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The Heart of the Matter

by Rev Donald Geddes — last modified May 29, 2015 07:22 PM
An 8 year old girl who underwent a heart transplant had constant nightmares about being brutally murdered. It was discovered that her new heart originally belonged to a 10 year old who was murdered.

 

Penny Smith with own heartOthers who have had a heart transplant have reported sudden changes in their behaviour, tastes and fears as a result of the operation. It would seem that a heart can transmit the memories of its old owner to the new recipient.

An eminent psychologist says “The heart knows far more about our lives than we could have ever previously imagined.”

We refer to our heart as the seat of our emotions so that falling in love is said to “set our heart a flutter.”

Physically the heart is the muscle which, by pumping blood around our body, keeps us alive. But is it more than that? Is it the centre of our personality?

When The Bible commands us to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deut. 6:5), is it saying more than we ever imagined?

Recent discoveries about “heart memories” support the idea that the heart is the source of our motives, the seat of the passions and the spring of our conscience.

In the Bible, the Book of Proverbs describes the heart as the seat of good things like wisdom, understanding, the source of trust, knowledge and joy. Jesus taught that it is the pure in heart who will see God (Matt. 5:8). That is why Hebrews 3:12 says, For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

But the Bible also says that the heart is the source of wickedness, lust, deceit, backsliding, sorrow, bitterness, pride and envy. Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

This is why Jesus 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

For this reason the Bible says we need a new heart — a heart cleansed of evil and renewed by the Holy Spirit. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. Rom 10:10

Only those with a new heart will be able obey the command to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deut 6:5

Ezekiel understood the need for a new heart. He told the people who habitually disobeyed God’s commands, Rid yourselves of all the offences you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Ezek 18:31

Of course just as an individual cannot perform a heart transplant on himself, neither can we give ourselves a new heart spiritually. So God’s promise is what we need: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezek 36:26

For this to happen we need to heed Joel 2:12: “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”