Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Heart of the Matter

I Samuel 16:7 “...for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

In this passage, the prophet Samuel was sent to Jesse’s house to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be King of Israel. And Samuel expressed excitement when he saw Eliab and assumed he was God’s chosen because of his appearance. So God advised him not to look on the outer appearance because God considers our heart.

Truth is, the heart of person is the essence of who they are. It is not how someone looks, or the clothes they wear, the house they live in, or the car they drive that depict the true measure of a human being. The heart of a person is the essence of who they are. From what we speak to how we behave even down to our deeds are said to be a reflection of one's heart.

The heart is not simply the main vessel in the human body from which blood flows. It represents the mind of one's soul. And is the key ingredient of our conscience. The feelings and emotions of a person come from the heart. There are a lot of phrases we use on a daily basis that refer to our heart.

When someone consistently carries out acts of kindness and behaves nicely, we say that they are "good hearted." In the field of sports, when a player wants his/her teammates to demonstrate more determination, he/she  encourages them to "show some heart.” When someone is very sensitive about things, we say “Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.” And when someone we love hurts us or leaves us, we refer to it as having a broken heart.

In the spiritual realm, matters of the heart are very important: The book of Jeremiah helps put things in perspective- Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

There are certain blessings granted to believers and certain favor withheld from others based on if our heart is right with God. Here are five things every believer should do when it comes to matters of the heart:

1. Believe in your heart (Romans 10:9-10) that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

2. Trust God with all your heart (Proverbs 3:5) “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding

3. Hide the Word in your heart. (Psalms 119:11) “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.”

4. Seek God for a clean heart. (Psalms 51:9-10) “Create in me a clean heart Oh God and renew a right spirit within me.”

5. Don’t worry in your heart. (John 14:1-2). “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions.”

Finally, as we respond to God in the proper way concerning our heart, God will reward us with a deeper relationship with him. Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 "that only the pure in heart shall see God." And if we delight ourselves in the Lord, he will give us the desires of our heart (Psalms 37:4). As it relates to serving God, this is the heart of the matter.