Devotional: ‘The Heart’

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Surely You desire integrity in the inner self, and You teach me wisdom deep within. (Ps 51:6 HSB)

Sometime back I read a very power article written by the Puritan Thomas Murphy, concerning the need for integrity. Here is a portion of that writing –

“… the heart is the true source of such exalted character. Where there is devoted godliness in the heart it will be seen in the life. It cannot be hidden. Moreover, it cannot be counterfeited. If the genuine work is not within, no efforts to imitate it will be successful. But where it really is, life, lips, and acts will all reveal it, even when it is not so intended. The heart which is elevated by communion with Christ will show itself on the countenance and in the daily communion with men.”

We often evaluate others by such things as their career, their possessions, or their appearance. But Scripture tells us that whereas men judge by what they see on the outside, God judges by what He sees in the heart. [1] Scripture says – “I the LORD, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.” (Jer 17:10 HSB)

Because the condition of our heart is so important, Thomas Murphy encouraged us to give our heart our greatest attention. In his writing he stated –

“Hence, whatever character we would bear with our fellow men, we must attain to in the depths of our own hearts. Whatever standing we would maintain before the world, we must first reach in our secret intercourse with God.”

In other words, it all begins in the heart. This important truth is supported by the teaching of our Savior. Jesus said – “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 ESV) It is what is in our heart that is going to determine who we are and how we live.

Therefore Solomon wrote – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) Don’t be careless with your heart. Protect your inner man.

I close today with this prayer of David.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24 ESV

[1] 1 Samuel 16:7

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