Monday, November 2, 2015

it's all about the heart

artwork by Krista Hamrick

I pondered this beautiful work of art by Krista Hamrick while listening to Bethel Music's anointed hymn, No Longer SlavesYou unravel me, with a melody, You surround me with a song of deliverance, from my enemies ‘till all my fears are gone. I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God. From my mother’s womb You have chosen me, Love has called my name. I’ve been born again, into Your family, Your blood flows through my veins. You split the sea, so I could walk right through it, All my fears were drowned in perfect love. You rescued me, so I could stand and sing. I am a child of God…this drew my heart to a word study of the word heart from 1 Samuel 16:7

NASB:  But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Heart, kardia, does not refer to the physical organ, but is always used figuratively in Scripture to refer to the seat and center of human life. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotions, and will.

Kardia gives us medical terms such as cardiac, cardiovascular, etc. Just as the integrity of our physical heart is vital to our physical life, in a similar and even more important way the integrity of our spiritual heart is vital to our spiritual life, for our spiritual life impacts not just our enjoyment of time, but of eternity.

While kardia does represent the inner person, the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality, in Scripture it represents much more than emotion, feelings. It also includes the thinking process and particularly the will. For example, in Proverbs we are told, “As (a man) thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matthew 9:4). The heart is the control center of mind and will, as well as emotion.

The Scottish writer John Eadie writes, “The “heart” belongs to the “inner man,” is the organ of perception as well as of emotion; the centre of spiritual as it is physically of animal life.”

Biblical scholar W.E. Vine writes that kardia “came to denote man’s entire mental and moral activities, and to stand figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life, and so here signifies the seat of thought and feeling.”

Pastor John MacArthur commenting on kardia writes, “While we often relate heart to the emotions (e.g., “He has a broken heart”), the Bible relates it primarily to the intellect (e.g., “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders,” Matt 15:19). That’s why you must “watch over your heart with all diligence”  (Proverbs 4:23). In a secondary way, however, heart relates to the will and emotions because they are influenced by the intellect. If you are committed to something, it will affect your will, which in turn will affect your emotions.”

Pastor Marvin R. Vincent writes, “Kardia is the central seat and organ of the personal life of man regarded in and by himself, Hence it is commonly accompanied with the possessive pronouns, my, his, thy, etc.”

Pastor Robert Haldane states, “Christian obedience is obedience from the heart in opposition to an obedience which is by constraint. Any attempt at obedience by an unconverted man, is an obedience produced by some motive of fear, self–interest, or constraint, and not from the heart. Nothing can be more convincing evidence of the truth of the Gospel than the change which it produces on the mind of the believer. Nothing but almighty power could at once transform a man from the love of sin to the love of holiness.”

Heavenly Father, I am so grateful that when You look at me, You see my heart covered by the blood of Jesus...You give me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. You give me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. You give me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. You give me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. You give me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, You give me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, You give me a heart that welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I gratefully surrender all. Morning after morning.

Look Up—meditate on 1 Samuel 16:7

Look In—as you meditate on 1 Samuel 16:7 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on 1 Samuel 16:7 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

20 comments:

  1. I always find it so captivating that God first loved us, and then He gave us the capacity to love Him back. Nothing we do is of our own will - it's all God. Wonderful insight into the heart - the central seat and organ - powerful stuff!

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    1. Amen, Ruthie, I so agree with you. Thank you for stopping by and leaving such an encouraging comment. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  2. Beth, I always learn something when I stop by. I am especially drawn to John MacArthur's commentary about the heart being more a seat of intellect and decision-making than emotions.

    So true. And why we need to fill it with the stuff worthy of overflowing from it.

    Thank you for your obedience to your call to teach.

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    1. Thank you so much, Christi. Your last sentence is a very special encouragement to me...many blessings to you ❤️

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  3. Incredible post, Beth! And what a beautiful, heart-felt prayer, sweet friend! This is probably one of my most favorite posts from you. From the moment I started to read it, my heart was overjoyed because I love that song and I began to sing it as I was reading your words. It has been such a blessing to visit with you, Love! Thanks so much for sharing! GOD bless you, Beautiful! :-)

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    1. Tai, what a blessing your comments are to me! Thank you so much for stopping by...many blessings to you ❤️

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  4. Learning something new today Beth! How beautifully and thoughtfully written and how amazing to know our Heavenly Father doesn't look at us like man does but looks at the heart. Have a wonderful day Beth :)

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    1. Thank you, Crystal. It is such an encouragement to know you were touched by this wonderful Truth. Many blessings to you ❤️

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  5. Beautiful Beth. Oh that we would ALWAYS yearn for His presence.

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    1. Deborah, thank you so much for stopping by, I so appreciate your kind words...many blessings to you ❤️

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  6. Beth - I love your thoughts on both the Bible journal picture and the song No Longer Slaves - Both things are some of my favorites right now - I have just recently begun Bible journaling and when No Longer Slaves was released, I had it on repeat for days!!! Your neighbor at #StillSaturday

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    1. Debbie, thank you so much for your encouraging comments...it is such a blessing to have sweet sisters in Christ like you to share our love for the Lord with...many blessings to you ❤️

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  7. What incredible artwork! Heart has always been in my blog names; it too holds a special meaning for me personally as I write and share with other writers. Truly it is the center of us all! Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart ❤️ with me, Carrie. Many blessings to you!

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  8. Beth, your prayer is beautiful. I pray with you as I yearn to be near and know my Lord. To trust that He loves me and sees me from the inside is so reassuring. I am learning how to do this.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

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    1. Linda, I love your scripture prayers on "being woven"...it draws us into Jesus' arms when we pray His Living Word back to Him, doesn't it? Thank you for your sweet comments, many blessings to you ❤️

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  9. "The Lord looks at the heart." What a beautiful reminder and a heartfelt post. Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Many blessings to you ❤️

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  10. Yes it is good that when our Father looks at us He sees our heart covered in Jesus' blood. That is our only hope!!!! patsy

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    1. Amen, Patsy, we know it is only by the blood of our precious Savior that all our sin--past, present, and future--is completely covered...in that we can rest, in Christ. Many blessings to you ❤️

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