Life is an Expression of the Heart
LIFE IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE HEART
The heart is life’s laboratory (Mark 7:20-23). The biblical heart is the mind of man. And what we put in our biblical heart determines how we conduct ourselves. As mentioned in Mark chapter seven, evil and sinful things will manifest themselves if that is what we place, or allow to be placed, in our hearts. In other words, they will defile us. Likewise, if we put God’s word in our heart we can be transformed into a creature of love and good works.
What is our attitude toward God and his word? Are we diligent to put his word into our hearts? Like anything else, we must work to change or to improve. We can’t just wish for change or improvement and have change just miraculously happen. God’s word is how his Spirit dwells in us and changes us. How much time do we devote to study of his word? If we will continuously feed it to our heart, it will cause our heart to be transformed into a creature of love and good works, worthy of our calling. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the lord.” Colossians 3:16
What is our attitude toward our brothers and sisters in Christ? Paul gave us a good example of how our attitude toward our brothers and sisters should be when he wrote the church at Philippi. In Philippians 1:3, 4, Paul wrote concerning his love for them, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now…” The christian bond of peace and love is to be great. This bond of peace is what will keep the unity of the church (Col. 4:3). A good test to apply is to ask ourselves, are we as concerned for out brothers and sisters as we are for others in this world? If we are distant or of an indifferent nature toward the church, we are exhibiting a flag that needs immediate attention.
What is our attitude toward religious error? If we are willing to accept or tolerate false doctrine, we do not have God. Only those who abide in the doctrine of Christ have both the father and the Son (2 Jn. 9-11). We are further instructed not to even wish those spreading false doctrine Godspeed or we too are partakers in their evil deeds. Paul warned the churches in their infancy to not consider any other doctrine than the one he initially delivered to them. Even if it was himself or an angel that brought it to them (Gal. 1:8) and avoid them who cause division among us (Rom. 16:17).
Most all can understand the attitude toward religion error, but what about our attitude toward sin? Sin is what we are bombarded with on a continuous basis. This is an old ploy of Satan and nothing new, the world seeks to callus us to the sin mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21. But we must abstain from all appearance of evil (1 Thess. 5:22). Not try to exhibit or display ourselves as the same ugliness we see around us. If we are blending in with dress and appearance, we must ask ourselves, “Who are we trying to emulate?” Abhor that which is evil and cleave to that which is good (Rom. 12:9).
Lastly, what is our attitude toward work? As Paul is closing his first letter to the Corinthians, he leaves them with a last word of encouragement. He tells them to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (1Cor. 15:58). What is our work ethic like for the Lord. We put in perspective of our work ethic when we compare it to what all has been done for us in the past. How do we stack up with those who came before us in God’s word? As servants of God, what kind of servant are we compared to the servants in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30)? Are we fully utilizing our talents?
- Marc Hopkins