(Mark 12:30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
Jesus said the greatest command is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We tell children they need to have Jesus in their heart to be saved and we invite adults to ask Jesus to come into their heart for salvation. But what is the heart? We know from medical science it is the organ in our body that circulates the blood in our bodies and without it we would die. But is that the heart Scripture talks about?
When Scripture speaks of our heart referring to spiritual matters it is not the organ that pumps blood that is being referred. While the Greek word kardia is where we get our word for that organ in the body, its meaning goes beyond that limited idea. It denotes the center of blood circulation hence the center of our life but also carries th idea of the center of our spiritual life as well.
Just the organ in our body is the center of our life (the blood circulates and brings oxygen and food to our body), so in the spiritual realm our heart is the center of our spiritual life. The heart is the command center for our life; from the physical heart flows our health and well-being, so from our spiritual heart flows our health and well-being spiritually speaking. If our physical heart does not function properly then our health is poor or we die. So, also, the spiritual heart needs to be taken care of in order to have and maintain spiritual health.
The physical heart receives its own health from its own function of pumping blood throughout the body – it pumps blood to its own self to maintain health. When the arteries get clogged in our hearts, there is a need for either a stint to be placed in the arteries to maintain proper blood flow or if necessary, open heart surgery to replace clogged vessels in order to maintain the health of our heart and ultimately of our body. If we do not take care of our heart then our life may be ended or our activity may be severely hampered or eliminated. In our next several devotional blogs I want to examine types of hearts as well as diseases of the heart in relation to our spiritual life and health.
We are entire beings made by the hand of God with complexity and intricate details. The whole body fitted and framed together is a marvel of engineering. Evolutionists try to say it all just happened or we are mutations from lower animals, but when you look at all the complexity of our bodies, you have to say with the song writer, “How great Thou art”. Just as our physical bodies are meshed together as a whole, so our spiritual being is meshed together so much so that it is difficult to separate our parts and be positive of our accuracy in definition.
The Bible says to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, so there is a separation of these four elements; yet in Scripture there is an overlapping of performance among our members. For instance Jesus said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” Here the soul is related to our feelings and emotions. Yet when speaking of His forth coming death Jesus said that “sorrow had filled the hearts of the disciples. We know the mind is that part of us that we think with, yet Scripture says, “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Here the heart is said to think. The spirit and soul re closely related so much so that various Scriptures speak of the one in identical terms as it speaks of the other. They are so closely meshed Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Here it says the spirit and soul are so closely tied together it takes the sharpness of the word to separate and again it refers to the heart thinking. So as we go through these several blogs let us not try to be too detailed but allow Scripture to speak and apply it to our own life.
Assuredly, our hearts need to be kept in good health. Our physical heart needs proper nutrition, exercise and care. This may mean changing our eating habits, lifestyle and even going to the doctor for checkups to maintain proper health and well-being. That is what we intend to do in these devotionals – examine what Scripture says about our hearts and do some spiritual checking-up to maintain our spiritual health.