It’s all about the heart
Last year I decided to adopt a theme and really delve into one aspect of how I walk arm-in-arm with God. The theme that revealed itself to me in 2017 was “Loved”. I studied the bible verses that talked of God’s love, described His love for me and along the way found encouragement and challenge beyond anything I could’ve imagined when I started. I would love to share my learnings with you – ask me!
So, when 2018 began I was seeking a new word, a new concept to explore, some new insights and even some new challenges. I have settled on “heart” as my theme word for 2018. Where to start…at the beginning as Maria would sing…
Looking in the concordance (an alphabetised list of words in the bible showing all the verses that contain that word) at the back of my bible I noticed Leviticus 19 v17. I was nearly going to skip over it but I’m glad I didn’t. Leviticus is one of the first books in the Bible and it outlines the “rules” the newly formed nation of Israel was to live by. I was intrigued as to why there would be a reference to the heart in the middle of all the rules.
Reading in context is always the best so I read the whole chapter… instructions about how to worship, how to grow crops, how to treat your neighbour, how to be a good boss and a good worker, what to wear, what to eat, how to treat the elderly etc. etc. And in the middle v17:
“Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart.”
Why is this here – it seems very “touchy-feely” in the middle of plain-speaking instruction. In the middle of all they were to “DO” God speaks to their core – what kind of person they were to be on the inside. All the “DOING” will mean nothing if hatred is present in the heart. The Israelites had no hope of keeping all these rules if they harboured hatred in their hearts
Jesus reflected this too when he said
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45
This is a good challenge. Check our hearts – not just our actions. May our insides match our outsides!
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