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Thread: Heart Problems

  1. #1
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    Heart Problems

    Mark 7:21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

    There can be a great misunderstanding about what the heart is and the role it has in our relationship with God. We have all probably heard many times things like, "you must believe with your heart not your head". When the Bible talks about the heart it doesn't mean the muscle pumping blood through our body, it's talking about something else very important. Some believe when your emotions become involved it means you have received something into your heart, but that may be only partially true. God is concerned about more than just our emotions. Getting emotional can't bring salvation and may not even effect any real change in the life. Some feel when emotions become involved it's a sign of something real, but reality or truth does not originate in emotions or feelings, reality and truth originate with God. I want share with you the meaning of the words translated heart 231 times in the Old Testament and over 160 times in the New Testament. The heart in scripture describes the inner man, the inner part, the mind, the thinking, the understanding, having to do with the will, inclination, resolution, determination, reflection, memory, passions, appetites, purposes and endeavors. The real difference between a head knowledge and a heart knowledge, if you choose to describe it that way, is the difference between a person just knowing something and a person embracing something that begins to bring about change causing them to think and act differently than before. I don't mean to say we are changed by our own works, we are changed by what we allow into our heart because it begins to affect everything about us. When I embrace something as reality or truth it effects my thinking, my understanding, my will, my inclination, my resolution, my determination, my reflection, my memory, my passions, my appetites, my purposes and my endeavors. When all that is true whatever truth or reality I have embraced is in my heart.

    In James chapter two James was concerned about exposing a kind of faith that was nothing more than an acknowledgment something is true. James 2:14-20 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? A faith that does not change the heart and affect a person's reality is a dead faith, in fact it's not faith at all, and that was the point James was trying to make. The following are some verses that help us to see why the heart as so important. Ps 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Before the fool ever says it with his lips, he has already said it in his heart. Prov 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Issues means going forth or borders. People make a mess out of their lives because they won't take into their heart the truth and reality of God that sets borders and builds walls to protect them. Prov 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way. In our heart is where decisions are made that determine our direction affecting our lives and the lives of others. Prov 22:15 Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Foolishness leads to ruin. The rod of correction can help to displace foolishness and rebellion with the reality of a higher and loving authority. Prov 23:7 ...as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. What is in the heart is what a person is whether good or bad. The heart is an important place that God is very concerned about.

    Having said all that we will now examine our text. What Jesus says in Mark 7:21-23 has been true about mankind every since we chose to rebel against God. Man's heart is filled with evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil focus, blasphemy, pride and foolishness. This came about because of an absence of true Light. Rom 1:21 ...when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. "Knew" means to know, perceive or understand. "Glorified" means honor, magnify or make glorious. The first step away was knowing there was a Creator God, but not letting Him have His rightful place. When men fail to glorify God they have little to be thankful for, that is the second step. "Became vain" means to have made empty or foolish. "Imaginations" means reasonings or thoughts. Where there is no glorification of God and a lack of thankfulness what follows are empty and foolish reasonings, that is the third step. "Foolish" means without understanding. "Heart" means the hidden part of man. "Darkened" means to be absent of light. A failure to glorify God, a lack of thankfulness and empty reasonings lead to a heart which is absent of light, that is the final step. What Jesus said about the heart of people is true because of an absence of light which resulted from an absence of God. The remedy then for the sad condition of the human heart is the presence of God and His truth. When God and His truth begin to be embraced life begins to become what God intended for it to be and we can be the witness for Him that is needed in this dark world.

    What happens in a person when they hear and see the truth of God determines their path and destination. Matt 13:1-9 The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. One of the purposes of this parable is to show how people respond when hear or see the Word of God. In this parable the sower is the messenger, the seed is the Word of God, and the soil is the heart of people. Jesus speaks about four different types of soil and what chances the seed has of bringing forth fruit in each one of them. We will look at Jesus' interpretation of what happens to the seed in each type of soil.

    the way side - Matt 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. Mark 4:15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. Luke 8:12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. The wayside is the area around the field that is heavily traveled. It is very hard and packed down. The seed cannot take root and grow there. Jesus tells us this represents the heart of those who hear the Word of God and don't understand it and because they don't understand the devil is able to steal it away from them. Why can't they understand? The answer is found in Matt 13:10-15 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. It's not given them to understand because their heart is hard, callous, and turned away from God. Their ears are heavy with hearing (meaning they will not listen, or are unteachable), and they have closed their eyes to the truth. Many have a god and a truth of their own reasoning. When the heart is not toward God there is no understanding of His Words. There are many reasons why a person's heart can be in that condition. As the birds eat the seeds that fall by the wayside of a field so the devil steals away the Words of God that fall on a heart that is hard and can't understand.

    stony places - Matt 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately, straight forwardly, sincerely) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. Mark 4:16-17 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. In the land of Israel the soil in places is only a few inches deep with a slab of limestone underneath. A seed that falls there can spring up quickly, but when the sun dries the moisture out of the thin soil the plant very rapidly dies. This type of ground represents those who hear the Word of God and immediately and sincerely with joy receive it, but when they are put to the test they turn away from it. People can be stirred by what they hear or something they read and even make a decision to change, but when they are put to the test they turn back. That happens because there is no real place for God or His Word in the heart. What the person hears may sound good and right, but it's just not embraced as it should be. As a plant dies quickly in stony ground so does the Word of God in a stony heart.

    thorns - Matt 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Mark 4:18-19 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. Luke 8:14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. When tending a garden we are careful to keep out the weeds because they steal away vital nutrients and can block out sunlight needed for the good seed to take root and grow. The thorns here represent the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the pleasures of life. Those things keep many people from seeing the need for salvation and many Christians from being as fruitful as they should be. It is double mindedness. James 1:6-8 ...he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. There was no room for the real Jesus in the inn when He was born, there was no room for the real Jesus within the religion of Israel during His ministry and there is no room for the real Jesus in the hearts of most people today, even among those who call themselves Christians. As a good plant is choked out by thorns and weeds so is the Word of God in those who have a thorny heart.

    good ground
    - Matt 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Good ground is ground that is prepared to receive seed. When we plant a garden we turn, disk, till, and in some cases fertilize the soil before we plant. Good ground is a heart toward God which is allowing God and His Word to displace anything He identifies as undesirable. A prepared heart like prepared ground takes work. It is indeed a work of God, but it will also require effort on our part. Prayer, brokenness and intimate fellowship with God are both a requirement and a preparation for good ground.

    When a heart becomes good ground the following is one of the results. Jesus said in Matt 7:24-25 ...whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. Truly embracing God, His promises and His Word allows us to build our life on a unmovable foundation and gives us a sure expectation after this life. That is a witness and testimony the world needs to see.


  2. #2

    Re: Heart Problems

    Thank you for this vivid study of the word heart.... It helped me to get more insights on what my inner feelings say about situation and people.

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