Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Where the Heart Is

David Livingstone was born in England in 1813. He spent most of his life exploring Africa and bringing his knowledge of Christ to the people of that country. In 1873, Livingstone died among the people he had grown to love. His body was shipped back to Great Britain for burial, but not his heart. The villagers dug a hole at the base of a mvula tree in Africa. They buried David Livingstone's heart in its rightful place. His heart, his life, and his every desire remained in the country and among the people to which he had given himself completely.

The Bible tells us a great deal about the desires of the heart. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." (Prov. 23:7). "Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life" (Prov. 4:23). "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man..." (Matt. 15:18-20a). "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

One cannot hide the treasures of the heart. Sooner or later, given time and opportunity, the truth about the desires of the heart will be known. We will go wherever our heart leads us. Thus we must shape our individual human heart to conform to the heart of God. God's heart is in our salvation and our sanctification. His desire is our spiritual transformation to His superior will in everything, which will demand all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30).

This leads to a revealing question, a question that demands honesty and humility and self-examination. If you were to die, where would your heart be buried? Would it be located at some place where you work, since you spent all of your waking hours and overtime in that place? Would it be buried at the bank? Would it be buried in the couch next to the remote control? Would it be buried at the field where all those sporting events took place? Would it be buried at the lake, at the store, or some vacation spot? Would it be buried in a place where your family could think of you and give thanks because you had lived an unselfish, honorable, and godly life?

At our very essence we are whatever our heart is. God knows us completely. He looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). He searches the heart (Jer. 17:10). He weighs the heart (Prov. 21:2). He knows the desires of our heart.

"Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way." - Proverbs 23:19
"O my son, give me your heart. May your eyes take delight in following my ways." - Proverbs 23:26
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." - Psalm 37:4

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