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How's Your Heart?

How’s Your Heart?

      Sounds like a question your doctor might ask, doesn’t it?   Or maybe one that would be asked by a concerned friend or family member after one in has a bout with chest pain or even after heart surgery or something of that nature.  When such a question is asked, the organ of interest is the blood pump; that which must function properly to convey the oxygen rich blood to the various parts of the body and the depleted blood back to the heart and lungs to be revitalized.  

     But in the realm of the spiritual, the “heart” is the mind. Our question is one that also is applicable in this realm. The Bible is full of references to the heart that shows this to be the case.   In fact, the first case of the use of the word “heart” in scripture gives us a clue as to what is meant. As we read of the events leading up to the building of the ark and the destruction of the world by flood, God revealed in Genesis 6:5 that the word “heart” can mean the mind.   This is because we all know we think with our brains (minds) and not the blood pump. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  Man’s heart (mind) was evil, hence his deeds were evil.    The following verse (Genesis 6:6) gives an equally intriguing clue as God, being a Spirit, has no need of a blood pump. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

   John 4:24 is where Jesus spoke of this characteristic of God while He spoke to the woman at the well. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.  While it is important that when we gather before God in worship that we do so in these bodies with the blood pump that makes the body work; we are also told here that we cannot come before Him acceptably unless we do so with the Bible heart, the mind, fully engaged and in accordance to the Word of God.

   Now that we have established that the bible heart is the mind, and that the mind is used to think and reason, how’s your heart?   If you have heart disease of a spiritual nature you will not worship God acceptably, nor will you serve Him. The wicked man of Proverbs 6:12-15 help us see what will happen when one has “heart disease”. A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord. 15Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 

     That sounds like a heart attack of the worst kind to me. But not all heart attacks are fatal. According to a recent study, approximately 90% of people who suffer a heart attack survive. In fact, the vast majority of heart attacks of a physical nature have warning signs weeks or months in advance.   Only when the warning signs are disregarded and ignored does the potential for a physical disaster of this nature occur.   The same thing exists in the spiritual heart (the mind) of man. People are not born evil, nor are wicked thoughts a part of their makeup when they enter this world.   Therefore, wickedness and evil are things that are taught and learned.

       When Jesus was questioned in Matthew 18:1 about who was to be the greatest in the kingdom, notice what He did before He worded His response to the question. And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heavenWhosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.(Matthew 18:2-4)   The Lord called the child because the mind of a child has yet to be tainted with the wickedness of the world.   That child’s heart had not been diseased by the evil and sin that affects the minds of many adults.

     Those who become tainted by the world and the things of the world are in danger, because they have severe “heart disease”.   Their damage will require surgery – spiritual surgery.   The Spirit had Paul write of the spiritual surgery that takes place when one is “born” into the kingdom in baptism in Colossians 2:11-12. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

       But what about those that are part of the kingdom, who may have some spiritual “heart disease”, Christians who have slipped and fallen. They are in danger of having a fatal heart attack spiritually. In 2Peter 2:20 we are told of the heart condition these have and how they will end up if they don’t do what is needed. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.   Take care of your heart – both of them. The physical heart is important and needs to work so our bodies can work. Our spiritual heart (mind) also must work properly so we can serve God and prepare to spend eternity with Him.  

                                                            Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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