How’s your heart? In romance, sometimes it flutters. In sorrow, it is broken. In trials, it is anxious and often very heavy. In carefree or frivolous moments, it can be lighthearted. When good news arrives, it becomes a happy heart. In the face of disappointment or shabby treatment, it can be bitter. Selfishness is the product of a stingy heart. The list of heart conditions is a long one.
There’s no question about it – the condition of your heart is the single most important issue in your Christian life. If your heart is out of whack everything else in your life will be out of whack. You don’t have to be a molecular physicist to understand that equation.
Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23
We are given at least three snap-shot views of the Apostle Paul’s heart. As you review the clinical data outlining his heart condition, think about your own heart today.
In Romans 9:2 and Romans 10:1, Paul records his great desire to see his people reached by the Gospel. His heart is throbbing with a burning love to see them saved. The condition of his heart was classified as a burdened heart. He said he had unceasing anguish in his heart, longing to see people saved. It was his heart’s desire and prayer to God – that his people would look to Christ for salvation.
Every true Child of God whose heart is calibrated with the Lord’s heart, has a burdened heart for those who are perishing. Does this mark your heart? Do you have people you really want to see saved? We can be so now-bound we become insensitive to eternal issues and the burden for the perishing is almost non-existent.
Has your heart ever been broken as you moved forward for the Lord? Normally, we would think our hearts would be bubbling over with joy if we were surrendering our lives to the Lord. But in Acts 21:13, Paul asked the Christians why they were weeping and breaking his heart. He had a broken heart – as he said ‘no’ to Christians he deeply loved, in order to say ‘yes’ to the Lord. They were pleading with him not to go to Jerusalem for his own safety. But Paul knew it was the Lord’s will and he told them he was not only ready to be bound but to die in Jerusalem for Christ. The right decision is rarely the easiest decision. Paul’s heart was broken with sorrow as he felt the pressure the Christians were applying with all good intentions.
On another occasion, Paul shed some light on the size of his heart. He had a big heart. In Philippians 1:7 he told the Christians that he kept on praying for each one of them – yes, all of them because he had them all in his heart. How’s that for a ‘big’ heart! He explained his love for them as the very affection of Jesus Christ. Paul was a Jew – but he was writing to Gentiles. Only the indwelling Spirit of God can break down all barriers and generate such a big heart of love for every believer in Philippi and in every other place.
Do I have a big heart or a penny-sized heart for other Christians? Does my world revolve around myself and my small little circle – or do I have a Spirit-enlarged heart, throbbing with love for every true Child of God? One common and all too prevalent ‘B’ heart condition that did not take root in Paul’s heart was bitterness. Untreated, it’s fatal.
Once again, your biggest concern today and every day of your life should be the spiritual condition of your heart.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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