by Aaron Hutchcraft, 11/15/99
Solomon, in all his wisdom, gives an exhortation to which we all do well to take heed; "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." (Prov 4:23)
The heart is the inmost part of a person; it is their very essence. The heart is the "inside of the cup", as Jesus indicated to the Pharisees. All of scripture testifies of the importance of the heart, ringing a clarion call to all of God's people to incline their hearts to the Lord.
In the days of Noah, the Lord said of man that uthe imaginations and thoughts of his HEART was only evil continually." (Gen 6:5) He said in Isaiah, which Jesus also quoted to the Pharisees, uthese people draw near to Me *#h their mouth, but their HEART is far from Me." (29:13) Wickedness and hypocrisy come forth from the heart! Even the words of our mouths "come forth from the heart, and defile the man." (Matt 15:18)
.For with the heart man believes unto righteousness." (Rom 10: 10) Believing God is absolutely imperative. Believing is "the work of God" (John 6:29) To believe is "His commandment." (1 John 3:23) Remember Jesus' words to Thomas, "be not faithless but believing." (John 20:27) Unbelief, on the other hand, comes from an "evil heart". (Heb 3:12) The unbelieving, in effect, have "made God a liar". (I John 5: 10) Those whom the Lord destroyed in the wilderness were those "that believed not. (Jude 5) Are you of them that "befieve unto the saving of the soul."?
Jesus, when asked which was the great commandment, said "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy HEART, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matt 22:37) "God be thanked!" says the Spirit, "you have obeyed from the heart." (Rom 6:17) Real love, and true obedience come only from the heart.
The word of God is sown in our hearts. (Luke 8:15) The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. (Romans 5:5) Jesus dwells in our hearts. (Ephesians 3:17) Salvation aims at the heart, as do the fiery darts of the wicked one. The hosts of heaven are laboring to gain the hearts of the sons of men, to the praise of the glory of His grace! While all of hell is endeavoring to capture the same, bringing them down to perdition. Seeing that our hearts are the battle grounds for this warfare, let us give more earnest heed to this exhortation; Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.
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