The heart apart from being a major organ in the center of the chest, for the purposes of this article, refers to the seat of emotions and the innermost character.
God is deeply concerned about the condition of one’s heart because everything that we do, feel, and believe begins in the heart. The Bible says that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind. The list is all-inclusive. We are to love God with everything that we have within us; and this love must come from our hearts.
The word heart is mentioned in the Bible more than the word love. Yes, God is concerned about the condition of our hearts because our hearts makes us who we are. While man judges a person by the outward appearance, God looks inside at the heart.I Samuel 16:7.
It is the heart that motivates us,(Hebrews 4:12), it is the heart that convicts us,( of sin)(James 4:8), it is with the heart that we believe for salvation( Romans 10:10), it is our hearts that we must guard and protect (Proverbs 4:23).
Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Those who trust in God have to regularly examine their hearts as to the motives, the thoughts, and the feelings. If the intents of our hearts don’t line up with purity and holiness, then we have to cleanse our hearts: and we cleanse our hearts by turning from what is wrong and seeking what is right according to God’s word.
God is so concerned about the heart because every sin that will ever be committed begins in the heart; and every act of mercy, gentleness and kindness begins there also.
I am convinced from experience that every time our heart is in pain Jesus feels it as well. This is how closely he is connected to those who love him. It is impossible for a child of God to feel pain and Jesus not feel it too. This is why Jesus is the healer of our hearts. Never be afraid to trust Jesus to heal your heart. Psalm 34:18 says that, “The Lord is near to those of a broken heart;….”
If you want to know where Jesus is, if you feel that for some reason he is distant and you can’t find him; find someone with a broken heart and go minister to them. You will find Jesus in the very midst of those who are broken and forsaken.
Many people are going through a mere motion of life. They go through the motion of being parents, they put on a good show of being a faithful spouse, they cover up the essence of who they truly are in jobs or professions. But even in all the pretense they can’t fool themselves and they certainly are not deceiving God. Someday we will all stand before God, and in spite of what has been portrayed to the world; God knows the motives of the heart and we will be judged by what is in our hearts; this is why God is so concerned about what goes on in our hearts.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.”( Proverbs 4:23)
It was very interesting to hear the experiences of those who audition for these shows, and some of the things they have to endure. The interview was revealing.
Indiana singer-songwriter Megan Hopkins talks about her experiences auditioning for The Voice and America’s Got Talent. Megan’s friend dared her to audition for the Voice, so she did it. She went to Chicago and waited 9 hours dolled up in high heels and pretty makeup to audition for a woman and a laptop.
So when she auditioned for America’s Got Talent, she didn’t try to dress up or anything. She didn’t do it to gain approval from the media, but for the love of music. She wanted to see how she fared compared to a room full of other nervous musicians looking for a shot at stardom.
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Megan says the Voice…
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When I was a child growing up in Mississippi, my mother and I would often walk home from my grandmother’s on a dirt path that ran between the two houses. Many times we walked home at night and there were no street lights to illuminate the path. Occasionally my grandmother had a flashlight to use, but on those times when she had no flashlight we were at the mercy of nature; hoping there would be a bright moon. When the moon wasn’t shining or it became hidden by night-time clouds, we were walking in the darkness. What I remember most about walking in the dark was the fear I felt at not knowing where I was going, or what I would walk into,
Before I knew Jesus Christ I walked through life stumbling; not really knowing where I was going. I recall the terror of that darkness, and the longer I went in life without Jesus, the darker my life became. There were times I felt as though I were literally groping at the end of a rope, trying to hold on to what, I did not know.
Ephesians 5:8 says, “For at one time you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord, Walk as children of light.” If mankind could have found their way out of darkness, there would have been no need for Jesus to come. St. John 1: 4,5 says ” In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” The first chapter of John goes on to say that Jesus came unto his own, but that his own did not receive him, but as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
As Christians we are on a journey; and as with any journey you need a road map or guide to arrive at your destination. The guide for the Christian is Jesus, this is why he is called the light. Light guides one through the darkness. Non-believers and skeptics may criticize and say, “what makes Jesus the only one qualified to be the guide through life, why not just listen to your conscience?” The problem with this is that mankind’s conscience is flawed, and has been since he rebelled against God in the beginning. If you don’t believe man’s conscience is flawed, turn on the evening news and listen to it for a few minutes.
St. John 8:12 states, Again Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” It is important for everyone to have direction in their life, but especially for the believer in Jesus Christ. One reason it is so important for a Christian to live by God’s word is because it gives us direction. Psalm 119:105 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.God’s word was written as a guide direct us on how to live in this life, and to prepare us for eternity in heaven.
Salvation is not only a gift from God; it is a miracle. Because the world lies in darkness, no one can come to Jesus Christ on their own. If being saved from our sins could have been accomplished on our own, Jesus Christ would not have had to die. 2 Corinthians 4:6 lets us know this, “For God commanded the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Since we can not come to Christ on our own, we certainly can’t remain with him on our own.
The best way we can stay on the path God has chosen for us is to study and meditate on his word. God’s word illuminates things for us that we don’t understand, and allows us to be a guide to those around us. “But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18)
Because we are Jesus’s disciples, and he is the light, we have that same light in us. You can not say that you know him,(Jesus Christ), and not attain his characteristics. Matthew 5:14-16 says,”You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
What an incredible story. This is inspiration to never give up on your dream ,no matter what or how long it takes to achieve. I salute you Amber, you are an inspiration to the dreamers.
The women I meet and photograph always blow me away. It’s an extraordinary thing to drop into someone’s day-to-day life as an observer. Hearing about other’s personal experiences, struggles, and victories helps you grow and learn. That’s why I’m so exited to share a little about wood artist, Amber Jean with you.
Jaw dropping is the best way I can describe the winding road to Amber’s studio, perfectly perched on the peak of beautiful Montana mountainside. I’ve never seen such a workshop so unimaginably in tune with nature, a perfect representation of the artist herself. There’s even a zip-line off the back deck.
From giant sculptures made from entire trees to carvings that fit in your hand, the interplay between humans and nature is the driving force behind Amber’s work. She put herself through college, finding work in the great outdoors that fueled her passion for earth and art. Amber…
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I have a few confessions to make:
Over my 53 years, I’ve never lived with anybody, but I’m not a lonely man.
I’ve never slept with anybody, but I’m usually able to fall asleep on my own.
I’m a solitary man, but I know who my neighbors are.
I don’t have a family, but have lived a fulfilled life.
I’m an independent spirit, but I have more responsibilities than most married men.
I’ve never married, but have been successful and own my own house.
I will never “settle down,” but I’m not hitting the bars every night.
I am beyond mature and have switched over to senior vitamins. But I don’t need anybody to care for me.
I’m not looking for a wife, but I don’t have a poor view of marriage.
I’m not looking for a commitment. I have a permanent commitment to Christ.
I’m not drifting aimlessly in…
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