That God’s Word Is Opened Up TO Our Heart
What is Your Heart According to the Bible and How Can You Exercise It?
What is your heart according to the Bible? Also, how can you exercise your heart so that it functions normally toward God?
Since knowing our heart is basic to our experience of Christ and of God’s salvation, we need to give this point our first consideration. Then it’s also vital to learn how to exercise our heart, that is, to deal with our heart, so that it functions properly to love the Lord.
So in this post we’ll focus on these two important matters—1) knowing what our heart is and 2) knowing how we can exercise our heart so that it fulfills it’s God-created function.
What is your heart according to the Bible?
The Bible reveals that your heart is your loving organ. It’s that part of your inner being that enables you to love God and what He loves. Since love is the basis for all our experience of the Lord, we need to start with our heart.
You can see from the Bible, that God created you with only three main parts—spirit, soul and body (1 Thes. 5:23).
So actually, your heart is not a separate organ. It’s simply a composition of the three parts of your soul—mind, will and emotion—plus your conscience—the leading part of your spirit.
To confirm this–let’s look at what the Bible says about the parts of the heart:
Mind–“thinking in your heart”
The Lord told the religious scribes who were reasoning against Him,
“Why are you thinking evil in your hearts” (Matt. 9:4).
Thinking is the function of your mind. But here it speaks of “thinking… in your hearts.” From this verse you can see that your mind is a part of your heart.
Will–“intentions of the heart”
Hebrews 4:12, actually confirms that both your mind and will are parts of your heart. This verse says,
“For the word of God is living and operative…and able to discern the thoughts and the intentions of the heart.”
First, it confirms that the thoughts are of the heart. We just covered this. Then it goes on to mention “the intentions of the heart.” Since intention is a function of your will, you can see from this verse that your will is also a part of your heart.
Emotion–“your heart will rejoice”
Before the Lord Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples,
“Therefore you also now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you” (John 16:22).
Since rejoicing is an expression of emotion, for your heart to rejoice means that your emotion is also a part of your heart.
Conscience–“hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience”
Finally, you can see from Hebrews 10:22 that your conscience is also a part of your heart. That verse says,
“Let us come forward to the Holy of Holies, with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…”
“Having your heart sprinkled from an evil conscience” implies that your conscience is also a part your heart. Practically, to come forward to God, you need to have a heart free from condemnation. And to do this you need to have your conscience sprinkled with the Lord’s cleansing blood.
How can you exercise your heart so that it functions normally?
Now that you’ve seen the composition, the parts of your heart, let’s go on to consider how you can exercise your heart so that it functions normally—so that it loves the Lord fervently.
The following four steps are the best heart exercise, the spiritual “cardio work out” that you need to make your heart healthy for it to function normally in loving the Lord.
First, exercise your heart to turn to the Lord.
Second Corinthians 3:16 says,
“But whenever their heart turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”
This is the best way to begin your day. You can turn your heart to the Lord by calling on His name, singing a spiritual song, or uttering a short prayer this,
“Lord Jesus, I turn my heart to You right now.”
Here is a spiritual song on the verse I mentioned to help you turn your heart to the Lord.
Second, exercise faith in your heart.
Romans 10:9 says,
“If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
We need to exercise faith to believe what God has spoken in His Word. One of the best ways I know to exercise faith is to pray with God’s Word, to pray-read the Bible.
After you turn your heart to the Lord, simply open your Bible, and with your eyes on the verses of Scripture, pray them back to the Lord. Try saying “Amen” to the Word of God. This is great way to exercise faith in your heart.
Third, exercise to deal with your conscience so there is no condemnation in your heart.
FromHebrews 10:22, we saw that we need to have “our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…”
The more you exercise faith in God and God’s Word, the more you’ll sense you’re wrong in many things.
When you sense condemnation in your heart, simply confess any offense on your conscience to the Lord and receive the cleansing of His blood. This will cause your heart to be at peace.
Finally, your heart will be renewed.
Ezekiel 36:26 says,
“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.”
What is this “new heart” that the Lord gives us? Actually, it is simply our old heart that has been renewed by the exercise of the three foregoing steps: turning our heart to the Lord, exercising faith in the Lord and in His Word, and having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience by the precious blood of Jesus.
Practicing the above steps will cause your heart to function normally–to love the Lord. In this way the first commandment spoken of by the Lord Jesus in Mark 12:30 will spontaneously be fulfilled in you,
“And you shall love the Lord your God from your whole heart…”
“Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me that I have a heart especially made to love You. Lord help me to daily turn my heart to You and to believe in You and in Your living Word. Teach me to daily confess my sins, that my heart may be sprinkled from an evil conscience and be continually renewed to love You as You have commanded me.”
If you have been helped by the points in this post, please share your appreciation with a short comment.
References and Further Reading:
The Power of Gratitude: 21 Verses of Thanks to God
We have so much to be grateful for in this life. Each and every day. But reality is that sometimes constant life demands, struggles, and worries give more room to defeat than to a heart of thanks. Or we forget, in the midst of busyness and pressures, just to pause and give thanks, for all that God has done, and continues to do in our lives.
Sometimes it really is a sacrifice to offer praise and thanks. We may not feel it. We’re struggling. We're weary. Or maybe, we feel He let us down. We think God seems distant, he's far away, or doesn't really care about what's troubling us. Painful life blows and losses might have recently sent us spiraling.
But here’s what can make a lasting difference. We have a choice, every day, to give him thanks.
And with a heart of thanksgiving, we realize that no matter what we face, God doesn’t just work to change our situations and help us through our problems. He does more. He changes our hearts.
His power, through hearts of gratitude and focused minds on Him, releases the grip our struggles have over us. We're strengthened by His peace, refueled by His joy.
God's Word is filled with many reminders of how powerful and vital a thankful heart can be in this world.
The Power of a Grateful Heart, 7 Things It Can Do:
- It gets our eyes off ourselves, and helps us to focus back on God.
- It reminds us we're not in control, but that we serve a Mighty God who is. It keeps us in a place of humility and dependency on Him, as we recognize how much we need Him.
- It helps us to recognize we have so much to be thankful for, even all of the little things, which often we may forget to thank Him for…but they really are the biggest, most important things in this life. It takes our attention off of our problems and helps us instead to reflect on, to remember, the goodness of His many blessings.
- It reminds us that God is the Giver of all good gifts. We were never intended to be fully self-sufficient in this life. A grateful heart reminds us that ultimately God is our Provider, that all blessings and gifts are graciously given to us by His hand.
- A heart of gratitude leaves no room for complaining.
For it is impossible to be truly thankful and filled with negativity and ungratefulness at the same time.
- It makes the enemy flee. The forces of darkness can't stand to be around hearts that give thanks and honor to God. Our praise and thanksgiving will make them flee.
- It opens up the door for continued blessings. It invites His presence.
Our spirits are refreshed and renewed in Him. God loves to give good gifts to His children. He delights in our thankfulness and pours out His Spirit and favor over those who give honor and gratitude to Him.
21 Gratitude Bible Verses of Thanks from God's Word:
“O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Ps. 95:1-3
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” Ps. 100:4-5
“Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.” Ps. 118:29
“I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Ps. 9:1
“I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Ps. 7:17
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Col. 2:7
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Col. 3:15
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Col. 4:2
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed the eagle's.” Ps. 103:1-5
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thess. 5:18
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Ps. 107:1
“Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Eph. 5:20
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.” Ps. 28:7
“I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.” Ps. 69:30
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; …” Ps. 136:1-5
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-29
“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” 2 Cor. 9:15
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.” Rev. 11:17
“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Rev. 7:12
A Prayer of Gratitude
Thank you for your amazing power and work in our lives, thank you for your goodness and for your blessings over us. Thank you that you are Able to bring hope through even the toughest of times, strengthening us for your purposes. Thank you for your great love and care. Thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you that you are always with us and will never leave us.
Thank you for your incredible sacrifice so that we might have freedom and life. Forgive us for when we don't thank you enough, for who you are, for all that you do, for all that you've given. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on you afresh. Renew our spirits, fill us with your peace and joy. We love you and we need you, this day and every day.
We give you praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy!
In Jesus' Name,
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's page,http://www..com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives. Find her also at http://.com/debbmcdaniel and http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com.
Image courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
7 Important Bible Verses About Purpose
Sometimes we can be so busy about our lives that we forget the purpose behind them. We are driven by the demands of life and not realizing that God always has a greater purpose. His purposes not only encompass our lives, but the lives of those around us—at home, school, work, and community. It’s important to know and live out the following Bible verses about purpose:
God has a purpose for everyone
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
Pharaoh mistakenly thought that he was in control. However, God put him in the place of being an Egyptian leader for His purpose. God has a purpose for everyone—including those who resist Him. Ultimately God will get the glory no matter the person because He is the Giver of purpose in every life whether they live for Him or not.
God’s purpose can’t be undone
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2).
Once God has established His purposes for our lives—no one can change it. What door God has shut, no man can open and what door God has opened, no man can shut.
People will wear themselves out in efforts to make a situation turn badly for believers, yet God will still ultimately accomplish His plans.
Christians can take courage that He is working everything for our good even the most difficult life situations.
God’s purpose is the one that lasts
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).
The lives of men and women are but a vapor; however, God’s purposes can be fulfilled throughout multiple generations. We can make our plans and set out to see them accomplished, but if we don’t pray and seek God’s direction—we could find ourselves drifting in an ocean of problems without a sail. Every plan should begin and end with God in mind first.
Every person is born with purpose
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5).
All people are made in the image of God. Each of us are born with a purpose and calling that we can discover or completely miss. The influence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers gives us insight to His purposes for us. We find peace and courage when we sense the confirmation of the Spirit that we are in the right place at the right time of our designated calling.
God fulfills His purpose for believers
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:12-13).
God’s greater purpose has to always be on the forefront of our minds. We may be offered employment, school, and marriage opportunities that may not fit in God’s purpose.
This takes wisdom on our part to wait on God’s peace before making presumptuous decisions that may have lifetime ramifications.
There’s great joy in the discovery of His purpose when we trust in Him rather than on our feelings or pressures from other people.
God works through all situations to fulfill His purpose
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Hard times can make it difficult to see God’s purpose especially when we only feel pain and grief. Many times we don’t want to be reminded that God is working our difficulty for our good. However if we practice living our lives with the mindset that God is working things out for us, we can have smoother transition of accepting this truth in the hard places.
God has a greater purpose in saving us
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace” (2 Timothy 1:9).
Salvation is only the beginning for Christians as we were saved to do good works in the name of Jesus. The promise of eternity and living free from the bondage of sin is a wonderful gift of salvation. These promised blessings free us up to be about God’s business every day. We need to start our mornings with a prayer asking God to reveal to us His purposes for that day.
The Lord and His purposes are perfect, but we are not. We are assailed by doubts and fears that many times keep us from living out the purposes that He has established for us.
However, we can overcome this by consistently reading and studying His word so that our faith will be made stronger day by day.
As we learn of God and pray to Him regularly, we become more embolden to accomplish great purposes in His name.
Take a look at this great article: 5 Ways to Follow God’s Plan for you LifeResource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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as: Bible Verses, God's plan for your life, God's purpose, God's Will, purpose
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