the crowd who welcomed Jesus with palm branches only to demand His crucifixion days later.

Instead, we are called to follow Jesus, the One who knows the depths of our hearts and searches them thoroughly. Jesus Himself cautioned us, saying, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander" (Matthew 15:19). It is clear that relying solely on the impulses of our hearts can lead us astray.

As we journey through Holy Week, let us not be swayed by the urgencies of the heart. Let us not be like the crowd whose praise turned to condemnation within days. Instead, let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Let us allow His Word to penetrate our hearts and transform our desires, aligning them with His will.

Today, as we plan for Palm Sunday, let us do so with a humble recognition of our propensity for deceitfulness. Let us approach this holy season with contrite hearts, seeking to follow Jesus wholeheartedly. May we heed His call to repentance and allow His grace to guide us toward righteousness.

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