The Heart of Man Part 1

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

Agf-blanco.com  6pm M-F AM630KSLR

      I encourage you to read Mt 12:33-37 carefully.  Notice in particular what Jesus says in vs. 35 “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”  We see a good man has a heart full of good treasure and brings forth good things.  An evil man has a heart full of evil treasure and brings forth evil things. A good tree bears good fruit – and bad tree bears bad fruit (vs. 33).  So, in general, there are two types of hearts: Good and Evil. Some have a good heart, and some an evil heart.  You will know which one by their fruit (Mt 7:15-20).

      The English word “Heart” is found 833 times in Bible (KJV).  The Hebrew word for heart is  le^b, and means: inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding; inner part, midst; midst (of things); heart (of man); soul; mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory; inclination, resolution, determination (of will); conscience; heart (of moral character); as seat of appetites; as seat of emotions and passions; as seat of courage.  The Greek word is kardia (like “cardio”), and has the same basic definition as the Hebrew word.

            As you can see, the definition of heart is so broad, it will be difficult to isolate and nail down specifically.  However, over the next several weeks, we will at least get a grasp of the general usage of the word in the Bible.  Like the Trinity, some things in the Bible are beyond our ability to fully comprehend; but nevertheless, they are undeniable truth.  Therefore, we accept them – whether or not we fully comprehend them yet. 

            We learn from Gen. 6:5 that man is not basically good, and hasn‘t been since the fall (Jesus being the only exception).  Man is inherently evil.  His heart is full of evil and madness (Ecc 9:3).  Men want to walk after the imagination (stubbornness, unyielding) of their evil hearts (Jer 3:17, 7:24, 11:8, 16:12, 18:12).  World history proves this fairly easily.  We also see from this verse (6:5), that the heart has thoughts (see also Prv 23:7).  This is why you can “think” two different things at once.  For instance, to be saved, we must believe on Jesus from our heart (Rom 10:9-10), not just our mind. 

            From where proceeds every kind of sin and evil that defiles a man? From out of the heart of man (Mk 7:20-23).  A stiff-necked heart resists God and doesn’t believe Him (Act 7:51, Heb 3:12).  God hates a heart that devises wicked imaginations (Prv 6:16-18).  A wicked heart and burning lips are worthless (Prv 26:23). The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9).  Again, it’s quite obvious from Scripture that man is not “basically good” at heart, nor just a victim of his environment.  Man has a heart problem that only God can fix.

            Man has a heart of stone, and needs a heart of flesh (Ezk 36:26, Mt 13:15).  This is a gift of God’s grace we must receive through faith.  If you hear His voice, do not (further) harden your heart.  If you feel any drawing of God’s Spirit, you had better yield to it – for you may not ever feel it again.

            A good and honest heart wants to hear God’s Word; it wants to obey God’s Word; and patiently brings forth (good) fruit (Lk 8:15).  Though you may fail at times, a good heart desires to please God and obey Him at all times.  God is (continually) good to those of a clean heart (Ps 73:1).  The pure in heart are blessed, and will see God (Mt 5:8).  1Ti 1:5 says, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good (pure – 3:9) conscience, and of faith unfeigned (sincere, pure)”.  True Christianity is not just information; it’s information for transformation (Rom 12:1-2).  The “end of the commandment” means the sum of all these things.  What is this Bible reading, Bible study, listening to sermons, going to seminars, listening to Christian radio, reading Christian books, etc.; supposed to be for?  To just know a lot?  No. It’s to become more like Jesus.  It is to result in “Pure love, from a pure heart, having a pure conscience and a pure faith (1Tim 1:5).”

            Having been saved and baptized, we are to draw near to God with a pure heart (Heb 10:22).  Those with a pure heart love the brethren fervently (passionately- 1Pt 1:22).  How is your love walk?  Those that call on the Lord out of a pure heart flee youthful lusts, and follow righteousness, faith, charity and peace (2Tim 2:22). 

            How to maintain a good heart: 1. Hide God’s Word in it. Read the Bible everyday (Ps 119:11). 2. Seek God.  Pray everyday.  Pray without ceasing,  Pray for an hour in your closet. Pray the Psalms (Ps 119:2). 3. Praise and worship everyday (Ps 86:12).  These seem very simple and practical – and they are; but do we actually do them?  Selah.

The Heart of Man Part 2

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com  6 pm M-F AM630KSLR

            Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  (6)  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  (7)  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.”  This week, we will continue our series on the heart of man.  We saw last week, that the word heart is used 833 times in the Bible; that it had many various definitions; and that, generally speaking, there are two kinds of hearts in the Bible – a good heart and an evil heart.  Let’s look into our opening passage of Scripture more thoroughly.

            “Trust (be confident, sure and bold) in The Lord with all of your heart, and lean not (support one’s self) on your own understanding.”  We are not to trust in ourselves; in our own wisdom, our own understanding, our own heart.  Prv 23:4 says, “ … cease from thine own wisdom.”.   We are to trust in the Lord.  Prv 28:26  says, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”  Truly wise people trust in God, and trust Him and His Word above their own thoughts and feelings. Why? Because God’s Word is truth; it is eternal; and it does not change.

            Jer 10:23 says, “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”  Here, Jeremiah realized something many people don’t – man doesn’t have it in him to direct his own way.  Not in the righteous way, anyway.  Man’s own plans – if not submitted to and directed by God – are in vain.  Oh, he may succeed in the worldly sense of the word; but he hasn’t succeeded in what is truly important.

            We must in all our ways acknowledge God – ALL our ways – and let Him direct our steps.  We cannot tell God, “Off limits“ to any area of our lives.  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”  – Ps 37:23.  A good man allows God to direct his steps.  When God directs your steps, you will have the God kind of success, and God will delight (be well pleased) in your way. 

            A good heart opens itelf up to be examined by God.  It wants to commune with God, and lays itself bare in His presence.  Ps 139:23-24  says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  (24)  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”  See also Ps 26.  Are we honest with God like that?  Do we, in all sincerity, welcome God to examine our innermost being every moment of every day?  Do we really want to be filled with all of His Spirit, and emptied of all ourselves?  May the answer be “Yes, Lord!”

            So, how does God search our heart?  1. Through conscience, that is, the light of nature.

Pro 20:27 says, “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.”  God uses the conscience to speak to us, and show us right from wrong.  Of course, a person can sear their conscience through rebellion and unbelief,  and this can cease to be effective eventually.  That’s why I believe the primary means is:

            2. His Word.  Heb 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  This is why it is critical for us to read God’s Word.  It is His will and His heart communicated to us.  You do not truly know God, if you don’t know His Word.  By His Word, you learn His character; His commandments; His plans and purposes; His heart.  You learn what Jesus came to do and why.  You learn who you are in Christ. 

            The Bible speaks positively of those who are wise hearted and willing hearted, tender hearted and broken hearted.  It speaks negatively of those who are stouthearted, hardhearted, stiff hearted, and fainthearted.  Where there is humility, there is honor; but pride goes before destruction.  Let us be wise hearted – hungry to hear and understand God’s Word, and apply it.  Let us be willing hearted – ready to obey God’s Word and yield to His voice.  Let us be tender hearted, having compassion and being merciful and loving towards one another.  Let us be broken hearted – humble and emptied before our God, that he may fill us with Himself.

            1Sam 16:7 says, “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”  Let us have a heart for God, for He knows it and sees it.  Selah.

The Heart of Man Part 3

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com  6pm M-F AM630KSLR

            Read 1Kings 2:1-4.  King David, on his deathbed, told his son Solomon to be a man; to keep God’s judgments, commandments, statutes and testimonies and walk in His ways in truth with all his heart and soul.  Today, we are going to discuss “All the heart”.

            I found in an ancient Eastern Christian text this simple definition of the heart: “Not simply the physical organ, but the spiritual center of man’s being, man as made in the image of God, his deepest and truest self, “I called with my whole heart” says the psalmist – that is, with body, soul and spirit.  Heart has thus an all embracing significance.  So, the prayer of the heart, means prayer not just of the emotions and affections, but of the whole person, including the body.” 

            So to do something with “all of the heart” is to engage the whole person – spirit, soul, intellect, mind, will, emotions and body.  This is how we are to do all we do unto God. This is the great commandment.  This is the summation of all Christianity.  To love God with “all the heart”, is to love God with the entire person – soul, mind and strength (Mk 12:29-31).

            David prayed in Psa 86:11, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”  David prayed for a united heart, or “whole” heart; as apposed to a divided heart or being “half-hearted”.  We are to have singleness (sincerity, purity) of heart towards God and the things of God (see Eph 6:5, Acts 2:46).  As one asked Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief”.  God’s grace and help is needed for a “whole” heart.  Be not hesitant to pray for a united, whole heart; that you may love, serve, pray and worship Him with “all your heart”.

            This terminology is used many times in Deuteronomy.  One such place is Deut 10:12-13:  “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,  To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? (see also Jos 22:5).

            King Hezekiah , a revival king, prospered, because He sought God and obeyed Him with all his heart (2Chr 31:21).  King Josiah, another revival king, turned to the Lord with all his heart, and kept His words with all his heart.  It is said there was never a king like him (2King 23:25, 2Chr 34:31).  May each of us be one-man revivals.  May each of us seek to be a Hezekiah and Josiah.  May each of us fall prostrate before Almighty God and purpose to seek Him and obey Him with all of our heart.  Do this today. Do not hesitate.

            We are to worship God with all of our heart (Ps 9:1, 86:12, 111:1, 138:1, Zep 3:14, Jn 4:24).  May we not worship God daydreaming; our mind wandering; disconnected; our hands in our pockets.  No, let us worship Him with all of our heart – spirit, soul, mind, emotions, understanding, intellect, and body.  Kneel before Him; bow down; lift your hands.  Take every thought captive. Still the busyness of mind. Engage your emotions; engage your entire person in worship of Almighty God: The Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

            We are to trust in God with all our heart (Prov 3:5, Ps 62:8).  Cast down thoughts of doubt and fear.  Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.  Trust God completely and totally. He is faithful. He will never fail us.  Seek God with all your heart (Jer 29:13, Dt 4:29, Ps 119:2, 10, 145).  Resist being half-hearted in your prayer life.  Make quality “closet time” (Mt 6:6).  Whoever seeks God with all their heart finds Him.

            We are to obey God’s commandments with all of our heart (Ps 119:34, 69; 1Jn 3:22-24; 5:3).  The true Christian longs to obey God and all His Word.  His desire is to do only those things pleasing in God’s sight.  Though he sins (lit., “miss the mark”) at times, he confesses it and turns back to the narrow path.  God is always quick to forgive and restore those who are honest and humble before Him.  He loves His child.  He is for them.

            We are to turn to God with all of our heart (Joel 2:12, Jer 24:7).  Let us not be fence-straddlers; lukewarm; with hearts divided, half for Jesus and half for the world.  May we be sold-out for Jesus.  May we forsake all, take up our cross and follow Him.  This is His requirement (  Lk 14:26-33).  What fellowship has light with darkness? Or does Christ have with Satan? Or does righteousness have with unrighteousness (2Cor 6:14-18)?  Be crucified to this world, and this world crucified to you (Gal 6:14).  Friendship with this world is enmity against God (Jam 4:4-5).  To forsake this world for Christ is to lose nothing and gain everything.

            Believe on Jesus with all your heart (Act 8:37).  Believe on Him – spirit, soul, body, mind, emotions, understanding, intellect and will.  Believe on Him with the entirety of your being.  Receive the free gift of salvation, forgiveness of sins and eternal life through faith on The Lord Jesus Christ; Who is God, Son of God, Lamb of God and soon coming King.  Selah.