Christ Preparing our Hearts 14

Be persuaded that your soul is far more valuable to you than the whole world and there are only two places (heaven and hell) that you will spend all eternity in.

You can count on it that it is very difficult to come to heaven, but the way to destruction is broad and easy. Take it to heart that you have a deceitful heart with you, a wicked devil close to you, and snares and hindrances around and before you.

When one thinks of the importance of the heart and of something of the nature of the heart, it should be evident that apart from a new heart (new birth, born again) one will not enter the kingdom of God. If we come to a realization of how valuable our souls are to us and how valuable holiness is to God, then we should realize that something must happen to change our hearts. But if our hearts are so bad that they must be changed, then this should teach us that our hearts are not to be trusted at all. A really bad heart is a heart that cannot be trusted and is a heart that one should fear rather than listen to.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?

Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes and a proud heart, The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

Mark 7:21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.

If our hearts are as deceitful as Jeremiah sets out and if those proud hearts are what lights our path, it should be no wonder that our hearts spill forth with all the things set out in Mark 7:21-22. If we could look upon what comes out of our hearts with any degree of accuracy, then we could see who we really are. The problem, however, is that our hearts are also interpreting what comes out of our hearts. A heart that is more deceitful than all else and is a hear that is proud is a heart that can look upon its own thoughts (which God considers evil thoughts) and think of them as good or at least not bad.

A heart can be full of desires after worldly things and condemned by God as a covetous heart, but that heart will also interpret those covetous desires as simply desiring or wanting things it does not have. It will think of those things as even a good thing or as something that would drive a healthy ambition. A heart can be full of sexual thoughts, even adulterous thoughts, but think of those thoughts as a normal, male way of thinking. A deceptive heart will think of its boasting and pride as okay because it is not boasting if you can back it up. A proud heart will not think of itself as sinning and instead it will come up with worldly reasons and religious reasons to justify itself in its own eyes. But again, the heart that has evil flowing out of it is an evil heart and full of pride. It interprets itself and its actions as less than or other than evil. They are just mistakes or slips. After all, we are just human.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.

The soul that tries to diminish sin and say that our sin is not sin shows that it is deceiving itself rather than having the truth in it and so interpreting things by the truth. The soul that tries to interpret itself apart from having insight from Scripture and being taught of Christ has no real standard to use other than its own standard of self-love. The heart that denies it is sinful or denies certain sins simply shows that it is a sinful heart and a heart that is deceiving itself about itself and its own sin. The unbeliever sees far less sin than a true believer because the true believer now has a real standard to judge his or her own heart by.

What should be obvious is that Christ must teach a heart or it will not be truly taught. If Christ does not take that soul in hand and teach it that it is sinful and deceptive in what it is and what it does, it will not truly understand this. The unregenerate heart has absolutely not hope of escaping its own deception apart from Christ showing that heart what it is and apart from Christ changing that heart. It is well for sinners to seek the Lord pleading with the Lord Jesus to send His Spirit to convict them of their sinful actions and sinful natures.

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