What is your best definition or description of the word “heart”? The dictionary says that it is the vital center of one’s being, emotions and sensibilities. Then there is a surprisingly long list of phrases that we use in our language which include the word ” heart” – heart-ache, heart-felt, heartless, to your heart’s content, heartily. How many more can you think of?
When it comes to an even more meaningful definition that would help us understand this word as it is used in Scripture, here are a few possibilities.
- “The place out of which we respond to all of life.” L. Schlaepfer
- “The common ground where you and God meet. It’s the place where forgiveness is cultivated, where faith first takes root, where love grows, where hope blossoms, where mercy reaches fruition.” E. Peterson
- “That inward place that only God sees from which come our deepest thoughts, feelings, decisions.” R. Stedman
As Moses passionately urged this new generation to “take to heart this day” the truths that he had spoken to them about the one and only God who loved them and longed to show them His mercy and give them His blessings, it was very clear that he wanted them to take his message very seriously. He didn’t want them to simply acknowledge this information intellectually or to give him a casual nod of agreement. What part of his message do you think had the greatest impact on that generation and on the ones that would follow?
Moses knew from his own experience that, while God would always remember His promises and in His mercy forgive those who come to Him, there would also be consequences for idolatry, disobedience, and forgetfulness, so he was highly motivated to communicate clearly the truths that would make the difference between defeat and victory as they moved into the land of promise, if they would only “take them to heart”.
In pondering the “heart” question, I want to know more about the heart of God. I want my heart to beat in unison with God’s heart. How can I bring about the desires of His heart? His heart is about relationship. All He has ever wanted is a people who He can have a relationship with.
Yes !…….relationship! You’ve said it so well. That’s what I want, too….
Marilyn, I love the Psalm 86:11-13 reflection that you chose for us. Verse 11 is especially meaningful to me……
“Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
Give me an “undivided heart,”
that I may fear your name.”
That led me to Jeremiah 32:39
“I will give them “singleness of heart”
and action, so that they will always
fear me for their own good and the good
of their children after them.”
I pray for singleness of heart. Keep me from saying one thing and doing another;
Keep me from being distracted by things that appeal to my ego instead of those that please you, Lord.
Teach me how to be in relationship with you.
Yes, we need Him to teach us about being in relationship with Him. It is not like human relationships, so we need His guidance!
Thanks for that insight!