God Knows What’s In Your Heart

Then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart you know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men).             1 Kings 8:39

Who can really understand and know the heart of a man? Regarding the fact that only God knows our hearts, Chuck Smith says, “This thought may bring you comfort or uneasiness. In the scriptures the heart represents that deepest area of your being. As the mind is considered the seat of the soul, so the heart is considered the seat of the spirit. Why is it that just when you get comfortable with yourself and think you know your heart pretty well and believe you have arrived at the place where you will never do another sinful thing, you wind up doing something so goofy, so boneheaded, you begin saying to yourself, “why did I do that, or I can’t believe that just came out of my mouth?”

The heart is the place where all your desires, feelings, affections, passions and impulses come from every day. Jesus said in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” 

Because the human heart can be deceptive, even leading us to fear what hasn’t taken place yet, we tend to focus on our fears rather than on the promises of God.  Fears are like a dark closet and sometimes we find ourselves locked inside them and we get the feeling there is no way out. Whenever you choose to take actions based on a response from your fears, you will always run the risk of being deceived by your own heart. 

In Mark 4, Jesus told a parable about a sower who scatters seed on different types of soil. Jesus likened the human heart to a garden and He compares four types of soil with four types of heart attitudes.  First there is the the wayside heart, second, the stony heart, third, the distracted heart and finally the good heart. Regarding the seed that fell on the good soil, Jesus said it “yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced”  Those who hear the Word of God and accept it will bear fruit.  God wants your heart to be a fruitful garden in which you bear spiritual fruit unto Him! 

Jesus said in John 15:8, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”  Just think of it, a life spent producing tremendous fruit, a life that is green and lush and abundant will have victory over the flesh and will have reconciliation of relationships.  It will be a life that leads others to Christ and a life spent in prayer and the study of God’s Word. 

Don’t allow your fears to get the best of you. It will only lead you into a place of compromise and idolatry.  You can be fruitful today if you wll only let God’s Word into your heart and you too will bear fruit unto God, some thirty, some sixty and some one hundredfold. May the Lord give unto us a new heart today!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Bob

Willing Hearts

If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord. Leviticus 1:3

What is the book of Leviticus all about? The word Leviticus means “pertaining to the Levites.” The Levites were the members of Aaron’s family who were not ordained as priests but responsible to help the priests in the service of the tabernacle. (Read Numbers 3:1-13). The book of Leviticus contains the divine instructions for the priests concerning the various sacrifices, the feasts, and the laws of separation (what was clean and what was unclean). Leviticus tells New Testament Christians how to appreciate holiness and appropriate it into their everyday lives. The word holy is used 91 times in Leviticus and words connected with cleansing are used 71 times. References to uncleanness number 128. 

The sacrificial system for atonement found in the Old Testament is very foreign to us. The meaning of the word atonement in the Old Testament is “to cover”. The blood of bulls and goats did not put away sin, but made a covering. Sins were covered but not put away.  However, in the New Testament, Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross put away sin once and for all! Christ was the superior sacrifice! So, the sacrificial system here in Leviticus is no longer valid since Jesus became sin for us. He is the ultimate sacrifice. In Hebrews 9:26 we read that Jesus came "to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." 

This covenant which the Lord made with the Jews is now set aside because of a far greater covenant, the covenant of the blood of Christ. The Old Testament sacrifices for atonement could never have made anyone perfect, but simply point the way to Christ, so that we could be made perfect before the Lord. In Ephesians 5:2, Paul declares: “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.”

Notice in Leviticus 1:3, that the qualification of any offering before the Lord was a willing heart! Man exercised his own free will when he chose to rebel against the Lord in the Garden of Eden, now he must use his free will to return to the Lord. God does not force you to love or serve Him, but He does desire a willing heart.

The Old Testament sacrifice pointed the way to Jesus. It served one important purpose, it pointed to the day when God would send His Son to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. What a joy it is to relate to God as a part of the new and everlasting covenant, the covenant which was sealed by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Bob

© 2014