WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR HEART?
"And not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart, and whose spirit was not faithful to God."
Years ago I heard about a man who went into the hospital with a bad heart. The doctors did all they could but feared any jolt to his system could be more than his weakened heart could handle. The day after he entered the ICU, his wife got word that her husband had won the lottery--$5 million dollars! Although she was elated, she worried that this good news might cause him to go into cardiac arrest. She asked her pastor to tactfully relay the news to her husband, Jim.
The pastor entered the hospital room and carefully and prayerfully broached the subject. “Jim, I know you play the lottery, and I’m just curious. What would you do if you happened to win $5 million dollars?” Jim said, “Pastor, I’d gladly give it all to the church.” Upon hearing this reply, the pastor had a heart attack and died on the spot.
Without question, the most important organ in the human body is the heart. (Some say the brain is the most important, but people can be alive and brain dead; they cannot be alive and heart dead.) The heart pumps the life-giving blood throughout the circulatory system. If the pump quits pumping, the body will die very quickly. Thus, a lot is said today about having a “heart-healthy” diet in order to live a long and strong life.
THE INNER HEART
The Bible has a lot to say about the heart of man. When God refers to the heart, He is not talking about the organ that pumps the blood. Rather, He is speaking of the innermost part of a human being. The core of who you are is designated in the term “heart.” God is looking for those “whose heart is completely His” (2 Chronicles 16:9). David was called a man after God’s own heart because he loved God with all he had, and he was totally sold out and surrendered to the Lord.
Now, if God is looking “to and fro throughout the earth” for those who have a heart for him, we would have to conclude that the heart of man is extremely important to God. The Bible warns us not to let our hearts get “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (see Hebrews 3:13, 15). So, how do you “prepare” your heart as Psalm 78:8 admonishes?
1. Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you any hidden areas of pride, lust, bitterness, jealousy, unbelief, and the like that may be lurking in the shadows.
2. Ask God to soften your heart in order to make it good soil so that the seed of the Word can grow thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and even a hundredfold.
3. Ask God to make you a person after His own heart so that the things that break His heart would break yours, and the things that delight His heart would delight yours.
ALL ABOUT THE HEART
The Bible is crystal clear that a true relationship with God is a matter of the heart. Head knowledge never saved anyone. The devil and his demons have head knowledge of Jesus—“The demons also believe, and shudder” (James 2:19)—but are still going to hell. Heart knowledge is what makes the difference! When a person humbles his heart and believes in his heart concerning the Christ (Romans 10:9), that person is saved.
Listen, all religion is external. It is a “grit your teeth” endeavor to forcibly try to clean the outside of the cup while the inside remains filthy. The Pharisees had religion in spades, and Jesus hated it! Christianity isn’t external but internal. Jesus comes into your life to cleanse you and change you from the inside out.
So … is your heart right before God today? Is Jesus ruling and reigning in your heart? Is all sin confessed and under His blood? Are you letting the truth of His Word soften your heart day by day? If not, start now. Be a person who takes seriously the Lord’s warning to “prepare your heart.” Jesus is coming soon, and preparation for His coming is critical.
Pastor Jeff Schreve
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear from you and see how God is working in your life. Email me at [email protected].
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
Trouble! We all face troubles and problems on a daily basis. But sometimes trouble reaches a fever pitch, and we literally don't know what to do...but God does. In this encouraging series Pastor Jeff Schreve shares wonderful encouragement from God's Word to help see you through the darkest of storms to the light the Lord has for each of us.