Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Heart

This is an article written by my wife Bessie for The Hammer magazine.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov. 4:23)

Whether we know it or not, all of us have had heart trouble. Whatever part of the spiritual anatomy the heart represents, the Scripture is clear that it is the seat of the emotions, one’s very being, from which thoughts, words, and actions proceed. Jesus said, “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man unclean” (Mark 7:20-23).

The prophet Jeremiah gave God’s diagnosis: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart and examine the mind” (Jer. 17:9-10a).

Therefore, the heart must be changed. He who did the diagnosis provides the remedy. This is God’s promise in Ezekiel 11:19: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them. I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees.” This is the Old Testament equivalent of Jesus’ words in John 3 that we need to be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

Jesus Christ is the heart specialist of all time. He told us in Mark 7 what evil can proceed from the heart of man. Humanism says the heart and mind of man can be relied upon from progress, morality and social reform. In reading Jesus’ diagnosis of the heart of man we see all the social problems of our day and the crime resulting from the illness within man.

The gospel of Jesus Christ, His death for our sins and His resurrection for our justification (Rom. 4:25), provides the only remedy for the heart of man. This is the only cure for our heart trouble, a new heart given by a gracious God as we bring that deceitful heart to Him. Then we can sing with Charles Wesley,

Oh, for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free;
A heart that’s sprinkled with the blood,
So freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My dear Redeemer’s throne;
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.

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