Tuesday, June 7, 2016

WHAT IS IT YOU TREASURE?


What is it you treasure? This is what I believe is communicated in Matthew 6:21 as Jesus says, "For where your treasure is there your heart will be also." Notice the location of the treasure is mentioned first. If you pin down who or what you cherish most in your life, prioritize most, devote the most time to - then there is a good chance that is where your wealth or treasure is locked-up. The verse goes on to say "there your heart will be also." Remember Princess Leia in Star Wars confronting Han Solo? She said, "If money is all that you care about, then that's what you'll receive!"

The Lord looks at the Heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Both 1st and 2nd Chronicles weigh-in on this by saying - "...for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought." (1 Chronicles 28:9) and "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9) 

The Heart in Scripture means the mind, the emotions, and the will as well as the human organ. Labe and Lay-bawb, in the Old Testament and Kardia in the New Testament mean middle, midst, thoughts, feelings, will; heartThe heart has "thoughts" that are "evil all the time" (Genesis 6:5). And Genesis 8:21 gets specific and adds "from childhood" all are evil. One can pray in your heart (Gen. 24:45), be drawn to that which you love in your heart (Gen. 34:3), and you can even "have your heart set" on someone or something (Gen. 34:8).

A heart can be "unyielding" (Ex. 7:14), hardened (Ex. 7:22), lustful (Nu. 15:39) and considerate as one "takes to heart" a matter (Ex. 7:23). The human heart can be despising of someone else (2 Sam. 6:16), discerning (1 Ki. 3:9), turned (1 Ki. 8:58), not fully devoted (1 Ki. 11:4), and purposeful - as in "had it in his heart to..." (1 Ki. 8:17).

So, the Heart in Scripture is not only the physical organ but the emotional make-up of a person whose responses to emotions can be felt in the body, especially in the organ. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew words I kept encountering for Heart were Labe and Lay-bawb. These words mean the heart literally or figuratively they would mean feelings, the will and even the intellect all in one; awareness; understanding; and midst. In 2 Samuel 17:10 heart is depicted as a character/personality trait of resolve as someone is described as having "a heart of a lion". Psalm 24:4 speaks of a "pure heart". This is likened unto integrity, another character/personality trait.

God is into the business of forming and developing hearts. Back in Aaron's day, Aaron wore a special, beautiful breastplate into the presence of God. Upon the breastpiece was the Urim and Thummim, two devices used as "Yes" and "No" decision-making instruments when counseling with the Lord. Do you know where on the breastplate those pieces were located? That's correct - right above the Heart! (Ex. 28:30)

God wants to write His commandments on our hearts (Deut. 6:6). He desires us to "circumcise" our hearts from all other attachments. (Deut. 10:16) In Joshua 24:23 it says, "...throw away the foreign gods among you and yield your hearts to the Lord." God desires a man/woman after His own heart (His own passions, His own joys, His own Holiness). Don't be surprised if tests come your way to find out what is in your heart (Deut. 8:2; 1 Chron. 28:17). And be careful if you find yourself tested because "the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (Matthew 12:34) 

Our downfall is the execution of our thoughts and/or feelings. Sinful or corrupt thoughts and feelings that become actions are our destruction. Jesus communicated the thought this way - “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly." (Mark 7:20-22) Heart in this verse is the Greek word Kardia which means middle; thoughts or feelings. Our core is corrupted. What we like to think about and feel does not naturally line-up with God's mind, heart and will. The answer is receiving Christ's Salvation and walking in His Way to align our heart, our core with His. 

Is it any wonder that Christ Jesus reiterated His Word - “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’" (Matthew 22:37) The original words Jesus used here for "heart", "soul", and "mind" are Kardia, Psuche, and Dianoia respectfully. Heart (Kardia) meaning core; passions; desires. Soul (Psuche) meaning breath. Mind (Dianoia) meaning deep thoughts as in imaginations and understanding. God wants ALL of you and me. He died for me, I will live for Him. What is in your heart? What Is It You Treasure?