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God Looks at The Heart

God Looks at The Heart The book of Samuel details the life of Saul, the first king of Israel, and his rise and fall. He was a towering man, above all the people of Israel, and he came from a wealthy family… but his heart was not fully towards the Lord, and therefore he disobeyed the prophetic directives given to him by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 15:12-23) and lost his kingdom. God had now rejected Saul as king. He directed Samuel to go the house of Jesse to anoint a new king to replace him. Samuel obeyed the Lord and took a horn of oil to anoint one of Jesse’s sons. When he arrived at Jesse’s house and explained his mission, Jesse brought his sons before Samuel to see which one the Lord had chosen. One by one they passed before Samuel, and each time the Lord told him they were not the one he had chosen. When Samuel thought it was Eliab, the elder, the Lord corrected him. But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) It is easy to judge any situation or person by outward appearances, but God looks at the heart of things. We can be enamored with a person’s charisma or seeming greatness, but God judges differently, and He knows the truth about every motive, every attitude of the heart and mind. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, He would speak to individuals based upon their heart condition and not their outward appearance. He said the Pharisees were like vipers (Matthew 12:34). To the average person they may have seemed like sincere and honest religious leaders. He called the scribes hypocrites and warned them of their awaiting condemnation (Matthew 23:14), yet most people saw them as the religious intelligentsia of the day. Today is no different. What seems front and center in the church world, may not always be what God sees. Of course, there are millions of true believers who serve God with a pure heart, out of love and reverence for Him. But there are also those who are caught up with an outward kind of Christianity that is void of a true heart of love, worship, and humility before the Lord. Paul said it this way: “…having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 2 Timothy 3:5 As believers and followers of Christ, we must always examine our hearts to be sure we are following Him for the right reasons, and not just part of the masses who are aimlessly going along and blinded by the world’s mindset. The apostle Paul admonished the church at Corinth to examine themselves. Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. 2 Corinthians 13:5 True Christianity is not an outward show of piety we do not possess, it is a work of grace in our hearts that has transformed us into new creatures, and given us life we could never attain on our own. This transformation begins in the heart, and works out from there to maintain good works, and praise to God. It is a life of transparency before God, Who sees all and knows all. He desires our hearts and not empty religious exercises (Joel 2:12-13). Look at these conditions of the heart spoken of in scripture. Insincerity is of the heart. Do not eat the bread of a miser, Nor desire his delicacies; For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. "Eat and drink!" he says to you, But his heart is not with you. Proverbs 23:6-7 Atheism is of the heart. The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. Psalms14:1 Walking uprightly is of the heart. A Psalm of David. LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; Psalms 15:1-2 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalms 19:14 The pure in heart. Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God. Matthew 5:8 A lustful heart. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 Treasure of the heart. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21 A heart away from God. He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.” Mark 7:6 Loving God is of the heart. AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. This is the first commandment. Mark 12:30 An unbelieving heart Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14 A good heart But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. Luke 8:15 A lying heart But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? Acts 5:3 God knows our hearts. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, Acts 15:8 Salvation is of the heart “…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:9-10 True Giving is from the heart. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 Love from a pure heart Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 1 Timothy 1:5 Unbelief and leaving God is of the heart. Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; Hebrews 3:12 The Living Word searches our hearts. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 Charity is from the heart. But whoever has this world's goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17 There are hundreds of passages found in scripture describing the heart and its influence, whether good or bad. Our lives are mostly a result of choices we have made from the heart. This does not mean challenges and trials are necessarily our choosing, but how we respond is. King Solomon wisely stated: Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 Let us seek to have pure hearts before the Lord, and to walk in His light. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 If we draw near to God with an honest heart, He will cleanse us from an evil conscience and purify our hearts. This is an ongoing process as we are conformed to the image of Christ through the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (1 John 1:9; John 15:3; 1 Peter 1:2). "…let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience...."Hebrews 10:22 We have only touched the surface of this topic on the heart, but I trust the Holy Spirit to make these truths a fresh revelation and inspiration for you. Until next time, may God our Heavenly Father bless and keep you! James Brown CST 01/17/2023
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