Saturday, June 18, 2011
From the heart
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
Matthew 15:18 NKJV
Throughout the word of God we come across scriptures speaking or illustrating the essence of one’s heart. The matters of our heart seems to be of great importance to God, and therefore should be as great of importance to us. Though we hear the famous words in 1 Samuel 16:7 in church and often quote them ourselves “For man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart”, are we really conscious of this throughout life.
The heart is the intellect or soul of a man, it is a person’s character or disposition; meaning the state of mind – the place where one understands or believes. We use this word heart in many phases as an adjective:
“At heart” – in essence or reality
“Lose heart” – to become discouraged
“Take heart” – to become encouraged and more confident
“Take it to heart” – to take something seriously
“With all your heart” – completely and sincerely
It seems the heart of a person depicts their very being, and depending on the content of it; it has the ability to encourage or discourage. As Jesus emphasize in Matthew 15:18, we see that the content of the heart can defile (damage, corrupt or destroy) a person because of its actions, coming from ones speech.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:44-46
In the book of proverbs 23:6-8 we’re told as a man thinks, in his heart so is he. The word think in this chapter is a transitive verb meaning believe, and all though we’re taught that we think within our brain here in proverbs it tells us that one thinks in his heart. While the brain helps us to rationalize things, meaning it helps us to interpret things by given us a clear and logical perspective; yet, it’s not until those thoughts become established (rooted) in the heart, that we create a belief system or “better said”, it’s not until these things become true to our heart (our being) that we’re able to think on them or believe in them, thereby allowing us to think with our heart. Again after Jesus gives the parable about the sower (Matthew 13:3-8) and he explains it’s meaning (Matthew 13:18-23) we find that although something can be sown in one’s heart (the act of rationality in the brain), it’s no until that which has been sown is also rooted (understood or true) in the heart that one is able to believe (think) thereby allowing them to bear fruit and produce the wealth or value of what has been sown. So you see the reflection of one’s heart depicts the abundance or righteousness of how one lives in the eye sight of God. God is watching and what He’s looking at has so much more to do with what appears to evident to man; we can
make our outward appearance appear to be more than what we are, just as we can make our mouth speak something other than what we believe to be true but we cannot hide our heart, our character, our true self from God. When our true self depicts a godly (righteous) appearance then will we become the good ground that Jesus speaks of in the parable of the sower.
The essence of our heart speaks to our character; as believers we should constantly examine the matters of our heart on a daily basis, looking to see if it is equivalent to the word and character of Christ. In our examining of the heart we should understand that our submission to Christ through prayer and the reading of His word is very essential to our daily existence if we are to possess the type of heart God is looking for. Let us not continuously be mislead by the appearance of what seems to be, what we call prosperous because of what we’re able to see on the outer but however; let us be lead by the examining of our hearts making sure we possess the character that God is looking for so that we can become prosperous both in the inner and outward appearance so that when the time of harvest comes we’re able to be gathered into His barn and not burn into the fire (Matthew 13:24-30).
As you start a new year, I encourage you to start the habit of examining your heart; make a conscious effort to see if your heart holds the character of Christ – be honest with yourself! If you need a reference to help you in your examining process start with Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:9. Remember what comes from the heart has the ability to either profit your life or defile your life so make the matters of your heart amount to the wealth of life you desire to live starting today.
Grace and peace.
Heavenly Father we thank you for looking at our hearts and not our outward appearance. We pray that you teach us to examine our hearts so that when you look at us, your pleased with what you see. We pray with ever word that we speak those who hear us will reap the abundance of life and all that is good because of the abundance in our hearts. We ask that each day we commune with you through prayer and the studying of your word, that you would allow your word to become rooted and grounded within us so that we will not become easily distracted or discouraged by the cares of this life but we will stand strong in your word. We're grateful that you've allowed us the ability to choose what type of character we will posses by deciding what we will allow our hearts to focus on. We give you honor and praise for all that you've done and continue to do in Jesus name we pray. Amen