The Heart of the Matter Word on the Week 15th June 2019.
The conversation in the Men’s Shed this week seemed to focus on the heart. The various paraphernalia used to keep it going came under review. These included stents, replacement valves and that long-time favourite, the pace-maker.
The introduction of stents had, it was decided, become a fine art. The procedure had been reduced to a few hours in hospital with some being able to boast of very fast turn-a-round times. Some maintained that it had been reduced to a simple plumbing operation but others, with a better grasp of anatomy, reckoned that they were getting their body parts mixed up!
Breaking news reported the company responsible for remotely monitoring the pacemakers was ceasing to operate. This didn’t cause anyone to miss a beat as all users were perfectly able to go back to the old method of monitoring it themselves.
A good friend used to say when relating to the sins we all commit, “The heart of the matter is the matter of the human heart”! It certainly brings out the central truth that sin comes from within us but leaves the misunderstanding that the organ of the heart is at fault. Of course it is only a pump but one that is so central to our existence that it has a very descriptive place in our vocabulary.
Another, who did a lot of flying, called the heart “the control tower of the body”. He saw it as governing our thoughts, emotions, desires and motivations in other words this is the way we are. Well not quite – sin lives in there too! Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (St Mark Chapter 7 verses 20 to 23).
As a result, our thoughts, emotions, desires and motivations are corrupted. The heart becomes the worship centre of your life and you realise you are in the last days when you join others described as “lovers of themselves…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (2 Timothy chapter 3 verses 1 to 5).
We need a new heart, not a surgical implant, but as in Ezekiel’s day.
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness’s, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezekiel chapter 36 verses 25/28). Look in faith to our redeemer God.