December 19, 2018
The heart is home to both Godly and worldly values. Each set of values competing for control of our lives, one set producing love and joy, one set hate and sadness, one set producing peace and patience, one set discord and fretfulness.
When God controls our heart, He creates through us godly actions. When the world controls our heart, our head produces through us worldly activities. God, through His Spirit, amplifies our values in service- behavior. The world, through our mind, amplifies our values in self-serving behavior. Our ability to walk with God depends on which set of values dominates and controls our actions.
The story of the Christian life is the struggle to control the heart, to let the Godly values dominate and decide the actions of daily living.
A Good and Pure Heart Is Home to Godly Values
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart” (Matthew 5:8). Peter, writing about the pure heart states that “We are to love one another with a pure heart fervently” (1 Peter 1:22b). Paul in his first letter to Timothy writes, “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). In his second letter to Timothy, Paul adds, “Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22).
An Evil Heart Is A Home to Self-Values
God speaks to the evil heart this way; “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). “For the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21c).
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah knew a person’s values live in the heart. God revealed to Him that the values stored in the human heart produce external behavior and actions. God said to Jeremiah, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds” (Jeremiah 17:10).
The bottom line is, God gets past the external behavior and focuses on the source that drives the behavior—the heart. In the Old Testament, God tells Samuel that He, “Sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7c).