SAVVY??

July 22, 2018

  “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

  Hard as it is for the believer to finally come to rest concerning his spiritual birth, it seems to be even more difficult for him to simply rest in the Lord Jesus for his life and service.

There are two stages in the Christian life. The one in which, after conversion, a believer seeks to work what God would have him do. The second, in which, after many a painful failure, he ceases from his works, and enters the rest of God, there to find the power for work in allowing the Father to work in him. (this second stage is only possible if you are not in a legalistic church, and one that grace is available but not cheap.)

It is this rest from their own work which many Christians cannot understand. They think of it as a state of passive and selfish enjoyment, of still contemplation which leads to the neglect of the duties of life, and ruins for that watchfulness and warfare to which Scripture calls. What an entire misunderstanding of God’s call to rest!

Truly to rest in God is to yield oneself up to the highest activity. We work, because He worketh in us both to will and to do (Phil. 2:13). As Paul says of himself, ‘I labor, striving according to his working who worketh in me with might’ (Col. 1:29). Entering the rest of God is the ceasing from self-effort, and the yielding of oneself in the full surrender of faith to God’s working.

Not only does the Lord Jesus live in us, but He becomes the motivating Object of our life as Christians. The law is no longer our motive or rule of life. It is entirely displaced by a Person, and that Person ‘the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.’ Henceforth the soul has a new center and source—it is no longer self-centered, but Christ-centered.

  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matt. 11:29

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

when dogs pout

July 20, 2018

This ain’t real sophisticated, uber smart, deep theology or even original but it will help.

Prince had his hit song, “when doves cry”

I have when dogs pout.

This is our American Bulldog, not wanting to go to bed. Stubborn, pouting and not about to give in.

Sound familiar?

You don’t know what God is doing, you’re suffering, in pain or maybe it’s mental anguish; you’ve punished yourself better than anyone else. Finances are a mess, health is shot, marriage on the rocks, kids on drugs, one’s pregnant.

You’ve lost your job, done something stupid. Said something you wish you could take back.

Hey, you’re not alone we’ve all been there in one way or another. There is simply no way you can live long enough and not have some kind of suffering.

Two choices; Pout or Praise; that’s it. One makes it worse, one makes it better. The definition of insanity is doing the same wrong thing over and over and expecting different results.

You know what? Maybe no one is coming, there is no rescue, no pat on the back, no good news, pout or praise.

Believe this, you can prolong the suffering, pout, or get immediate relief, praise. The circumstances in either might not change. But your heart will, your mind will. You can get relief from pain by praising God, you can stop heartache by praising God. You can see a glimmer of hope praising God. Yes, it will probably suck again, but you can have moments of closeness with God, clarity of thought, a change of direction, just by praising God.

How come you ask or why?

Because in that moment of praising God, you stopped being the center of the universe. So stop being an asshat and stop pouting.

It might seem impossible, but just say it out loud. “God, I love you” start saying Hallelujah, just shout, “praise the Lord”. Lift up your head, wipe away the tears and believe God loves you and Jesus suffered more than you ever will. Thank God for your salvation.

Email us at scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

We will pray for you, God bless.

UNDERWEAR 1, DIGNITY 0

July 18, 2018

You know your day is going to go sideways when you lose a fight to your underwear.

You are just out to the shower, dried off, and you can’t figure out if your underwear is possessed or you’re having a stroke. Is it inside out or deformed by the dryer, but you’re hopping on one leg trying to shake them out, twist and get a leg in and now you’re wondering if maybe it’s Alzheimer’s.

How can something you’ve done almost for your whole life (minus the diaper phase) is now seemingly beyond all physical manipulation.

Then to add insult to the indignity, you hear the howls of laughter coming from your wife as she compares your Olympic wrestling match with your underwear to  the chicken caught in the fence trying to get loose earlier this morning.

Now on one foot, your underwear now wrapped in a bear hug around your ankle, you lean forward to push the bathroom door closed and out goes the bathroom rug from under your feet, you’re going down.

Your wife runs to the door to help you and you purposely hold the door shut. Your endurance for humiliation has just peaked. And then you hear the whisper choked sound of your wife; “Honey, are you ok?”

What possible devotional content could I pull out of this bizarre morning insult upon your sanity, your dignity and manly virtue.

Ahhhh, wait for it……….. it’s your response. Will it be godly or will it be vulgar, course, angry? The silence builds for just a moment…………. “Yes, I’m all right and you release the bathroom door and your wife steps in and you both end up howling with laughter.

All that before morning devotions. So how did your morning go?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Prayer requests, comments, and questions please send to the email address.

THE PATH OF PATIENCE

July 16, 2018

  “The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them who trust in him shall be desolate” (Ps. 34:22).

  We can only trust our Father to the degree that we know Him. And He only reveals Himself to us by His means. That is by the Word, by the Spirit, and hence by the Son—in that sequence.

Could it be possible that God would so love an individual as to give His only Son to die for him and still love him to the extent of following him with the pleadings and drawings of His grace until He has won that soul into His own family and created him anew by the impartation of His own divine nature, and then be careless as to what becomes of the one He has thus given His all to procure?

A life of patience intervenes between the day of illumination and the day of glorification. I am not to count on a path of pleasure—a path of ease—a path of prosperity—on being more distinguished tomorrow than today; but I am to count on a path of patience. Yes, there is lessons to be learned in order to have companionship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Let my circumstances be what they may, if I can see them ordered for me unfailingly by One in whom infinite wisdom, power, and goodness combine, and whose love toward me I am assured of, my restlessness is gone, my will subjected to that other will in which I can but acquiesce and delight..

We are called to fellowship with God, and fellowship means common happiness, common thoughts, common trust. The Father’s delight is in His Son; and we have fellowship with Him in that. The Son’s delight is in the Father, and we have fellowship with Him in that. So our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus, Christ.

  “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5, 6).

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Congrats to Jamal G, our bible give away winner and the answer was 49,897 refugees leaving Babylon in the first return under King Cyrus.

Prayer requests, comments and questions to the email address.

the battle against fear

July 13, 2018

Well it’s been a long time since we’ve had a long devotion. So you may want to print this out, it is long very long. Like 9 pages. So work your way through it carefully.

How do we battle fear, doubt, and discouragement?

It has been said that the most repeated phrase in Scripture is, “Do not be afraid.” Some variation of it is mentioned over 350 times. God said it to Gideon when calling him to lead Israel (Judg 6:23). God said it to Jeremiah when calling him to be a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:8). Christ said it to the women at his resurrection (Matt 28:10). Christ told his disciples, “Do not worry about what you will eat, drink, or wear” (Matt 6:25). Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing.”

It was never God’s will for mankind to be fearful. It wasn’t until the advent of sin that fear became a problem for mankind. In Genesis 3, when Adam committed sin, a new word came into his vocabulary. In speaking to God, Adam said, “I was afraid so I hid.” Mankind now struggles with fear. We struggle with fear about the past, present, and future, anxiety disorders, phobias, etc. Fear is natural to man; even though, it was never God’s will for us to be afraid.

First John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casteth out fear. He who fears has not been made perfect in love” (KJV). For those who know God and are born again, we have experienced a love that when perfected in us, can wipe away all our fears.

Fear is not only common to people in general, it is even common to believers. After calling down fire from heaven and having the priests of Baal put to death, Elijah runs out of fear, as Jezebel threatened to kill him (1 Kgs 19). The disciples, after Christ was taken to be crucified, fled in fear. This is the very reason that we see so many admonitions in Scripture to not be afraid or to not be anxious. It is because we all struggle with fear in some way or another.

Application Question: What are some consequences of living in fear?

Fear often results in depression. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man bring depression.”

Fear or anxiety often leads to sin. We saw Abraham lie about his wife because he was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him to take her.

Fear will immobilize your spiritual life. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man will prove to be a snare.” When a person gets caught in a snare, he can no longer move. Many Christians are no longer progressing spiritually because they are afraid of what people think, what people say or have said, or what people can do to them. Fear will immobilize us spiritually.

Fear will also make God’s Word unproductive in our lives. In describing the thorny ground, Matthew 13:22 said, “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it [the Word], making it unfruitful.” For many Christians, God’s Word is no longer alive to them because, instead of walking in faith, they walk in worry and fear. Therefore, God’s Word is choked and produces no fruit in their lives.

Because of all this, we can see why our enemy works so hard to bring fear in believers’ lives. It can severely handicap them from doing God’s will. It is through fear that Satan rules in many men’s hearts.

To fear is ultimately to not trust God, and for that reason, Satan always seeks to draw people into fear. To have faith is to receive God’s promises and to fear will often draw people away from them. The Israelites feared the giants in the promised land and, therefore, received God’s judgment instead of his blessing. Many people miss God’s best because of fear. They say, “I can’t do this! This is impossible!”

The enemy commonly draws people into fear, doubt, and depression because he realizes that a fearful and depressed person is not very effective for the kingdom. Scripture calls Satan a roaring lion seeking to devour anyone he can (1 Pet 5:8). It has been said that lions roar to paralyze their prey. In the same way, Satan wants to paralyze us with fear so he can devour us and keep us from God’s best.

King Saul actually had a tormenting demon that brought him anxiety and fear (1 Sam 16:14–15). He battled it by having the Psalmist of Israel, David, play worship music for him. Certainly, at times the root of our fear maybe spiritual in nature as well; therefore, we must combat it through spiritual means such as reading God’s Word, worship, and prayer. We need to resist the devil by using the spiritual weapons God gave us (Jas 4:7).

Obviously, the first way we can battle fear is by knowing God through his Word. Genesis 15:1 says that “the word of the Lord came to Abram.” It must be remembered that when Abraham lived Scripture was not yet written. Moses, the narrator, is writing some of the first portions of Scripture, as he teaches Israel about Abraham in the book of Genesis.

God may choose to speak to us in a charismatic way, as he did with Abraham; however, his primary way of speaking to us is through the Word of God. Second Timothy 3:17 says that the Word of God equips the man of God for every good work. One of the good works God wants to equip us for through his Word is having peace and joy instead of fear, doubt, and discouragement.

David said, “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Ps 19:8). One of the ways God wants to give us joy is through studying his Word—by living in Scripture. It gives joy to the heart and radiance to the eyes. If we are not living in the Word of God, we will lack joy.

Similarly, Paul said,

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8–9)

He told the Philippians to think on whatever was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. No doubt, the primary thing that Paul had in mind was the Word of God. It is the truth. It is noble and righteous. It is pure and without fault. It is admirable. And he promises that the God of peace will be with whoever meditates on God’s Word and practices what it says (v. 9).

The way to encounter God, is to study God’s Word and to practice it. God manifests himself to those who do, and he calms their fears and gives joy to their hearts.

Consider what Paul prayed for the Ephesians:

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17–19)

Paul prayed that the Ephesians would know the depth, the height, and the width of God’s love for them. We need to pray this as well. If we had a revelation of God’s love, it would deliver us from fear and the resulting discouragement.

To know God’s love, we must experience it through the body of Christ.

God has called for the church to be the body of Christ, and it is through his body that we often hear his words, feel his touch, and sense his care.

Many Christians don’t know God’s love because they refuse to really get involved with the body of Christ. The more you are involved with God’s body, the more you can start to experience “together with all the saints” the love of Christ (Eph 3:18).

In order to know God’s love, we should pray for it and also seek it through the fellowship of the saints. Are you thinking on God’s love so you can battle fear (cf. 1 John 4:18)?

Having a conversation with the Lord really is just prayer. When attacked by fear, doubt, and discouragement, we should run to God in prayer. I think there is a place for us to honestly tell the Lord that we are afraid or discouraged and include our honest emotions in our prayer. We should not sin by accusing God, but we should be honest about our genuine feelings and emotions, even if only in confession. David wrestles with himself before God, “Oh soul why are you disquieted within me, we will trust in God” (Ps 43:5).

We may not feel comfortable being fully honest and transparent with everybody, because some people may use the information to harm us. However, God already knows our fears and worries, and therefore, we should constantly bring our cares and petitions before him. First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast your cares before the Lord for he cares for you.”

Paul taught the Philippians to go to God in prayer when struggling with fear and anxiety. In Philippians 4:6–7, he says:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When we live in prayer (talking to God, adoring, and worshiping him), petition (bringing our requests before the Lord), and thanksgiving, then God gives us his peace.

If we are going to battle fear, doubt, and discouragement, we must continually experience a revelation of God through his Word, his love, and through prayer. Are you running to the Word of God and prayer? Are you accepting and experiencing his love? This is necessary to battle fear and discouragement.

It is very common for people to accept fear rather than reject it. It must be noted that some fears are healthy. Scripture says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10); however, if we experience any fears that prevent us from obeying God and knowing him, they must be rejected.

Why do people accept fear? For many, they accept fear because they see it as rational. When God called Moses to lead his people, Moses saw his lack of speaking ability as a rational reason to fear leading Israel (Exod 4:10). Many times our fears are rational. Maybe, we have a tendency towards fear and depression that is chemical. Maybe, we are not good speakers or good leaders. Maybe, we are unequipped for a certain job or ministry. However, these excuses are only rational if we don’t consider God.

Hebrews 13:7 says, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Essentially, the author says, “Don’t be anxious about money and possessions because you already have God.” Christians who are anxious for this and for that are Christians who don’t know God’s person as they should.

First Timothy 6:6–8 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” Why should we be content? We should be content because we have God. It’s like a married man who doesn’t look lustfully at other ladies because of contentment with his wife.

Consider what Peter said about God’s promises:

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:3–4)

God has given us his promises, so that by them, we can participate in the divine nature, which means looking more like God, and escape the sin and corruption of the world. The world is prone to worry, doubt, and anxiousness; however, as Christians, we don’t have to live that way. God gave us promises so we can be free from the corruption of the world.

: Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” If we put God first, he will take care of all our needs. This was given in the context of the disciples worrying about their future provisions. If we put God first, he will provide for us.

Similarly, when struggling with our future and what path to take, Proverbs 3:6 says, “in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” It can also be translated, “He will show you which path to take.” When worried about our future and what direction to take, we must focus on putting God first. We put him first by serving the church, by consistent devotions and prayer, and by being a light in the world, among other things. When we do this, God guides and delivers us from fear and worry.

In addition, as mentioned earlier, Philippians 4:6–7 says:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When we are living in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, God promises to give us his peace. This peace will many times not make sense. How can we have peace in the midst of chaos? It is a divine blessing given to those who take hold of God’s promises.

Another great promise to consider and to continually drink deeply from is Psalm 23. It says:

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

How should we battle fear, doubt, and discouragement?

To Battle Fear, Doubt, and Discouragement, We Must Recognize the Root of It

To Battle Fear, Doubt, and Discouragement, We Must Have a Revelation of God

To Battle Fear, Doubt, and Discouragement, We Must Choose to Reject Fear

To Battle Fear, Doubt, and Discouragement, We Must Believe God’s Promises

Well God bless and be courageous.

Blessings from scumlikuschurch@gmail.com

 

Go towards the light

July 12, 2018

  “Let us go on and get past the elementary stage. . . advancing steadily toward the completeness. . . that belongs to spiritual maturity” (Heb. 6:1, Amp.).

  “So many rest content with the thought that their sins are pardoned, and that they are in the path of life, but know nothing of a personal attachment to the risen Lord Jesus Christ as their life, or of faith that lives in the invisible and walks with the Father.

The profession of faith is not cast away; religious habits are kept up; but there is nothing to show that they have entered or are seeking to enter the Holiest to dwell there.

The power of the world, the spirit of its literature, and temptations of business and pleasure, all unite to make up a religion in which it is sought to combine a comfortable hope for the future with the least possible amount of sacrifice in the present.

 Struggle and effort in themselves will never secure blessing, but by leading to despair and complete self-disgust they serve a divine purpose in the experience of the soul. I do not think God gives anything without preparing us for it by making us feel the need and value of it. It is a divine principle that ‘He satisfieth the longing soul’ (Ps. 107:9).

  “He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger” (Deut. 8:3).

I guess that’s the big question, you have a potential for spiritual growth, if you have a hunger to know more about Jesus. “Just a closer walk with Thee” is more than a song.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Charmaine, trust issues in her marriage

Pray for Roxanne, fighting depression

Pray for Peter G, 3 years today sober

 

showers of blessings

July 5, 2018

Well happy fourth of July,

 

We were blessed today with almost 2 inches of rain, which ended our very long drought. The extra cost of water and feed for animals now gets a break with new grass, wheat and water back in the creeks and stock ponds.

So the question is; how much rain is there in your spiritual life, or are you a dry creek bed?

Bible reading, praying, fellowship, worship, singing, praising God, all brings blessings and fullness into our life.

One of things that helps is the bible electronically, play that in the car instead of the radio. Or a good gospel radio channel, like BBN, which is what I think the best Christian Radio program in the world. Sound theology, good gospel music (meaning real Christian music) that honors God. Free bible classes, streaming through the internet if there isn’t a station nearby.

If you are a regular reader of this devotional you know I almost never give this much attention and approval to something unless I fully endorse it. Well I do.

Get blest, get renewed, be a blessing.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Questions, comments, prayer requests to the email address please.

The Struggle

July 3, 2018

boxing

“For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14).

  Hatred for others comes easy for some; but to fully hate one’s old man comes hard for all. The Lord Jesus loves us too much to allow us to go on loving ourselves.

The Christian’s victory is not over others, but over himself. His sword is drawn, not to slay his fellowman, but to slay himself. He wins by losing. He triumphs by being defeated. He lives by dying. His crown is a crown of thorns. His throne is a Cross. His weapon is not strength but weakness.

His victory is not found in establishing his own cause but in establishing that of his fellow-men; the poor, the sick, the disinherited, the brokenhearted, the wayward, the lost. This may be foolishness to men. But we must not forget that ‘the foolishness of God is stronger than men’ (1 Cor. 1:25).

How blessed it is to know, and at the same time how solemn to realize, that the sin of the child of God is against his Father, and that it is the love of relationship that is called into exercise about it—love which acts towards us ‘for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness’“ (Heb. 12:10).

It is impossible that He should treat it lightly; and it will be impossible in the end for any one of His own to treat it lightly either. Grace abides towards us; and because grace abides, sin cannot be permitted to have sway over the objects of it.

  “Let not sin, therefore, reign. . . “ (Rom. 6:12).

God bless from scumlikeschurch@gmail.com

Remember Bonnie C in your prayers, her dad has begun the struggle with Alzheimer’s.

Pray for Ray, heart problems, going in tomorrow for more tests

Pray for Charlie C, his family is concerned about his personality change

Pray for Ray S, liver problems

 

There is a phrase that just drives me nuts, “the heart wants what the heart wants” supposedly meaning that we are incapable of resisting this undeniable pull.

If we believe that than we are no more than rutting animals, incapable of any discernment or will power. And without any moral compass.

In both the Old Testament (OT) and the New Testament (NT) the word “heart” is used to refer to the whole of the innermost part of the human, NOT merely the emotions.

Culturally

However, in the twenty-first century English the word “heart” is used to express the emotions as an individual compartment of the inner part of the human.

It is common for Americans to divide humans into the physical and the metaphysical.

While this is a widespread insight, the way most Americans compartmentalize the internal (metaphysical) aspect of humans is diverse from many other cultures.

We Americans tend to see people as having two separate parts, wherein one part is the emotions, which we refer to as the heart, then a brain, which houses the mind.

The Bible does not divide man so easily – it focuses on all three making up the whole of a being – this is Biblically called the “heart.”

Biblically

When both the Old and New Testaments speak about the heart, it never means merely human feelings (emotions).

The Biblical word “heart,” is the inner aspect of a man, made of three parts all together, with the primary part: the,

1) Mental Process, which is the major part (where action & reaction take place), which is to lead a person in their life.

2) Emotions (which only process as reaction), as icing to enrich our lives.

3) Will, the seat of the will (discretionary, volitional, decision-making) where decisions are made between the rational and the emotive.

 The following excerpts, though thorough, are by no means exhaustive. 

Strong’s Dictionary

According to Strong’s, the Hebrew word lebab (3824) is rendered: “heart” (as the most interior organ); “beingthink in themselves,” “breast,” “comfortably,” “courage,” “midst,” “mind,” “unawares,” and “understanding.”

Strong’s Greek Dictionary, states that the Greek word kardia (2588) is rendered: “heart,” i.e. (figuratively), the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle.1

Ed Bulkley

According to Ed Bulkley, in his book, Why Christians Can’t Trust Psychology, the Scriptures use at least four terms to describe the immaterial part of man: the heart, soul, spirit, and mind.  The descriptions and functions of these aspects of man seem to overlap.

Bulkley states:

The biblical term heart (lawbab or lebab in Hebrewkardia in Greek) is the clearest summary of the innermost center of the human being.

Perhaps the closest psychological term to the heart is the ego, the Latin word for “I,” borrowed by Freud to denote the “self.”

Peter describes the inner man as “the hidden man of the heart” (I Peter 3:4 KJV), or the “inner self” (I Peter 3:4 NIV).  It is the center of one’s being(Proverbs 4:23), where he believes and exercises faith (Luke 24:25; Romans 10:9,10).  It is the location of the human deliberation, where wisdom is employed.

Understanding is said to be the function of the mind (Job 38:36), yet the connection to the heart is undeniable.  The heart is where a person discerns the difference between right and wrong (I Kings 3:9).

Finally, Bulkley says, the heart is the center of courage, emotions, and will.

Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

The heart is the center of man’s character – who he really is (Matthew 15:18).

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).2 

Vine’s Old Testament Dictionary

According to Vine’s:

The Hebrew word Lebab (3824), rendered “heart” is the seat of desire, inclination, or will and can be the seat of the emotions.  The “heart” could be regarded as the seat of knowledge and wisdom and as a synonym of “mind.”  This meaning often occurs when ‘heart” appears with the verb “to know,” “Thus you are to know in your heart...” (Deut. 8:5, NASB); and “Yet the Lord hath not given you a heart to perceive[know]…” (Deut. 29:4, KJV; RSV, “mind”).  Solomon prayed, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad...” (1 Kings 3:9; cf. 4:29).  Memory is the activity of the “heart,” as in Job 22:22: “…lay up his [God’s] words in thine heart.”

The “heart” may be the seat of conscience and moral character.  How does one respond to the revelation of God and of the world around him?  Job answers: “…my heart shall not reproach me as long as I live” (27:6).  On the contrary, “David’s heart smote him…” (2 Sam. 24:10).  The “heart” is the fountain of man’s deeds: “…in the integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this” (Gen. 20:5; cf. V. 6).  David walked “in uprightness of heart” (1 Kings 3:6) and Hezekiah “with a perfect heart” (Isa. 38:3) before God.  Only the man with “clean hands, and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:4) can stand in God’s presence.3

Vine’s New Testament Dictionary

According to Vine’s:

The Greek word kardia (2588), rendered “heart” (English, “cardiac,”), is the chief organ of physical life (“for the life of the flesh is in the blood,” Lev. 17:11), occupies the most important place in the human system.  By an easy transition, the word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both the rational and the emotional elements.

 In other words, the heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life.  The Bible describes human depravity as in the “heart”, because sin is a principle which has its seat in the center of man’s inward life, and then ‘defiles’ the whole circuit of his action, Matt. 15:19, 20.  On the other hand, Scripture regards the heart as the sphere of Divine influence, Rom. 2:15; Acts 15:9….

The heart, as lying deep within, contains “the hidden man,” 1 Pet. 3:4, the real man.  It represents the true character but conceals it (J. Laidlaw, in Hastings’ Bible Dic.).  As to its usage in the NT it denotes (a) the seat of physical life, Acts 14:17; Jas. 5:5; (b) the seat of moral nature and spiritual life,the seat of grief, John 14:1; Rom. 9:2; 2 Cor. 2:4; joy, John 16:22; Eph. 5:19; the desires, Matt. 5:28; 2 Pet. 2:14; the affections, Luke 24:32; Acts 21:13; the perceptions, John 12:40; Eph. 4:18; the thoughts, Matt. 9:4; Heb. 4:12; the understanding, Matt. 13:15; Rom. 1:21; the reasoning powers, Mark 2:6; Luke 24:38; the imagination, Luke 1:51; conscience, Acts 2:37; 1 John 3:20; the intentions, Heb. 4:12, (cf.) 1 Pet. 4:1; purpose, Acts 11:23; 2 Cor. 9:7; the will,Rom. 6:17; Col. 3:15; faith, Mark 11:23; Rom. 10:10; Heb. 3:12.  The heart, in its moral significance in the OT, includes the emotions, the reason, and the will.3

Holman Bible Dictionary

Holman gives the most thorough explanation concerning the definition of the English word “heart,” when it states:

The heart is the center of the physical, mental, and spiritual life of humans.  This contrasts to the normal use of kardia (“heart”) in Greek literature outside the Scriptures. The New Testament follows the Old Testament usage when referring to the human heart in that it gives kardia a wider range of meaning than it was generally accustomed to have.

First, the word heart refers to the physical organ and is considered to be the center of the physical life. Eating and drinking are spoken of as strengthening the heart (Gen. 18:5; Judg. 19:5; Acts 14:17). As the center of physical life, the heart came to stand for the person as a whole.

The heart became the focus for all the vital functions of the body; including both intellectual and spiritual life. The heart and the intellect are closely connected, the heart being the seat of intelligence: “For this people’s heart is waxed gross … lest at any time they should … understand with their heart, and should be converted” (Matt. 13:15).

The heart is connected with thinking: As a person “thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). To ponder something in one’s heart means to consider it carefully (Luke 1:66; 2:19). “To set one’s heart on” is the literal Hebrew that means to give attention to something, to worry about it (1 Sam. 9:20). To call to heart (mind) something means to remember something (Isa. 46:8). All of these are functions of the mind, but are connected with the heart in biblical language.

Closely related to the mind are acts of the will, acts resulting from a conscious or even a deliberate decision. Thus, 2 Corinthians 9:7: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give.”  Ananias contrived his deed of lying to the Holy Spirit in his heart (Acts 5:4). The conscious decision is made in the heart (Rom. 6:17). Connected to the will are human wishes and desires. Romans 1:24 describes how God gave them up “through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies.”  David was a man after God’s “own heart” because he would “fulfill all” of God’s will (Acts 13:22).

Not only is the heart associated with the activities of the mind and the will, but it is also closely connected to the feelings and affections of a person. Emotions such as joy originate in the heart (Ps. 4:7; Isa 65:14). Other emotions are ascribed to the heart, especially in the Old Testament.  Nabal’s fear is described by the phrase: “his heart died within him” (1 Sam. 25:37; compare Ps. 143:4). Discouragement or despair is described by the phrase “heaviness in the heart” which makes it stoop (Prov. 12:25).

Again, Ecclesiastes 2:20 says, “Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labor which I took under the sun.” Another emotion connected with the heart is sorrow. John 16:6 says, “because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.” Proverbs 25:20, describes sorrow as having “an heavy heart.” The heart is also the seat of the affection of love and its opposite, hate. In the Old Testament, for example, Israel is commanded: “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him” (Lev. 19:17RSV).

A similar attitude, bitter jealousy, is described in James 3:14 as coming from the heart. On the other hand, love is based in the heart. The believer is commanded to love God “with all your heart” (Mark 12:30; compare Deut. 6:5). Paul taught that the purpose of God’s command is love which comes from a “pure heart” (1 Tim. 1:5).

Finally, the heart is spoken of in Scripture as the center of the moral and spiritual life. The conscience, for instance, is associated with the heart. In fact, the Hebrew language had no word for conscience, so the word heart was often used to express this concept: “my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live” (Job 27:6). The Revised Standard Version translates the word for “heart” as “conscience” in 1 Samuel 25:31 (RSV). In the New Testament the heart is spoken of also as that which condemns us (1 John 3:19-21).

All moral conditions from the highest to the lowest are said to center in the heart. Sometimes the heart is used to represent a person’s true nature or character.  Samson told Delilah “all his heart” (Judg. 16:17). This true nature is contrasted with the outward appearance: “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 RSV).

On the negative side, depravity is said to issue from the heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). Jesus said that out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness,  slander (Matt. 15:19). In other words, defilement comes from within rather than from without.

Because the heart is at the root of the problem, this is the place where God does His work in the individual. For instance, the work of the law is “written in their hearts,” and conscience is the proof of this (Rom. 2:15). The heart is the field where seed (the Word of God) is sown (Matt. 13:19; Luke 8:15). In addition to being the place where the natural laws of God are written, the heart is the place of renewal. Before Saul became king, God gave him a new heart (1 Sam. 10:9). God promised Israel that He would give them a new spirit within, take away their “stony heart” and give them a “heart of flesh” (Ezek. 11:19). Paul said that a person must believe in the heart to be saved, “for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Rom. 10:10). (See also Mark 11:23; Heb. 3:12.)

Finally, the heart is the dwelling place of God. Two persons of the Trinity are said to reside in the heart of the believer. God has given us the ernest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor. 1:22). Ephesians 3:17 expresses the desire that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.” The love of God “is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:5).4

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

Easton’s states:

According to the Bible, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but also of all the operations of human life.  “Heart” and “soul” are often used interchangeably (Deut. 6:5; 26:16; compare with Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30, 33), but this is not generally the case.  The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart, wise (1 Kings 3:12, etc.), pure (Ps. 24:4; Matt. 5:8, etc.), upright and righteous (Gen. 20:5, 6; Ps. 11:2; 78:72), pious and good(Luke 8:15), etc.  In these and such passages the word “soul” could not be substituted for “heart.”

Easton’s goes on to say, the heart is also the seat of the conscience (Rom. 2:15).  It is naturally wicked (Gen. 8:21), and hence it contaminates the whole life and character (Matt. 12:34; 15: 18; compare Eccl. 8:11; Ps. 73:7).  Hence, the heart must be changed, regenerated (Ezek. 36:26; 11:19; Ps. 51:10-14), before a man can willingly obey God.  The process of salvation begins in the heart by the believing reception of the testimony of God, while the rejection of that testimony hardens the heart (Ps. 95:8; Prov. 28:14; 2 Chr. 36:13).5

Elwell’s Theological Dictionary

Elwell’s states:

The Hebrew and Christian views on the nature of man were developed in a religious setting: there is no systematized or scientific psychology in the Bible.  Nevertheless, certain fundamental conceptions are worthy of note:

  1. In the OT there is no very marked emphasis on individuality but, rather, on what is frequently now termed corporate personality.  Yet

  2. A. R. Johnson has shown that a fundamental characteristic of OT anthropology is the awareness of totality.  Man is not a body plus a soul, but a living unit of vital power, a psychophysical organism.

  3. The Hebrews thought of man as influenced from without, by evil spirits, the devil, or the Spirit of God, whereas in modern psychology the emphasis has tended to be placed on dynamic factors operating from within (though at the present time, fresh interest is being evoked in the study of environmental forces as factors influencing human behavior).

  4. The study of particular words in the OT and NT affords a comprehensive view of the underlying Hebrew and Christian conceptions of man.

The OT English versions of the Bible, several Hebrew expressions are translated “heart,” the main words being leb and lebab.  In a general sense, heart means the midst, the innermost or hidden part of anything.  Thus,the midst (or heart) of the sea (Ps. 46:2); of heaven (Deut. 4:11); of the oak (II Sam. 14:18).  In the physiological sense, heart is the central bodily organ, the seat of physical life.  Thus, Jacob’s heart “fainted” (Gen. 45:26); Eli’s heart “trembled” (I Sam. 4:13).

However, like other anthropological terms in the OT, heart is also used very frequently in a psychological sense, as the center or focus of man’s inner personal life.  The heart is the source, or spring, of motives; the seat of the passions; the center of the thought processes; the spring of conscience.  Heart, in fact, is associated with what is now meant by the cognitive, affective, and volitional elements of personal life.

The book of Proverbs is illuminating here: The heart is the seat of wisdom(2:10; etc.); of trust (or confidence) (3:5); diligence (4:23); perverseness (6:14);wicked imaginations (6:18); lust (6:25); subtlety (7:10); understanding (8:5);deceit (12:20); folly (12:23); heaviness (12:25); bitterness (14:10); sorrow(14:13); backsliding (14:14); cheerfulness (15:13); knowledge (15:14); joy(15:30); pride (16:5); haughtiness (18:12); prudence (18:15); fretfulness (19:3);envy (23:17).

The NT word for heart is kardia.  It, too, has a wide psychological and spiritual connotation.  Our Lord emphasized the importance of right states of heart.  It is the pure in heart who see God (Matt. 5:8); sin is first committed in the heart (Matt. 5:28); out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and acts (Matt. 15:19); forgiveness must come from the heart (Matt. 18:35); men must love God with all their heart (Matt. 22:37); the word of God is sown, and must come to fruition, in the heart (Luke 8:11-15).

Paul’s use of Kardia is on similar lines.  According to H. W. Robinson, in his book “The Christian Doctrine of Man,” in fifteen cases heart denotes personality, or the inner life, in general (e.g., I Cor. 14:25); in thirteen cases, itis the seat of emotional states of consciousness (e.g., Rom. 9:2); in eleven cases,it is the seat of intellectual activities (e.g., Rom. 1:21); in thirteen cases, it is the seat of the volition (e.g., Rom. 2:5).  Paul uses other expressions, such as mind, soul, and spirit, to augment the conception of man; but, on the whole, it may be said that the NT word Kardia reproduces and expands the ideas included in the OT words leb and lebab.6

Harris’s Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

Harris’s states:

lebab is rendered heart, understanding, and mind (also used in idioms such as “to set the heart upon” meaning “to think about” or “to want”).  Concrete meanings ofleb referred to the internal organ and to analogous physical locations.  However, in its abstract meanings, “heart” became the richest biblical term for the totality of man’s inner or immaterial nature.

In biblical literature, it is the most frequently used term for man’s immaterial personality functions as well as the most inclusive term for them since, in the Bible; virtually every immaterial function of man is attributed to the “heart.”

By far the majority of the usages of leb refer either to the inner or immaterial nature in general or to one of the three traditional personality functions of man; emotion, thought, or will.  Thought functions may be attributed to the heart.  In such cases it is likely to be translated as “mind” or “understanding.”

To “set the heart to” may mean to “pay attention to” (Ex 7:23) or to “consider important” (II Sam 18:32).  Creative thought is a heart function.  Wicked devices originate in the heart (Gen 6:5).  The RSV translates “which came upon Solomon’s heart” as “all that Solomon had planned” (II Chr 7:11).

Wisdom and understanding are seated in the heart.  The “wise heart” (I Kgs. 3:12; RSV, “wise mind”) and “wise of heart” (Prov 16:23) are mentioned.  This idiom can be so strongly felt that “heart” virtually becomes a synonym for such ideas as “mind” (II Chr 9:23; RSV) or ‘sense” (Prov 11:12; RSV).  The heart functions in perception and awareness as when Elisha’s heart (i.e. Elisha’s perceptive nature; RSV “spirit”) went with Gehazi (II Kgs 5:26).

As the seat of thought and intellect, the heart can be deluded (Isa 44:20; RSV “mind”).  The heart is the seat of the will.  A decision may be described as “setting” the heart (II Chr 12:14).  “Not of my heart” expresses “not of my will” (Num 16:28).  The “hearts” of the Shechemites inclined to follow Abimelech (Jud 9:3).  Removal of the decision-making capacity is described as hardening the heart (Ex 10:1; Josh 11:20).  Closely connected to the preceding is the heart as the seat of moral responsibility.  Righteousness is “integrity of heart” (Gen 20:5).7

The New Testament Word Psyche

According to Vine’s the NT word psuche (5590), which can be translated “soul,” or “life,” is rendered “heart” in Eph. 6:6, “doing the will of God from the heart.”  In Col. 3:23, a form of the word psuche preceded by ek, literally, “from (the) soul,” is rendered “heartily.”

See the following (RV) Scriptures: Col. 3:12 (NASB, NJ); Philem. 7, 12, 20 (NKJV, NASB); 2 Cor. 3:3 (KJV, NKJV, NASB, RS, AS); Eph. 1:18 (AS, RS, NASB); Heb. 8:10, 10:16 (RS, AS, KJV, NKJV, NASB); Luke 21:26 (KJV, NKJV); 2 Cor. 7:2 (KJV, NKJV, RS, AS, NASB).3

Conclusion

Hopefully from the plethora of references cited, it is beyond dispute that when the Bible refers to the heart it is not referring to the emotions solely.  While the emotions are a blessing of God, that lend exuberance and passion, both in the negative and positive aspects of sensation; they are never meant as the sole device of discretion.

This is the place of the seat of the will, but always according to the intellect in response to what God has said.  And while we should consider the emotions in any decisions we make, this is always in a subservient role, never taking preeminence.

There is an abundance of references to the heart as having the lead role in decision-making.  Both the Old and New Testaments present the word “heart” as always used to include the mental process (rational and reason), and the will(volition), as well as the emotions.

Final Definition

Personally, I believe the best definition of heart, is the focus and determination of the mind, and the response of the emotions.

The Bible never instructs us to be led by our emotions, but rather by our minds.

It is with our minds that we focus our attention and choose to obey God, and it is those actions that first are decided with our mind in consideration of what we focus on – that is what God holds us accountable for.

There is a great book written by a German woman the grand daughter of one of the great theological writers ’which one I don’t remember; Keil and Delitzsch, I’ve read this book several times but no longer own it, as when I gave my 25, 000+ books to a university. But it was a great book on the wholeness and soundness of a psychology that binds the heart of God and the mind of Man. And as God works in both our heart and mind we become one (more like him). If you have a copy of this book I would love to borrow it from someone.

Touch my hand and you’ve touched my soul, romantic words, not really, a divine reality of why we must protect the treasure, the divine creation that is God’s. We are a divine temple created by God, to be filled by His Holy Spirt. A Hebrew would say; “if you touched my heart, you’ve touched my sou. So what we do morally affects our relationship of heart and mind and soul with God. Therefore we need the Christian God to be our moral compass, to give us a godly heart, a loving heart, and be loving people.

Guard your treasure.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE BRAVE SOUL

June 28, 2018

PROMISE ME YOU’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER; YOU’RE BRAVER THAN YOU BELIEVE, AND STRONGER THAN YOU SEEM, AND SMARTER THAT YOU THINK.

I didn’t guess who said this, and I was surprised. My first guess was Anne of Green Gables, but it turns out it was Christopher Robinson encouraging his best friend Winnie the Pooh.

Courage, determination, being brave. There have been some great books on the subject of bravery. And until it’s you that are facing an enemy or great danger, you will never know, or even guess how brave you may or may not be.

You can be scared spitless, but still be brave.

Our devotional page today is for all of you that are brave, especially battling some sort of disease. We had a dear friend visit us today, she has been suffering a cruel and damaging disease that probably won’t kill her, but my god how she suffers.

But the smile, the hugs, the laughter that defines her. She is brave.

So we want to remind you that we pray, and pray mightily for those of our scum like us church family.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com