Thursday, November 15, 2007

from the heart

Our Christianity and our lives are to come from the heart. We're to guard our hearts, since all we do flows from it. In "the Jesus Creed" we find that we're to love God with all our heart along with all the rest of us.

I have to admit that so much of what I do I so often don't feel like doing. Of course "heart" in the Old Testament (and carried over at least to some extent into the New Testament, I believe) includes our thoughts and will, along with something of emotion or feelings. Though the Hebrew expression for emotion is more like, literally one's inward parts as in, we would say, our guts. I do think "heart" in the New Testament does pick up a little more on feelings, though we still have a different word even there which means "affections" or feelings (again literally, inward parts).

I see heart as what makes me tick, or an inward disposition. We need to lose heart in sinning or sinfulness, while gaining heart in righteousness or in doing God's will. This is surely a work of God in grace, at the same time including our walk in faith. It is also a matter of growth. Yes, at times we'll think that it seems our hearts are changed, but the real change normally comes over time so that we're changed into a new person more as to the direction we're going rather than as in having arrived.

Loving God from my heart, as well as my soul, mind and strength. It begins with the heart. If our heart is in it, than we'll live it out. If not, then we have to confess that before God, and ask for his forgiveness, cleansing, and for a change of heart. A broken and contrite heart, God will never despise.

What would you add to this exercise in thinking about what it means to live from the heart?

9 comments:

NaNcY said...

the heart
our being
our core
the child
our spirit
where Love comes in and goes out
the place where we see God
what the Spirit changes

NaNcY said...

good post
http://intothedesertblog.blogspot.com/2007/10/for-god-so-loved-world.html

Mike said...

I think there is also a place for having our hearts changed. Surrender is so important. Leaving ourselves open to be shaped by the Holy Spirit

Martin Stickland said...

Nice post Ted, have a lovely weekend!

It's cold!!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Thanks for your good poetic thoughts, and also for the post. That does look good and I plan to read it soon.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mike,
So very true. I want to work on that because in some respects I see that need in myself.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Martin,
Thanks. So it's cold across the pond too, uh? Yeah, we might as well get used to it for awhile.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mike,
And as I reflect a little on my comment, I realize the heart is about all of life, not just a part here and there. The part here and there simply ends up revealing something of our heart to show us our need. Just sharing my thought on this, though I'm sure you realize this.

L.L. Barkat said...

I've always loved that verse from Ezekial, about God giving us hearts of flesh in return for our hearts of stone. And a heart of flesh is malleable.