"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding; in all they ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
"That if thou shalt confess with they mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." - Romans 10:9 KJV
"Keep thy heart with all diligence ; for out of it are the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23
"The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?"
The Bible has much to say about the heart of man and the heart of God as can be evidenced from the scriptures quoted above. The heart of man is said to be deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and yet when the touch of God changes the heart of stone to a heart of flesh man suddenly becomes radically different because the center of his love and affections that controls all he thinks, says and does is radically changed. Amazingly enough, even this change doesn't totally alter the course of our thoughts, words or actions because we are free to choose between good and evil no matter what changes happen to our hearts. Temptation doesn't cease for the Christian but rather intensifies because the devil despises good and those who are changed from the inside represent a threat to him and freedom to those who are in his deadly grip. If a Christian becomes too godly and seeks to live a holy life wholly dedicated to God and his fellow man he will find the road increasingly difficult because Satan will seek every device possible to keep him from that goal and even bring him back into the fold if that is possible. In his heart, the Christian will long to serve the Lord fully and without compromise, but the temptations sometimes overtake him or her and the heart become less fervent for a season. Some yielding to temptation is short lived, but sometimes the unrelenting temptations overwhelm us and we find it difficult to return to where we began. It is all a matter of the heart. We either believe in God's goodness and mercy to forgive us so we can go on or we begin to doubt him and become crippled in our walk with God.
On the other hand God's heart is a heart of love; the love of a father for his children, and he is faithful and ready to forgive us our failures and empower us to go on. Unlike a human father, God never deserts his children, provides for their "needs" without fail, chastises them when they need it, embraces them in times of suffering, and finally brings them home forever to enjoy his presence and eternal rest. Our hearts would do well to meditate on his heart much more and our failures far less than we do.
1 Chronicles 16:29 - Worship the Lord
in the beauty of holiness.
Issues of the Heart
Psalms 14:1 - "The fool hath said IN HIS HEART, there is no God..." This is a matter of the heart! Notice it doesn't say "in his mind," but in his heart! The strongest proponents of this particular issue of the heart are atheists who declare boldly and openly that there is no God, and yet present no proof for their contention. They further insist that those who are Christians prove there is a God and somehow believe the burden of proof lies with Christians, or at least religious people, to prove God exists. Their argument, for the most part, lies with fundamentalists or what they call "fundies." The interesting thing to me about this issue is that from the beginning of time to this present day the number of people who believe in God is an overwhelming majority and always has been, and all those people believe in a god but not necessarily the same god. The atheist must of necessity put aside all the incredible testimonies of people who have interacted with God, all the recorded miracles, and above all the amazing beginnings of Christianity and how it has withstood all the challenges to it since Christ first walked the earth. They must explain how the vast multitudes in every nation on earth have held fast to a god century after century, and how they came to be the only ones on planet earth who have finally found out that everyone has believed in vain all these centuries in a God who doesn't exist. According to the Bible verse quoted above, atheist are fools! I didn't write that and it isn't something made up by a man or some men. When Christians declare that they have a relationship with a God they can communicate with, the atheist is all too ready to declare this relationship to be a mental thing that has no basis in reality. This is not surprising when we consider that their whole world revolves around their supposed superior intellect. The only religion that I believe would remotely work for them would be the cult of Christian Science which teaches that everything is mind, and when we die, we are all absorbed into this one universal mind. This is a deduction, and not a slam against atheism. There is a serious problem with what scripture says concerning this issue and the rejection of God by those who subscribe to atheism. Educated Christians know that the teachings of the scriptures make it clear that God inspired men to write what he wanted written and used their minds, personalities and everything about them to create his word to mankind. The phrase "by inspiration of God" in 11 Timothy 3:16 - is theopneustis in the Greek language and means that the scripture is God breathed. Look it up. It states that "ALL" scripture is given by inspiration of God. Let's begin to examine some heart issues.
Romans 1:18-20 - "For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; BECAUSE THAT WHICH MAY BE KNOWN OF GOD IS MANIFEST IN THEM; for God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are CLEARLY SEEN, being understood BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, even his eternal power and Godhead, SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE." To break this down to easily understandable terms; God's wrath is revealed against ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who despise truth, because he has made himself known to them and put the knowledge of himself in them and shown himself to them. Further these things are clearly seen by men or the things that are made which refers to men, and the unbeliever has no excuse. God has revealed himself in so many ways that there is no excuse to reject his existence. First he created the worlds out of nothing and hung them in space. Then somewhere in eternity he created the earth and populated it and created his finest masterpiece on earth which was man and woman and gave them creative power and the ability to multiply and populate the earth. He put these created beings in charge of earth and everything on it, and man sinned in return for this gracious gift of life and all God offered. Mankind has been sinning ever since, and every person who has ever lived on this planet has made his or her own decision to choose good or evil. Many have died choosing evil and in doing so have chosen eternal damnation because they refused to believe in God and his way to live. It's always a matter of the heart. Yes, the tempter comes to entice us to rebel against what God has established as good for us, but if our hearts weren't wicked to begin with there would be no temptation possible. "For from within, OUT OF THE HEART OF MEN, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; ALL these evil things come from within and defile the man." - Mark 7:21-23 So it is true, of necessity, that denying the existence of God must be viewed as wickedness according to the scriptures, and that this wickedness come from the heart.
Psalms 19:1-3 - "The Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge; THERE IS NO SPEECH OR LANGUAGE WHERE THEIR VOICE IS NOT HEARD." - Here then is God's revelation of himself to men in the skies above and the universe that we can now observe as far out as fifteen billion light years. The Heavens are telling all who will listen that God's glory is revealed for us to see in his creation! The firmament above us with the myriad of colors and clouds shouts out to us that God is the creator! Every day, morning through evening, we can see the incredible beauty all around us in sunrises and sunsets, oceans, flowers, birds and animals, and so much more and especially in the intricate way man has been made. Creation shouts out loud to speak of its creator for those who will not harden themselves to simple truth! Then the Bible tells us that this language is understood everywhere on earth! There is no speech or language where the voice of God's creation doesn't cry out for us to acknowledge him! He made it possible for the most simple and the most complicated mind to see him, and yet man in his finite intellect passes this off as if it were nothing and goes on in his deplorable self-willed ignorance and dies without hope. It is a travesty of the worst kind! I would compare it to someone being hit in the head by a heavy safe falling from the top of the empire state building and denying that he was ever hit at all and it was nothing but a light tap or that he was dead. We who have been given some little ability to reflect the great creator have somehow begun to believe that we are so creative and so independent that we don't want or need this God, and therefore since we believe we don't need him he must not exist. This too is an issue of the heart. The mind can perceive what the heart will not believe and so men choose IN THEIR HEART to harden themselves against God. Foolish, finite beings deeming themselves to be wiser and more powerful than the eternal, infinite God of the universe! How terribly tragic!
Another Vitally Important Issue of the Heart
Matthew 6:19-21 - "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where your treasure is; THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO." - How many today and throughout history have thown away their heritage for the things of this life? What is the allurement of money, gold, cars, houses, and other fine things that a person will totally disregard their spiritual estate and toss it away without a thought for temporary things? Below is a little comparison I created that will address this heart issue. This life is only temporary, and everything man creates will rust, rot or die. Only the things of God will last forever!
THE VERY BEST
Matthew 16:24-26 – “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it, and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake will find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
The Very Best You Could Have On Earth Without Christ
Perfect health for you and everyone in your family. The finest home available, the finest car available, the finest furniture and other household items available, the finest food and drinks available, the job or business perfectly suited to you. and sufficient leisure time to do all that you desire to do. You could have the finest clothing available, the finest associations with the finest people you could meet on this planet, every luxury you and yours could want and only the very best of those, perfect enjoyment of all the arts and sciences, and the finest reading and viewing materials available to suit your taste. You would have perfect weather for every occasion, total harmony with everyone and the total absence of conflict your entire life, the finest, best-behaved, best of groomed pets that have perfect health and the finest schooling available. You would have children and grandchildren who excel in everything physical, mental, social and moral, and anything else you could ever ask for, wish for or believe could ever bring you happiness and even a perfect religion that asks nothing of you but offers everything to you.
The Eternal Reward of The Life Shown Above
Eternal darkness, never to know God’s love. Always to know and feel God’s wrath. Unceasing memories of rejecting Christ’s sacrifice for you. You would experience physical pain beyond description, and mental despair beyond imagination. The company of multitudes of damned souls or total absence of any company forever. The company of screaming demons forever. You would have unceasing terror, heat defying all your understanding in unquenchable fire, worms gnawing forever at indestructible bodies. Never ending hate and the total absence of love. You would hear the curses of those who blame everyone but themselves for being there, unrelenting heat but no liquid of any kind for relief and no way of escape forever!
The Very Best You Could Have On Earth With Christ
You’d have life in Christ with a steadfast hope and peace every day. The car you NEED. The house you NEED. The health you NEED. The job or ministry you NEED. The furniture you NEED. The leisure time you NEED. The food and drink you NEED. The clothing you NEED. The weather you NEED. The friends and the family you NEED. The companions you NEED. The schooling you NEED. The strength you NEED. The love you NEED. All you NEED. Philippians 4:19.
The Eternal Reward Of The Life Shown Above
You’d experience eternal life in the presence of God and his holy angels. You would have the company of the saints of all ages. You would always know God’s love, joy and peace. There would be no sickness, pain, sorrow, or dying. Your body would be indestructible and incorruptible. You’d have a mansion and crowns. Heavenly music, perfect climatic conditions. You would rejoice in an ever-increasing knowledge of God, yet never fully knowing all there is to know about him. You would experience an overwhelming sense of love from every resident of Heaven and reunion with loved ones that died in Christ. You would have the ability to offer perfect praise and worship to God. Life on a new earth after the polluted planet we live on is destroyed by fire. You would live under a new Heaven. Pleasures beyond our wildest dreams or power to comprehend would be yours. Above all, you would see our wonderful Redeemer and glory in his presence and power forever and ever.
C. R. Lord
Where is your heart reader? Perhaps you say you are a Christian, but what if your Christianity were put to a severe test. What if the Lord told you to give up your job, your beautiful home, your expensive (or not so expensive) car and cut ties with America to live forever overseas reaching out to the lost and dying third world countries. Would you be ready to do that? If you even cringed a little at the thought, your heart is not sold out to the things of God but partially or totally hanging on to the things of this life and your love of God is lessened by the importance you place on those things. What if God asked you to leave you family and go overseas for extended periods of time. Would you? For me it is not so hard because I am 70 years of age, have lived a full and blessed life and desire to reach the lost no matter where God would send me. For many of you it would be a difficult decision. For all of us, we had better know that God is calling us to whatever we believe he is calling us to because his will should reign supreme in our lives as his children, and we should be ready to do that will no matter what it entails. God will not ask of us what he knows we cannot give and what is not best for us and others concerned. I know of one great minister who left his wife and daughters to reach the lost in China, India and Africa and who died in the mission field. He trusted God to take care of his family, and not only did God do that but God put all four daughters through college and called all of them to the mission field and they went. His name was C. T. Studd, and his testimony is something that every Christian who longs to please God should read. He was a great man of faith from the very beginning of his life in Christ at the age of 24 until the day he died. When God called him he gave up everything he had, and he was wealthy and a record holding, champion Cricket player too. He walked down to the docks with some clothing in a suitcase and said; "God, you called me to go to China, and now I need you to provide the fare since I have given everything for you." A man stepped out of the dark with an envelope and gave it to him, and that envelope contained the exact fare to China. C. T. Studd lived that way from that point on, never asking anything of anyone but God. Do we think our faith is too small to be like him? God gave him that faith and he can give it to any of us if we are willing.
"Create in me a clean heart O' God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalms 51:10
There is one more issue: Matthew 12:34 - "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Matthew 15:18-19 But those things that proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile the man; For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies..."
I am sure we could add an almost innumerable list to what is in this one spoken by the Lord Jesus, but it is clear that our mouth will speak what is in our heart. This ties in with judging. When someone is cursing in Jesus' name or using God's name in vain, we can judge correctly that they do not love God and they are not right with God. Continuing on the same line with the issues in the verses above we can say that a person involved in sexual immorality or adultery and fornication isn't right with God as well and be correct. So it is with drunken people or those who are high on drugs; they are not right with God. So words and actions speak volumes about a person who lives in defiance of the laws of God, and then judging them from scripture is what the Bible calls righteous judgment.
We should listen to what comes out of our own mouths and the mouths of others. Much is revealed in what we say and how
we say it. It just might help all of us to be more merciful to everyone if we would listen carefully to what is being said.
C R Lord, Webmaster