A Heart Like Jesus

General Conference

A Heart Like Jesus

President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson shares how praying for a heart like Jesus as we seek to love a broken world

Commentary | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ted N.C. Wilson, president, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Greetings, friends. This coming Sabbath, July 3, we have an opportunity to come together as a worldwide church family in a very special way. Under the guidance of the Revival and Reformation committee, the first Sabbath of each quarter has been set aside as a special day for fasting and prayer. Each of these Sabbaths has a special theme, and the theme for the third quarter is: "Praying for a Heart Like Jesus as We Seek to Love a Broken World."
Nowhere do we see more clearly the love Jesus had for this broken world than in the book of John, chapter 13. Here, as Jesus is nearing the end of His earthly life, and we read in verse 1: "Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."

In spite of their frailties, in spite of their doubts, He loved them to the end—even Judas. Jesus only had love in his heart for His betrayer and did everything He possibly could to save him.

In the beautiful book, The Desire of Ages, this touching scene is revealed: "Before the Passover Judas had met a second time with the priests and scribes, and had closed the contract to deliver Jesus into their hands. Yet he afterward mingled with the disciples as though innocent of any wrong, and interested in the work of preparing for the feast. The disciples knew nothing of the purpose of Judas. Jesus alone could read his secret. Yet He did not expose him. Jesus hungered for his soul. He felt for him such a burden as for Jerusalem when He wept over the doomed city. 

His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? The constraining power of that love was felt by Judas. When the Saviour’s hands were bathing those soiled feet, and wiping them with the towel, the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. But he would not humble himself" (p. 645).

That same love that Jesus had for His betrayer, He longed for His disciples to have for one another, and for us to have as well. He said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34, 35).

This love does not come naturally. With our own human hearts, it is far easier to love those who are good to us, and to hate our enemies. But praise the Lord, as it says in 1 John 3:20: "God is greater than our heart, and knows all things." When we surrender our hearts to Him, He transforms us so we love like He loves--longing for the salvation of all, and loving them "to the end."

Consider the case of Peter, and how God transformed him from an impulsive, impetuous disciple to a man of God who wrote the following:

"For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 'Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth,' who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness--by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Peter 2:20-24).

This is the kind of love to which we are called. This is how to "pray for a heart like Jesus as we seek to love a broken world." 

I encourage you to join the world church this Sabbath, on this special day of fasting and prayer, as we seek to become more like Jesus and to carry out the mission He has given to each of us.

Many inspiring, helpful materials have been prepared to help guide as you participate in this special day. They are available for free download now at: revivalandreformation.org.

May God bless as we come together in prayer and fasting, seeking His will and His transforming love so that we will, indeed, have a heart like Jesus to win the world for Him.

Let us pray. Father in heaven, we live in a broken world. A world that is dying and decaying. A world that desperately needs to know your love. So Lord, help us to have a heart like Jesus did, in sharing love and the message of truth with people. Help us to help others to focus upon the word of God and to understand your great plan of salvation. To understand the three Angels’ Messages are to be proclaimed everywhere, as we come to the end of time. Those messages focus upon Christ and His righteousness and instructions for us. Not to, in any way partake of the Mark of the Beast, but to have the seal of God which is the seventh day Sabbath and the keeping of the seventh day. So Lord, help us to have Love like you do, so that we can share with others as we are connected with heaven. And help to bring wholeness to broken people’s lives. Thank you for hearing us, in Jesus name we ask it, amen.