HEARTS...are prevalent in almost every advertisement at this time of year, especially at Hallmark Card Stores and Hallmark TV Channels. That’s a clue for you guys who may be forgetful. It’s nearing Valentine’s Day. Just giving you advance notice. Because, if you forget, her heart’s going to be broken, and maybe your head. Just saying!
This word (heart)…has so many meanings and images.
- she really puts her heart into everything she does,
- deep in the heart of Texas,
- the heart of the watermelon is the best,
- he received the Purple Heart,
- he is having open heart surgery…
Recently, I was thinking about the human heart. What an incredible pump! I am 79 and if I have averaged 80 heartbeats per minute over my lifetime, my heart has beaten, can you believe it–3,300,000,000 times. And it is all controlled by an electrical connection to my brain.
Anybody sold on the evolution theory? One of the amazing facts is that my heart slows while I sleep, picks up when I awake, really gets going when I am exercising or doing more strenuous labor. It even adjusts to heights.
My heart is not only pumping blood through the body, it is providing everything my body needs. There are capillaries, veins and arteries, all serving a unique and specific purpose. But, enough already of the biology class!
All of this took me to scripture where the ‘heart’ is addressed in many ways. My research resulted in 2,074 Old Testament references and 945 in the New Testament. Must be an important subject. And this ‘heart’ is our very being–who and what we are in the soul and spirit realm. In Hebrew it is lebab/leb לֵבָב and the Greek is kardia καρδία. It denotes a person’s center for both physical and emotional – intellectual – moral activities. Heart and soul are often used interchangeably; but not always.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it” (Jer. 17:9)? But the Lord knows very well. And he is the only one who can cure heart issues. David knew that. So, he cried to the Lord. “Create within me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psa. 51:10). Some heart issues are apparent, while others are hidden. Our battle is endless, because we live in a broken, sin-filled world, starting with our own flesh. We desire things other than him, but in spite of us, and our waywardness, he is there to provide the way for us to be restored. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).
What comes out of our mouth and is revealed in our actions is directly related to what is stored in our hearts. We need God’s refining fire to burn deeply within us. His eyes are like a magnifying glass. He probes our inner being with a non-judgmental eye, desiring to renew us. He knows what is in us and what is best for us. He is the great heart surgeon.“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties” (Psa. 139:23).
The Lord is our treasure. His kingdom has been prepared for us. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21). So, are our hearts set on things eternal or primarily on the things of this world and what it has to offer? Right out of the chute, Christ spoke in his beatitudes about the importance of the attitude of the heart. It ranks number one! “Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God” (Mt. 5:8). Who in their right mind would not want to ‘see God’?
So, examine your heart. Is your spiritual heart beating for him as much as your physical heart beats for your well-being? We use healthy means to ensure that your heart is in good shape. Can we say the same about your spiritual one? The flesh and blood heart will one day stop for all of us. But your spiritual one will beat forever. Just like your bodily heart is connected to your brain in order to function, your spiritual heart must stay connected to the Spirit. And then you can say with the psalmist…
Bill C. Dotson
Scripture taken from the New King James Version