31 July 2008

The Importance of the Heart – 10.5.07

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening (whichever applies)!

The word "heart" or another form thereof appears some 884 times in the Bible. I've mainly searched the books of Psalms and Proverbs to see the different kinds of hearts that God mentions/describes in His word and would like to lay out what I've found over the course of the next few weeks. But before we jump in and look at that, I think it's important for us to understand the importance of what I'd like to discuss.

In his 1828 dictionary, our good friend Noah Webster defines heart as "the seat of the affections, passions, and will."

Now consider the words of Proverbs 4:23 – Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. According to God's word, the course we take and the decisions we make are the result of what's in our heart. What we do or don't do in this life is determined by what we care about. What we talk about, what we think about, what we involve ourselves in – all reveal what's really in our heart.

This is why the first and great commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37). If God is the ultimate object of our affection and our passion, we'll have no problem living in accordance with His will (see Jesus' statement in John 14:15).

Now -- look at Psalm 37:4. The Bible says, Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Many have interpreted this passage as "the way to get what I want is to be happy about God." But that's not the statement made here.

Delight is defined as that which gives a high degree of satisfaction, pleasure, and enjoyment. The promise here – and it's a great promise – is that if our satisfaction, pleasure, and enjoyment comes from God and our relationship to Him, then He will put it in me to do what's right. Philippians 2:13 says it this way: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. The promise is that those who truly love God with all their heart will receive the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to do His will. The result will be two-fold (Revelation 4:11).

  1. God's pleasure

  2. A high degree of personal satisfaction, pleasure, and enjoyment received from accomplish our purpose

It's just up to us to make a choice. What do we care about? What's important? Is God worthy of our love?

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