God Looks at the Heart

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart…” 1 Samuel 16:7

In the evaluation of a man, we consider his appearance, his occupation and his accomplishments. God looks at the heart. Religiously, we concern ourselves with others’ teachings and practices and make efforts to alter them into accordance with the Bible. But God looks at the heart. God is not concerned with what we look like, but rather what we are on the inside because what we are on the inside drives what we do and how we live.

 

God desires to shape and mold our hearts through with the power of his hands

Jesus said the most important commandment is to love God, and the second to love your neighbor. (Matthew 22:34-39) These two, surprisingly, are not included in the Ten Commandments, (Deuteronomy 5:7-21) but are the foundation for every command in the Word of God.

 

In Mark 7 Jesus calls the Pharisees and teachers of the Law hypocrites and points out their desire for traditions rather than God’s commands. Their worship is in error, however, was not the problem, it was only a symptom. “These people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me,” Jesus said. They were pleasing themselves rather than God. Their disobedience proved their lack of love for God. More importantly, their disobedience proved who they were in their hearts. If we love the Lord, we will dig deep in the tough situations in our lives to find out what pleases Him and we make our hearts and our actions be obedient to His will. Paul attempted to teach the Corinthian church this standard of Loving the Lord when he said, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians10:5

 

Michael Kirchner Preaches the Word to the Portland and Eugene Churches!

So the real issue is never doctrine, the Bible is clear enough. The issue is: Do you love the Lord with all your heart. soul, and mind? Does your life revolve around His will? What would God say about your heart?

 

What would you say about your heart? There’s a well known verse which says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9 So if our hearts deceive us, how can we know what is in our hearts? Thankfully, God gives us the answer in very next verse (not so well known) when he says, “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

Jesus mentioned three indicators of the condition of our hearts:

1. What we say (Matthew 12:33-37) “ … out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” We can all create an image of ourselves with carefully chosen words. But the careless words we mutter under our breath, the words we yell in our anger, the gossip and slander in casual conversation are the very words for which we will be held accountable. Do you talk about God or the weather? Are you encouraging or always critical? Are you careful with your words? What is flowing out of your heart?

2. What we do. (Mark 7:20-23) Jesus says all the sins we commit originate in our own hearts. The Devil cannot make us do it. He only suggests it.

Incredible worship with the churches of Oregon!

3. Where our treasure is. (Matthew 6:19-21) “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We probably treasure most our time and our money. The way we spend them shows what we love.

Jeremiah, Ron, and Michael enjoy their partnership!

What we say, what we do, and where we spend our time and money all give ample evidence of what we are- of what is in our hearts, whether we like it or not. No exceptions, no excuses. Fortunately, however, we can do something about the condition of our hearts:

 

Carlos & Lucy helped us see what is truly in our hearts as marrieds Couples!

1. Decision (Matthew 6:19-21) This same passage about our treasure implies that if we change our priorities, we’ll change our hearts. That’s why Jesus tells us to Store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth. Put your time and money into the only thing that lasts-souls.

2. Guard your Heart (Proverbs 4:23) “ … for it is the wellspring of life.” Computer Programmers and IT Professionals often say the phrase “garbage in, garbage out.” 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “bad company corrupts, good character.” Everything we expose our hearts to will affect them. This is why constant involvement with the Church, regular study of God’s word, and constant prayer are essential for a pure heart .

3. Pray for God’s Power (Ezekiel 36:26) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your own heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Now baptized disciples, Luis & Anna Avila were united with Christ at our Married Retreat!

We must accept that there are some things in our hearts which only God can change , then pray for him to purify our hearts. We must also face the fact that our speech, our actions, and our priorities reveal the true nature of our hearts.

Through discipling, decisions to repent, greater involvement with God’s people, through his word, and through prayers to God for His power – our hearts will change….and so will our lives.

 

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