The Heart Matters

The most difficult person I have ever met is me. I find such a conflict – a perfect God and an imperfect subject.

If there’s one thing that can’t be ignored, it’s the long trial of terrible examples of Christianity we can be. I have lost count of heartbreaking stories featuring misguided, or conceited, or zealous, or arrogant, or unrepentant followers of Christ. Wife beaters, adulterers, liars, thieves, deceivers, abusers, cheats… you name it, we have it. How can followers of Jesus be such?… It makes no sense! Maybe I am a voice crying out, lost in the noise that surrounds us all. Covid has been terrible, but greater still should be our efforts to quarantine and heal our hearts. I don’t think I have to expound the role wicked hearts have played in this pandemic. Beggars the question, which is the worse pandemic?

If it helps to admit, he who shouts loudest wears the largest crown, for you to read on and change, then so be it. My story isn’t a pretty one. I was on a fast track to being the chief of abusers. Jesus intervened by His great mercy. Every perverse poison you can think of, ran in my blood. The blood of Jesus interposed and like someone falling on a grenade to protect others, Jesus covered me on the cross. 

I am bemused beyond belief at those trying to write off evil as merely a product of society, or childhood experiences – some speak of it as merely subjective or a grand illusion. Don’t believe a word of it! A snake is crawling among us and seeks to be within us.

Seriously, I don’t think there’s a single honest person in this world, who’s lived to be 20, without multiple eerie encounters with the serpent.

When one explains the miraculous, like the story of my salvation, most of us tend to settle for “they lived happily ever after” but truth be told: Life is a minefield – we are the mines – and they are everywhere – staying charged as long as you don’t change. My parents left so many things rancid and gangrenous AFTER they got “saved” – not a day has gone by, without others experiencing pain because they refused to change and reconcile.

More than ever, I oscillate to a RADICAL Christianity – A heart level change – everything monstrous about you should be called out and thrown under the bus over and over and over if necessary. Maybe the morbid fascination of destroying zombies on the silver screen is our subconscious desire to kill the beast within us and others.

Dear Christian, more than anyone, you need to change!!!

Covered in the blood of my savior, my heart senses the call to change right from the grassroots – every definition of who I was and am had to be dug up – examined with Christ, truth infused and lies rejected – it’s a very real ongoing process. It numbs my mind that this process doesn’t change things like wife-beating, murderous anger, property disputes, active abuse of another human being. Sadly, I know missionaries that beat their wives, Christian musicians unfaithful to their spouses, Christians that would murder to seize property or achieve vested interests , et al… What rubbish! 

Jesus propels through culture, parental influences, character traits, and all your experiences, like a two-edged sword – a surgeon bringing vengeance on a cancerous tumor called sin. Have you not met this Jesus?

Mr. Perfect here – kept pet monsters “hidden” away from surgeon Jesus – you can guess how that turned out. So if you are reading this, let me save you and others a world of heartache and pain… Let Jesus remove them radically now! Christians close to me have paid a heavy price for not allowing Jesus to transform them. At the very least, we are called to stay repentant, accountable, and humble. Which part of “love your neighbor as yourself”, “for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen” do we not get? 

What’s your pet monster? Pornography? (The abuse of God’s supreme gift in marriage and the number one industry destroying the image of God in others), the debaucherous occult elements of today’s entertainment? Abusive Anger? Sensuality? Perversion? A bully complex? the love of money? property? ego? manipulation?

And do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27

Mercy calls us back. Heed her call now. Take one step towards Jesus and He will take the thousand steps needed to reach and change you.

Be radical in the desire to be changed, Reach out to someone mature or a fellowship willing to pull you out, get help! Jesus will restore and build the broken walls. Sadly, some damages you can’t do anything about, but eternity will wipe away every tear – that He promises. 

You are called to spread the healing of heaven to those around you, not spread the poison of Satan. If the snake bit you when you were young – doesn’t mean you need to inflict others or suffer the poison. Break the chain! – the abused don’t have to abuse. Jesus is the antidote – experience Him and share Him. We all need Him.

The lover of your soul has paid the price for your forgiveness but you must “sin no more” to stop the vicious cycle operating within and through you. Guilt, backsliding, fear, temptations, false doctrine, unbelief and accusations are the traps our adversity sets up to ship wreck us. Love the Lord with all your HEART to get back on track.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may  prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15

Let your wife, your husband, your friend, your brother, your parent, your boss, your servant, your neighbor taste and see the Lord is good.

Seek forgiveness, make reparations where possible, and give forgiveness. It will lift you to a whole new place – with Christ – with peace that passes understanding, the goodness of God in the land of the living, and joy that knows no limit.

The Bible – the one book that pulls no punches to set us free of the poison of sin. If you want heart surgery, let the Spirit use these scriptures and teaching. If you want to get to the heart of the matter and see why you are the way you are, and what’s the solution – Look into the mirror of God’s Word. 

Here’s the video playlist link (12 videos):

Also find the entire study notes below. If you desire to skip the videos and just use this to do your own study… go for it! (Though a lot of explanations are in the videos)

By the mercies of God… Let the Holy Spirit change you!!

I. INTRODUCTION

Our modern-day understandings of the word ‘heart’ cloud our ability to understand scriptural usage. So let’s clarify.

  1. Culturally

In twenty-first century English, the word “heart” is used to express emotions as an individual compartment of the inner part of the human. An emoji.

We have a tendency to see people as having two separate parts, wherein one part is the emotions, which we refer to as the heart, then a brain, which houses the mind.

The Bible does not divide man so easily – it focuses on all three making up the whole of a being – this is called the “heart.”

  1. Medically

I have come across people who pour contempt on the bible because of its medically or scientifically absurd take on the heart and mind. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding of the realm or scope where the Bible is operating. It’s spiritual understanding and a take on reality that science has to catch up to. Science is overly simplistic in its temporal approach to things and does not have a clue to the interactions that make up the universe and much less, the Human being. The bible does acknowledge organs of the human body but when the words heart and mind are employed they mean so much more. Read on.

  1. Biblically

When both the Old and New Testaments speak about the heart, it never means merely human feelings (emotions). In both the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) the word “heart” is used to refer to the whole of the innermost part of the human. (Metaphysical aggregate of what we really are – the innermost part – the sum and substance of us)

The Biblical word “heart,” is the inner aspect of a man, made of many streams flowing into a reservoir.

   1) Mental Process(The mind), which is the major part (where action & reaction take place), which is to lead a person in their life. Input is received through the eyes, ears, and experiences.

   2) Emotions (which only process as reaction), as icing to enrich our lives or complicating our dark experiences.

   3) Will, the seat of the will (discretionary, volitional, decision-making) where decisions are made between the rational and the emotive.

   4)Memories – altars of your life. Created by God or the Evil One.

The complex interactions between the above create the person we are. Christ and the Holy Spirit can pierce this quagmire, settle its storms, cleanse and shed His love to resurrect a pure heart that can see God. It’s a daily process till we see Him face to face.

{Would like to acknowledge – https://faithbibleministriesblog.com/2012/07/06/the-heart-and-the-mind-what-the-biblical-word-heart-means/ – from whom I have borrowed heavily to do the introduction.}

II. The word “HEART” in the Bible

Occurs 115 plus times in the NT and 565 plus times in the OT!!! Depending on the version you use the total number of usage can range up to 800 plus times. This variation is because of the reasons listed below.

In both the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) the word “heart” is used to refer to the whole of the innermost part of the human, NOT merely the emotions.

OT: lebab (3824) ‘leiv’ and ‘leivav’ rarely refer to “heart” as the physical organ of the body – rather they refer to the inner person, the mind, understanding, and underlying attitudes of human beings, all subsumed under the metaphorical term “heart.”

    With regard to persons, leiv and leivav signify the heart as the seat of a person’s inner being, guiding motivation, or moral conscience. Perhaps the broadest sense of this terminology occurs in those contexts where leiv refers to “heart” in the sense of “in one’s own mind,” or even “to oneself” 

NT: Strong’s Greek Dictionary, states the Greek word kardia (2588)

Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” Gen 17:17 

“Before I (Abraham’s servant, possibly Eliezer) had finished speaking in my heart (A place of conversation with God), behold, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder, and went down to the spring and drew, and I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ Gen 24:45 

Jeroboam said in his heart, “Now the kingdom will return to the house of David. 1 Kings 12:26

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Ps 14:1 

“He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. Luke 1:51

The Heart is the place you speak things into being like “spoke into being” in Genesis 1. What you create or allow to be created!!  (interesting parallel “SELF AUTHORING” – Jordan Petersen, see section XV)

The Heart is a reservoir into which the streams (what you “speak” or allow/open the door to) of the mind, thoughts, memory, the eyes, the ears, other senses, and the spirit feed. The mouth and our actions are that which spills out through the dam gates. 

THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE A PLEASANT STUDY. LET THE WORD OF GOD TROUBLE YOU DEEPLY. 

FIX IT NOW!

Genesis 4;6,7 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?  If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.”

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

In Genesis, Sin is crouching at the door of the heart  – In Revelation, Jesus is knocking at the door of the heart! The grand story of every human being and the story of mankind.

III. God’s perspective is always the heart

Since the creation of man, God has been reaching out to the heart and the story of the genesis to revelation is the playing out of the same.

The history of mankind and the failure of every human institution (from family – siblings – government – religion) is a matter of the heart. 

The fragmented and dysfunctional maladies of an individual are a matter of the heart. 

{SIDE NOTE – There are three that operate in the realm of your heart and the heart of others – one is you, the second is God (all good and perfect experiences), and the third is Satan (all wicked – steal, kill and destroy experiences) The influence of men operate either in godly wisdom or the demonic.}

1 Samuel 16:7 (David and Saul is the context, the human ruler conundrum, the limited judgment man has)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Ezek 6:9 (Israel’s Exile is the context)  “Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations to which they will be carried captive, how I have  been hurt by their adulterous hearts which turned away from Me, and by their eyes which played the harlot after their idols…”  

Jer 23:26 (False prophets is the context) How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart 

Gen 6:5 (Noah’s time and the advent of the flood is the context) 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.

Jer 17:9 – 10
“The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
“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.

IV. Lessons from the heart of Pharaoh – 

Exodus 4:21; Exodus 7:14 (Pharaoh is the context, a study on the heart of man) God said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn; he refuses to let the people go. 

Exodus 7:22 But the magicians of Egypt did the same (Water turned to blood) with their secret arts; and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. 

Exodus 8:8-15 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron and said, “Entreat the LORD that He remove the frogs from me and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to the LORD.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “The honor is yours to tell me: when shall I entreat for you and your servants and your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, that they may be left only in the Nile?” Then he said, “Tomorrow.” So he said, “May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. The frogs will depart from you and your houses and your servants and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.” Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the LORD concerning the frogs which He had inflicted upon Pharaoh. The LORD did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, the courts, and the fields. So they piled them in heaps, and the land became foul. But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. 

Exodus 8:18-19 The magicians tried with their secret arts to bring forth gnats, but they could not; so there were gnats on man and beast. Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said. 

The heart will lead nations to ruin and also no measure of God’s intervention will change a hardened heart – even after the whole nation, including his own, loses the firstborn – Pharaoh doesn’t change.

Exodus 14:5-7 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?” So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. Exodus 14:28

Egypt hasn’t really recovered from this event for 3300 plus years.

V. Lessons from Samson and Delilah

Judges 16:15-21 Samson and Delilah (Permission to access your heart leads to consequences both spiritually and physically)

Delilah Extracts His Secret

15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is.” 16 It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. 17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, “A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man.”

18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. 20 She said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison

WHAT ENTERS YOUR HEART CAUSES YOU TO FALTER REPEATEDLY LIKE PHARAOH AND SAMSON. WHAT HAS ENTERED YOUR HEART YIELDS GREAT POWER OVER YOU. SEE THE REPERCUSSIONS! THIS IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO MONITOR WHAT ENTERS YOUR HEART AND WHAT ENTERTAINS YOUR HEART (Relationships, Music, Movies, imaginations…)

VI. More God’s perspective

Is 29:13 (False Religion, Hypocrisy is the context) Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words. And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me,  And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote(Habitual repetition),

Mat 18:35 (Where the truth must have sway – true obedience) My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”

Mat 5:28 (Adultery, fornication, Sexual Abuse of another human being) but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Mar 12:30 (The primary place to ensure the others follow) and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

Jn 2:23,25 (Jesus is ONLY gauging you by the heart!!)
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.

2 Chronicles 16:9 (The Seer pointing out King Asa trusting in man instead of God, the condition of the heart)
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.”

Hebrews 4:12 (The Word of God is the only instrument that can operate your heart) For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 8:8-12 (The new covenant was established to save our hearts! Jesus died on the cross to win our hearts)  For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord,  When I will effect A new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;  Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers. On the day when I took them by the hand. To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, says the Lord:  I will put My laws into their minds,  And I will write them on their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people.  “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ For all will know Me. From the least to the greatest of them.  “For I will be merciful to their iniquities,  And I will remember their sins no more.”

Jeremiah 31:33-34   “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

VII. Integrity of the heart is leverage with God – 

Abimelech’s (A Philistine king of Gerar, near Gaza) case before God, this passage reveals some really deep understanding of how your heart predestines you to grace, favor, dreams and visions, etc…

Now Abraham journeyed from there toward the land of the Negev, and settled between Kadesh and Shur; then he sojourned in Gerar. Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.   But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married.” Now Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a nation, even though blameless? Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also  kept you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.” Genesis 20:1-7

VIII. Samuel’s scary warning to Israel at the establishment of the monarchy – 

Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king.” Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD (NOT THE KING!) with all your heart. 1 Samuel 12:19-20

IX.  The Heart after God’s own – a man sensitive in his heart to God – it is a great asset.  

This was the secret to the successes of David. His heart distressed or elated with the thoughts and counsel of God. His righteous victories came by a heart enamored by God and in his failings, when confronted by the Spirit he buckled to his knees quickly and repented genuinely. That’s why God gave him the title – “Man after My heart” – The judgement and discipline of God crushed his pride and poured the balm of repentance and humility in his heart.

Let’s look at a paradoxical passage and a particular incident in the latter part of David’s Life:

Now again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.” 2 Samuel 24:1

Same passage in Chronicles makes an amazing reading.

Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel. So David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, and bring me word that I may know their number.” 1 Chronicles 21:1-2

The incidents after the census in 2 Samuel 24

After nearly ten months of the census and getting the results…

Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O LORD, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” When David arose in the morning, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the LORD says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”’”  So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider and see what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.” Then David said to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let us now fall into the hand of the LORD for His mercies are great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.” 

So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time, and seventy thousand men of the people from Dan to Beersheba died.  When the angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD relented from the calamity and said to the angel who destroyed the people, “It is enough! Now relax your hand!” And the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Then David spoke to the LORD when he saw the angel who was striking down the people, and said, “Behold, it is I who have sinned, and it is I who have done wrong; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let Your hand be against me and against my father’s house.”

David Builds an Altar

So Gad came to David that day and said to him, “Go up, erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” David went up according to the word of Gad, just as the LORD had commanded. Araunah looked down and saw the king and his servants crossing over toward him; and Araunah went out and bowed his face to the ground before the king. Then Araunah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” And David said, “To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be held back from the people.” Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king.” And Araunah said to the king, “May the LORD your God accept you.” (NOTE: THIS WAS ALSO A TEST TO WEIGH DAVID”S HEART) However, the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. (THIS WAS AN ADVANCE OF SORTS – THE WHOLE SITE WOULD COST 600 SHEKELS – Expensive. 1 Chronicles 21:25) David built there an altar to the LORD and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Thus the LORD was moved by prayer for the land, and the plague was held back from Israel. 

A MIX OF NEW INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BIBLE DIFFICULTIES AND Yours truly ON THESE EVENTS

CONTEXT:  In neither book are we given a definite context for this census taking, and we have no way of knowing whether it took place before or after Absalom’s revolt. But since it led indirectly to the acquisition of the hill (Mt. Moriah) that became the location of the temple and of the royal palaces, it must have occurred several years before the end of David’s career

CONDITION OF DAVID’S HEART:

Without being fully aware of what was going on in his heart, David had apparently been building up an attitude of pride and self-admiration for what he had achieved in the way of military success and economic expansion of his people. He began to think more in terms of armaments and troops than in terms of the faithful mercies of God. In his youth he had put his entire trust in God alone, whether he was facing Goliath with a slingshot or an army of Amalekites with a band of four hundred men. But in later years he had come to rely more and more on material resources, like any hard-headed realist, and he learned to measure his strength by the yardstick of numbers and wealth.

1 Chronicles 21, we are faced with the statement that it was Satan who moved David to conduct the census even over Joab’s warning and protest. The verb for “incited” is identical in 2 Samuel 24:1 (wayyāseṯ). Why would Satan get himself involved in this affair? It was because Satan found it in his own interest to do so. David and Israel in the condition of their heart (Pride, Human reasoning, godless nationalism) had opened the door to demonic influence. We Find David/Israel in a SIMILAR SITUATION TO EGYPT’S PHARAOH!  The consequence was a plague!

The Lord therefore decided that it was time for David to be brought to his knees once more and to be cast on the grace of God through a time of soul-searching trial. He therefore allowed David to carry out the plan he had long cherished, that of counting up his manpower resources in order to plan his future military strategy with a view to the most effective deployment of his armies. Quite possibly this would also afford him a better base for assessment of taxes too.

*SIDE NOTE ON CENSUS – It was not that census taking was inherently evil. The Lord was not displeased with the two censuses taken in the time of Moses; in fact, He gave Moses positive directions to number all his military effectives (Num. 1:2-3; 26:2), both at the beginning of the forty years’ wandering in the desert and at the end of that period, as they were on the threshold of the conquest. The second census was designed to show that the total of Israel’s armed forces was actually a bit less than it had been forty years earlier. And yet with that smaller force they would sweep all their enemies before them, rather than cowering in fear at the prospect of war as their fathers had done at Kadesh-Barnea. The second census would also serve a useful purpose as a basis for the distribution of the conquered territory among the Twelve Tribes. The more numerous tribes should be awarded the larger tracts in the apportionment of land. The census God instructs/allows to be taken was purely administrative or to highlight His ability to multiply the strength of the few or to conquer the many. Never to manipulate or to inflate nationalistic pride.

But this census on which David had set his heart could serve no other purpose than to inflate the national ego. As soon as the numbering was complete, God meant to chasten the nation by a disastrous plague that would cause a considerable loss of life and a decrease in the numbers of their citizens.

General Joab felt a definite uneasiness about this whole project. He sensed that David and his advisors were becoming increasingly puffed up over their brilliant conquests, which had brought the Palestinian, Syrian, and Phoenician kingdoms into a state of vassalage and dependency on Israel. Joab was fearful that the Lord was displeased with this new attitude of self-confidence and self-esteem, and he tried to dissuade David from his purpose.

1 Chronicles 21:3 records Joab as saying, “The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then doth my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?” There is a definite sense in which Yahweh gave David a final warning through the lips of Joab, before David finally committed himself to the census.

 An Important lesson to be learned.

Both Satan and God are involved in heart/soul-searching testings and trials – God with a basically benevolent motive and a view to eventual victory and increasing usefulness for the person so tested, but Satan with an altogether malicious motive, hoping to do as much damage as he possibly can. Satan entered David’s disjointed heart in order to deal a severe blow to Israel and to mar David’s prestige before his subjects. As it turned out in the case of all God’s children that choose to humble themselves and repent, Satan’s success was limited and transient; Satan’s malice was surpassed by the overruling grace of God.

In the aftermath of the plague, which cost the lives of seventy thousand Israelites (2 Sam. 24:15), the angel of the Lord designated the exact spot on Mount Moriah where the plague was stopped as the chosen spot for the future temple of the Lord (v.18). This structure was destined to bring much blessing into the lives of God’s people for many generations to come.

David was a man of failures but his greatest achievement was to understand that the heart matters and set His heart again and again back to God.

—————

P.S: The census God instructs/allows to be taken(with Moses) was purely administrative or to highlight His ability to multiply the strength of the few or to conquer the many. Never to manipulate or to inflate nationalistic pride.

—————

X. King Solomon’s Insight into who God is

Solomon’s Prayer for wisdom? or what?

Then Solomon said, “You have shown great lovingkindness to Your servant David my father, according as he walked before You in truth and righteousness and uprightness of heart toward You; and You have reserved for him this great lovingkindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David, yet I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.  Your servant is in the midst of Your people which You have chosen, a great people who are too many to be numbered or counted. So give Your servant an understanding/discerning heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 1 Kings 3:6-9

At the temple dedication

He (Solomon) said, “O LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing lovingkindness to Your servants who walk before You with all their heart, 1 Kings 8:23

XI. The heart and health – 

The condition of your heart has physical and mental consequences.

 Then Elkanah her (Hannah, mother of Samuel) husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 1 Samuel 1:8

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13

A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22

This is why we must resist and cleanse every kind of evil, poison, bitterness, falsehood, and lies in our hearts. Don’t tolerate it, meditate on these things – cast them out… remove all guile (wicked counsel).

XII. Satan wants your heart to fail in matters of righteousness and faith in God. He will put on a show to undermine your faith. 

David and Goliath

David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 1 Samuel 17:32

Goliath operates in your heart with fear, blasphemy, and awe against the knowledge of God/Faith.

XIII. Jezebel and Ahab. The most wicked counsel and the most meaningless things can give joy to the heart!! – 

Jezebel his wife said to him, “Do you now reign over Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let your heart be joyful; I will give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.” 1 Kings 21:7

Summary from Bible odyssey website –  1Kgs 21 begins with the story of Naboth, who owned a vineyard next to the palace of King Ahab at Jezreel. To grow vegetables, the king offered to buy Naboth’s vineyard or exchange it for a better one. Naboth flatly refused. Instead of using his royal prerogatives to expropriate Naboth, the king returned home to sulk until Queen Jezebel had Naboth convicted on false charges and stoned to death. Ahab seized the vineyard, but the prophet Elijah stepped in to foretell the downfall of Ahab’s dynasty.

Satan gives you fantasies in your heart that will give you confidence and a poisonous joy that is abstract. Things will only get worse and worse. It takes you away from truth, pours death in your veins, abuses you and abuses others through you. The end of it will be your destruction. 

That porn and lust is offered by Jezebel, that greed/covetousness/envy will be justified by Jezebel, that selfishness will be encouraged by Jezebel, that spite and bitterness will be inflamed by Jezebel. Jezebel wants to infiltrate the heart. If Goliath operates in your heart with fear, blasphemy, and awe, Jezebel operates in your heart with glamor, blasphemy and malicious craftiness.

Watch out for Jezebels in your life and shut their voice over you. Could be a person, a TV program, A magazine, a newspaper, a youtube search, a website… Recognize a Jezebel spirit when it offers or encourages your darkest desires.

The name Jezebel roughly means “where is the prince?” considered a ceremonial chant in Baal (Prince) worship. Jezebel seeks the presence of Satan/an open door to the prince of darkness.

“Jezebel has stamped her name on history as the representative of all that is designing, crafty, malicious, revengeful, and cruel. She is the first great instigator of organized persecution against the servants of God – the prophets. Guided by no principle, restrained by no fear of either God or man, passionate in her attachment to her heathen worship, she spared no pains to maintain idolatry around her in all its splendour. Four hundred and fifty prophets ministered under her care to Baal, besides four hundred prophets of the groves [RSV, ‘prophets of the Asherah’], which ate at her table ( 1 Kings 18:19 ). The idolatry, too, was of the most debased and sensual kind.” Her conduct was in many respects very disastrous to the kingdom both of Israel and Judah ( 21:1-29 )”  – from https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/jezebel/

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write:

The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:

‘I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first. But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality. Behold, I will throw her on a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of her deeds. And I will kill her children with pestilence, and all the churches will know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts; and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. Revelation 2:18-23

“Moffat (Expositor’s Greek Testament) aptly renders, “that Jezebel of a woman alleging herself a prophetess.” Some members of the church at Thyatira “under the sway of an influential woman refused to separate from the local guilds where moral interests, though not ostensibly defied, were often seriously compromised ….. Her lax principles or tendencies made for a connection with foreign and compromising associations which evidently exerted a dangerous influence upon some weaker Christians in the city.” Her followers “prided themselves upon their enlightened liberalism (Revelation 2:24).” – from https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/jezebel/

XIV.  More God’s Perspective

The importance of the scriptures we are about to study cannot be overstated. Listen to the voice of God! He wants you to tread a path of simplicity, purity and holiness  

Act 2:42 — 46 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.  Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity/simplicity of heart.

There is no other path for heart – if you love complexity, a dark and winding, compromising, sinful path – hope you get to the other side – there is no other option, to walk with Christ, repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

The Bible is a mirror every man needs to gaze upon… come all ye!! YOU must gaze in the eyes of Jesus – see as HE sees you! Jesus will tell you who you are, where you been, why you are the way you are, and He, only He can truly set you free – Only One tells you THE TRUTH and shows you THE WAY and give you THE LIFE immortal.

XV. How your Heart works!

What is your treasure? Your treasure (What all/Who all are treasured) determines what is coming out of your heart.

Mat 6:19-24

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

   “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! 

You have your eye on your treasure! 

A passage that confounded me, Interesting observations – those that can see, their most provocative sense is sight! Also on close inspection, this scripture indicates what you see is what you turn on! Or turn to! The ears focus most often on what you set your eye on. What we let pour into our hearts through our eyes and ears have tremendous influence on our life story and legacy.

Every book, every room, every screen works on this principle – light emitting diodes display that which is of darkness or that which is good, pleasing, perfect. Thus there is such a thing as “the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”, which means you use light to set before you darkness. And the guiding light becomes perverse.

It breaks one’s heart when we see the church neglect these principles. Garbage in, garbage out. Wickedness in, wickedness out. Abuse in, abuse out.

 The verse continues into..

   “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth (Gr mamonas, for Aram mamon (mammon); i.e. wealth, etc., personified as an object of worship)

Jesus has summed up humanities struggles through all time in these few words.

Luke 6:45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Treasure extended meanings –  cherish, adore, worship, venerate, reverence, prized, riches, valuable/value, wealth/assets, hold dear, esteemed, dote on (to bestow or express excessive love or fondness habitually ), catch, darling, find, fortune, resource, funds, hoard, richness, stored up, pride and joy, delight, apple of one’s eye (!!!), boast

Have “Good” treasures… to ensure a heart that produces Good. Good, pleasing to God, Perfect, praise worthy, good repute, true, honorable, right, good gifts, pure, lovely, if there is any excellence – Good treasure.  (Philippians 4:8; Rom 12:1, 2)

Psalms 101:2-4 I will  give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the  integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. 

Proverbs 23:6-7 Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, Or desire his delicacies; For as he thinks within himself (in his heart), so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you. 

1 Kings 11:3,4 He (King Solomon) had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been.

Luke 2:19, 51 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart. 

Colossians 3:12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and  patience;

Psalms 119:11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.

2 Ti 2:22 Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

All our senses, eyes – ears – mind must flee!!

Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

XVI.  Self Authoring that becomes God authoring

Who or what is authoring your life? Fear? Vanity? Laziness? Past abusive experiences? Hollywood? Beyonce? The Devil? Take responsibility for one’s life and heart, grab the helm of your ship and it’s direction. This will be radical, and will change you, and change the world around you. You decide what gets voiced and let the actions proceed. But it must be a godly exercise. In the following excerpt, Jordan Peterson* details a self authoring program that is revolutionizing many people around the world, but examine it carefully, isn’t it similar to what God desires happening in us? While Peterson’s is an open ended humanistic exercise, OURS SHOULD BE A SCRIPTURE INFUSED ONE COZ ONLY THE TRUTH CAN SET US FREE!!

I love the way he has articulated it but I want us to infuse scripture into it.

From Petersen’s official website on self – authoring:

“People who spend time writing carefully about themselves become happier, less anxious and depressed and physically healthier. They become more productive, persistent and engaged in life. This is because thinking about where you came from, who you are and where you are going helps you chart a simpler and more rewarding path through life.”

The Past Authoring Program helps you remember, articulate and analyze key positive and negative life experiences.

The Present Authoring Program has two modules. The first helps you understand and rectify your personality faults. The second helps you understand and develop your personality virtues.

The Future Authoring Program helps you envision a meaningful, healthy and productive future, three to five years down the road, and to develop a detailed, implementable plan to make that future a reality.

“Put your past to rest! Understand and improve your present personality! Design the future you want to live! The Self Authoring Suite will improve your life.”    – Jordan Peterson

*{Jordan Petersen is a Professor of Psychology, holding degrees in political science and psychology and a Phd in clinical psychology. He has some christian leanings but is more a philosopher and is in a state of flux and not a conservative christian, from my appraisal.

In a 2017 interview, Peterson was asked if he was a Christian; he responded, “I suppose the most straight-forward answer to that is yes.” When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded: “I think the proper response to that is No, but I’m afraid He might exist.”}

Though these are profound, they must be infused with scripture/faith to be pleasing to God and to have lasting positive eternal effect. Humanistic self authoring is a dead end because it will not fill the God sized void in us – plus there is a scary case in point – 

Satan is recorded as self authoring his terrible rebellion.

Isaiah 14:12-14 “How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! “But you said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, And I will sit on the mount of assembly In the recesses of the north. ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 

Be careful of the false self or ego and pride based on authoring of oneself! My daughter asked me this question, “If we say to ourselves I can do this and I will achieve this.. Is that how to become successful?” That is the way of pride and you will end in a pit as far as your relationship with God and others are concerned. It is the mantra of Hollywood and much of modern media – “Look into your heart”, “You are all you need”, “Just believe in your heart and you can do it”, etc

The self authoring God wants in a Christian’s life is agreeing with the voice of the Holy Spirit over your life and repeating that in our hearts till we see the fulfillment. I can do this because He is able to strengthen me according to the word/promise I have received. God is the source not the self thus it is God authoring your life!!

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith,…. Hebrews 12:2

And He *said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19

Faith is God authoring your past, present and future! Faith is a new heart, the old is gone and the new has come. Faith is the renewing of your heart and mind. Faith is a heavenly perspective of your life. That’s why scripture says ”man shall not live by bread alone” – for the wages of this sin riddled life is death – but “The words of eternity/eternal life” (past, present, future) – the “bread from heaven” – will give you “life, life in abundance”, peace – “the peace of God” “guarding your heart and mind” (“not like the world gives”) which will “crush the serpent’s head”/authority (over you life) “underneath your feet” 

The disciple is one that develops this good treasure (walk of Faith) over the entirety of his life, baptizing both the old and new (past, present and future) in the words of Christ  

Rewrite/cancel out the lies and deception that our earlier “father of lies” and “death” wrote over us – let the Holy Spirit write His words on hearts, transforming old and new to treasures of heaven. Interesting analogy with Petersen’s writing things down – a form of meditation we are ignoring. We are all writers! Write out your life with the words of Christ/ faith. Write the vision down (Hab 2:2.3)

The disciple is one completely refined and redefined.

Jesus in the gospel of Luke defines a disciple(Only three scriptures with the word) as

  1. “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26
  2. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27
  3. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. Luke 14:33

If this is not a total redefinition of oneself – I don’t know what is! Are you totally redefined and refined or still clinging to the lies and deceptions of our past or the Devil?

XVII.  Reading Aloud 

A God given discipline we may not be using to mould and transform our hearts so has to be God authored is the reading aloud or loud proclamation of God’s word/prophecy. In many portions of the Bible this leads to radical transformation or a new chapter in the move of God (Nehemiah, Exodus, Jesus reads the scripture aloud). Are we reading scripture out loud where it is required? Are we incorporating scripture into our daily conversations/prayer? It is a bible prescribed act of tremendous power! Today we seem to have shelved scripture reading (if it happens!) to silent speed reading that may or may not engage our hearts and minds.

The following are quotes from an article in the BBC – https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200917-the-surprising-power-of-reading-aloud

For much of history, reading was a fairly noisy activity. On clay tablets written in ancient Iraq and Syria some 4,000 years ago, the commonly used words for “to read” literally meant “to cry out” or “to listen”. “I am sending a very urgent message,” says one letter from this period. “Listen to this tablet. If it is appropriate, have the king listen to it.”

Only occasionally, a different technique was mentioned: to “see” a tablet – to read it silently.

Today, silent reading is the norm. The majority of us bottle the words in our heads as if sitting in the hushed confines of a library. Reading out loud is largely reserved for bedtime stories and performances.

But a growing body of research suggests that we may be missing out by reading only with the voices inside our minds. The ancient art of reading aloud has a number of benefits for adults, from helping improve our memories and understand complex texts, to strengthening emotional bonds between people. And far from being a rare or bygone activity, it is still surprisingly common in modern life. Many of us intuitively use it as a convenient tool for making sense of the written word, and are just not aware of it.

Colin MacLeod, a psychologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, people consistently remember words and texts better if they read them aloud than if they read them silently. … the memory-boosting effect of reading aloud is particularly strong in children, but it works for older people, too. “It’s beneficial throughout the age range,” he says.

MacLeod has named this phenomenon the “production effect”. It means that producing written words – that’s to say, reading them out loud – improves our memory of them.

MacLeod says one reason why people remember the spoken words is that “they stand out, they’re distinctive, because they were done aloud, and this gives you an additional basis for memory”.

The production effect is strongest if we read aloud ourselves. But listening to someone else read can benefit memory in other ways. “Some find it helps them unpack complicated, difficult texts, whether it’s legal, academic, or Ikea-style instructions,” Duncan says. “Maybe it’s about slowing down, saying it and hearing it.”

In his book on ancient literacy, Reading and Writing in Babylon, the French assyriologist Dominique Charpin quotes a letter by a scribe called Hulalum that hints at silent reading in a hurry. Apparently, Hulalum switched between “seeing” (ie, silent reading) and “saying/listening” (loud reading), depending on the situation.

In his book on ancient literacy, Reading and Writing in Babylon, the French assyriologist Dominique Charpin quotes a letter by a scribe called Hulalum that hints at silent reading in a hurry. Apparently, Hulalum switched between “seeing” (i.e, silent reading) and “saying/listening” (loud reading), depending on the situation.

{Reading silently has the same advantage as scribbling – speed, sometimes getting close to the speed of thought and can be powerful BUT the oft neglected reading aloud and repetitive reading must be employed as it has incredible meditative value and is productive for assimilation. – me and the latter half of the article. Also the importance of scripture put to song. Finally, what the scripture instructs: 

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to  God, even the Father;  and be subject to one another in the  fear of Christ. Ephesians 5:18-21}

A loud presence of scripture in your life/heart is evidence of the filling/presence of the Holy Spirit!

XVIII. The nature of a heart submitted to the Flesh/Mammon

Gen 8:21 …for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth…

This is and will be the doom of mankind. 

Dear Christian, Dear Christian Parent, Dear Church – this is where the battle is and all of us have a responsibility to raise a standard in our homes, churches, and areas of influence.

(Is it any surprise that all media companies, all companies/governments want to take the youth in their hands? “He alone who owns the youth gains the future.” – Adolf Hitler)

Is 32:6 For a fool speaks nonsense, And his heart  inclines toward wickedness: To practice ungodliness and to speak error against the Lord, To  keep the hungry person unsatisfied And to withhold drink from the thirsty.

Mat 15:15 — Mat 15:20 Peter said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.”  Jesus said, “Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

Mat 12:34 You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.

2Pe 2:14 having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children

XIX. Direct reference to Satan’s activities to effect our hearts:

Mat 13:19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road.

Luke 8:11  “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.

Jn 13:2 During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him,

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land?

XX. Additional verses on Hardness of Heart and God engaging with us:

Mar 6:52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their heart was hardened.

Mar 10:5 But Jesus said to them, “ Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.

Mar 16:14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Eph 4:18 being darkened in their understanding,  excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

Jn 12:40 “HE has blinded their eyes and HE hardened their heart, so that they would not see with their eyes and perceive with their heart, and be converted and I heal them.”

Jn 1:45 — Jn 1:51
Philip *found Nathanael and *said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip *said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and *said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael *said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” And He *said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (Nathanael, whose name is spelled Nathaniel in popular modern usage, was one of the disciples called by Jesus (John 1:43). Nathanael was from Cana in Galilee (John 21:2) and was brought to Jesus by his friend, Philip, who also became one of Jesus’ disciples. Nathanael was one of the first to express belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 1:49). His name means “God has given” in Hebrew. Interestingly, Nathanael is only mentioned in the Gospel of John; the other three gospels identify him as “Bartholomew.”)

XXI. What we give permission (“Let”) to operate in our HEART:

Jn 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

Rom 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Jam 3:13-18 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly,  natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the  seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.(The things which must be allowed in our hearts to reign)

XXII. Allow the Spirit to pierce and operate our heart and the streams that feed it:

Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren,  what shall we do?”

Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

Eph 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Heb 10:15,16 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them. After those days, says the Lord: I will put MY laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,”

XXIII.  The power of a heart submitted to the Holy Spirit

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Mat 13:14 For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear,And they have closed their eyes,Otherwise they would see with their eyes,Hear with their ears,And understand with their heart and return,And I would heal them.’ (Apply the opposite TRUTH that staring at us – an active heart allows God to work miracles in our midst)

Luke 24:25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! (Apply the opposite TRUTH that staring at us – an active heart allows God to work miracles in our midst)

Mar 11:23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him.

Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

Eph 5:19  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Heb 3:10 – 11 “Therefore I was angry with this generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they did not know MY ways’;  AS I swore in MY wrath, ‘They shall not enter MY rest.’”  (Apply the opposite TRUTH that staring at us – an obedient heart experiences His rest)

XXIV.  Faith resides and thrives in a sincere Heart

Heb 10:22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Heb 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (Apply opposite TRUTH!!)

Rom 10: 8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;   for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

XXV.  Final Warnings, instructions

Rom 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Eph 6: 5,6   Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Similar to the above, 

Col 3:22 – 24   Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

1Ti 1:5 But the goal of our  instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1Jo 3:17 But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Rev 18:7   To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as A queen and I am not A widow, and will never see mourning.’ “Says in her heart”!!! Examine daily – minute by minute – what has “say”/ what is being said in your heart – the loudest voice. Decide to incline your Heart to the Holy Spirit and ONLY the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:27 And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.


XXVI.  A shining example left for us

Act 2:46

 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart,

Act 4:32

And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them.

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Published by Vin

From Kerala, India.

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