Monday, May 4, 2015

Heart Condition

Chuckle: Q: What was one of the first things Adam and Eve did after they were kicked out of the of the Garden? A: They really raised Cain.
Quote: "The 'heart' in the biblical sense is not inward life, but the whole man in relation to God." --Dietrich Bonhoeffer
    "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me" (Psalm 51:10 NLT). "May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14 NLT).
When a reader shared with me that these two verses of Scripture are her prayers. I began to reflect anew on God's desires concerning our hearts. I was reminded that the word "heart" in Scripture warrants our study to understand its exact meaning. We know that "Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV).
The word, "heart," does not refer to the vital organ in our chests that pumps blood to keep us alive. No, it means much more than that. The word refers to the very core, or center, of our lives. As your physical heart is the center of your physical body, your spiritual heart is the center of your spiritual life. The heart includes our intellect, will, emotions, passions, appetites, morals, thoughts, spirit -- the totality of our being.
If we see the heart in this light, this Great Commandment from the lips of Jesus becomes more meaningful: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30 NIV). C. Ryder Smith says this commandment could better be rendered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart -- that is all your soul, mind, and strength." When stated like this, we see that the heart includes all these other dimensions of our being.
When we allow God to give us a clean heart, everything about us becomes clean -- our words, our actions, our thoughts. We give everything we are, have, think, and do over to Him. When our hearts are cleansed, our spirit becomes right with God and even our thoughts (meditations) become acceptable to God. When God truly gives us a new heart, our lives are transformed into image of Christ. For this to happen, we can't hold anything back from God's cleansing power.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify (cleanse) us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9 NIV). When we allow God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, everything about us is washed clean. When our hearts are clean, our worship will be acceptable and pleasing to God.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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