One of the most important organs in the body is the heart. It has a major role in the health and vitality of our well-being. Its major function is unseen yet it continues to beat every moment from conception to death. A good question to ask is: “What is the condition of your heart?” I am not asking about the physical heart but the spiritual heart. The wisest of all men says, “keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).
A Believing Heart
Our spiritual life must have a beginning. Paul says in Romans 10:9-10 “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved, for with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The rough jailer at Philippi fell at the apostle Paul’s feet and cried, “What must I do to be saved?” The answer was simple, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Dear reader, have you believed? John writes, “To as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to be called the children of God, to those who believe on His name” (John 1:12). Now is the time, before it is too late to make this important choice and make Jesus your Lord and Savior!
An Obedient Heart
For those who have accepted the Lord as Savior it important to seek each day to live for Him until He comes again. The best way is to surrender your heart and will to the authority of God’s Word. Paul writing to the Roman’s says “God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered, and having been set free from sin you became slaves of righteousness” (Rom. 6:17-18). In the context of this passage he is speaking to those who have been saved and baptized. They had publicly expressed their faith and were living a totally different life than before. Are you saved? Have you been baptized? Are you living daily for the Lord Jesus Christ? Writing to the Galatians, Paul’s says: “O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth” (Gal. 3:1). In Philippians 2:12 he says, “Wherefore my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Which of those two groups do you belong?
A Thankful Heart
One of the characteristics which should mark every believer is having a thankful heart. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 it says, “In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Paul says, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Phil. 1:3). One of the blessings of being a Christian is to be part of the family of God. The Church of God is a spiritual family which ministers to our individual lives. Each believer ministers to the whole body and we are all the recipients of their love and support. Give thanks to God for everyone who in different ways helps us to have a closer walk with God. The Lord Jesus set an example to His disciples in the upper room when He gave thanks, took bread, and broke it saying, “take eat, this is my body which is broken for you, do this in remembrance of me. Likewise, He took the cup saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood. This do in remembrance of me” (1 Cor. 11:24-25). It is here we proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.
Every time we fulfill His request we express to Him our thanks for the immense sacrifice He made for us.
We also thank him for our daily food. To those who are commanded to abstain from meats, “God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them who believe and know the truth, for every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim. 4:3-4). No matter what your cultural differences and tastes God has provided everything for you to enjoy.
A Praising Heart
Ephesians 5:19 says, “to speak to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Psalms are divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. Many hymns are inspired by writers out of deep experiences with God. Spiritual songs are written by writers God has gifted (Bill Gaither, Stuart Townsend, etc.) in lyrics and music. These three aspects are not in competition but complement each other and Paul says, we need them all. What a blessing to be a singing people ministering to each other causing praise to God. “Therefore, by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name” (Heb. 13:15). One of our great future prospects is when we will surround His Throne and sing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing” (Rev. 5:12). We will worship Him forever!
A Giving Heart
2 Corinthians 8 and 9 highlights the Macedonian churches’ sacrificial giving. He said, “let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). In 2 Corinthians 8:5 we read, “they first gave themselves to the Lord and then to us by the will of God.” He thanks the Philippians for the gift he received and says “not that I desire a gift but I desire fruit that may abound to your account” (Phil. 4:17). Those believers in Macedonia gave out of “their deep poverty unto the riches of their liberality” (2 Cor. 8:2). To the Ephesian believers he said, “it is more blessed to give than receive.” (Acts 20:35). He reminds those who were rich, “…nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy, let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Tim. 6:17-18). Every dollar given in the Lord’s Name is being invested in your eternal bank account. His interest is 100%! We all have a responsibility to give.
A Troubled Heart
While the disciples were gathered in the upper room, outside it, plans were in place to arrest Jesus and put Him to death. The traitor Judas left with his evil scheme and when he did, it was dark. What a picture of the world’s dark night, not just external but in their hardened sinful hearts. This was true for the religious leaders, scribes, and Pharisees along with the people who were influenced by them. However, the disciples were troubled by the events taking place. Are you troubled today by the events taking place in our world? Are you going through circumstances and trials that make you uncertain of what the outcome will be? Hear the word of the Son of God, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). Jesus was not affected by what was taking place; He was in full control establishing before them His absolute Deity. He went on to calm and cheer their hearts. “In my Father’s house are many mansions if it were not so I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go…I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). The realization that He is coming again uplifts the troubled heart. He is coming soon and what a moment that will be. Keep looking up, believer in the Lord. The road may be rough, but it will not be long before we see His face.