Tag Archives: heart

B90X- Easy Keel 36:24-32

stone and flesh heart

24      For I will take you from among the nations,
gather you from all the countries,
and return you to your own soil.
25      Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness
and from all your idols.
26      I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit inside you;
I will take the stony heart out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.

27      I will put my Spirit inside you
and cause you to live by my laws,
respect my rulings and obey them.
28      You will live in the land I gave to your ancestors.
You will be my people,
and I will be your God.
29     I will save you from all your uncleanliness.
I will summon the grain and increase it,
and not send famine against you.
30     I will multiply the yield of fruit from the trees
and increase production in the fields,
so that you never again suffer the reproach
of famine among the nations.
31     Then you will remember your evil ways
and your actions that were not good;
as you look at yourselves, you will loathe yourselves
for your guilt and disgusting practices.
32     Understand,’ says Adonai Elohim,
‘that I am not doing this for your sake.
Instead, be ashamed and dismayed for your ways,
house of Isra’el.’

External Christianity is not enough.

The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue, but of life.  I cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole heart.

Let nominal Christians cease from insulting God by boasting themselves to be what they are not, and let them show themselves disciples not unworthy of Christ, their master.

We must assign first place to the knowledge of our religion, for that is the beginning of our salvation.

But our religion will be unprofitable if it does not change our heart, pervade our manner, and transform us into new creatures.
(GBTCL, 21)

A river of living water.

I love camping, backpacking, and climbing mountains.  There is something super-natural about it.  Nothing is more powerful in my life than the metaphors found in the mountains.  These metaphors and anecdotes provide more practical and spiritual lessons than anything else.

One of those lessons comes from the simple idea of finding water to drink.  I carry a Katadyne water filter and pump with me on trips.  I couldn’t tell you how many gallons of water I have pushed through that unit.

When I am out somewhere, the issue of where water is available looms large.  One must plan hikes, climbs, and camping based on where water can be found.

When finding water to pump for drinking, I always look for a stream or creek with fast moving water.  It is not a safe and prudent idea to pump from water which is stagnant and not moving.  I know my filter is loaded with charcoal and other things that block out mud and 99.99% germs, living organisms, giardia, etc. and would certainly live to tell about it, but fast moving clean water just tastes better.

So here is the lesson I learned.  If at anytime in my life, I stop moving and become still, I can become stagnant and possibly contain dirty stuff that can be hazardous to others.   The key is to stay moving, keep moving downhill, don’t stop, even for a short period of time.  Then the yucky stuff can’t settle and grow.

The other lesson for me is to keep hanging around with people who are also moving.  They stay fresh and clean.  They don’t allow the junk to settle in and take over.

The obvious scripture to go with this is Proverbs 4:23 “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. ” (Message)

I already have a life verse. If I were to have a second one it would be “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. ”  Matthew 5:8 (NIV)  I want to see God, so the task at hand is, as much is possible, to maintain a clean heart.

Starting Over

How many times have you wanted to start over?  Have you ever wanted to erase everything and do it again?

Kind of an interesting idea when you think about it.  You can keep all the wisdom and knowledge you currently possess and give it another go.  But we can’t really do it can we.  When the urge comes to reset the clock on the old human hard drive, we have to do some major retooling in our brains and souls to have a fresh start.

So many times I have heard the Bible verse which talks about Father giving us a new heart and putting a new spirit on us.  It is an awesome idea.  The verse is “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” (Ezekiel 36:26).

In reading through Ezekiel this B90X2012, that same idea of new heart and spirit popped up twice before the chapter 36 reference.

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 11:19) and “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31).

In looking up the word “new,” on all occasions it is the word chadas. It doesn’t mean anything other than what it is- ‘new, fresh.’

So according to the word of God, it is possible to get a fresh start.  I like that.  Just like his mercies are new every morning, we can have a fresh outlook, a brand new perspective on how things will go that day.  We can love folks, forgive folks, walk away from ugly situations with a different perspective on it all.

The “New” Testament reiterates this idea over and over- new wine, new teaching, new tongues, new believers, new way, new body, new creation, new humanity, new self, new covenant, new birth, new heaven and a new earth.  Thank you Jesus.

B90X2012 “Loud and clear”

Just because I can, does that mean I should?  In the good ol’ US&A, we have this thing called Free Speech.  Our founding fathers thought it best that ideas and opinions ought not be censored.

I think I understand the ideas and arguments to free speech,  when it is OK to yell “Fire” and when not to.

The prudence of when to speak and what to say when doing so requires wisdom. As we journey through the Bible in rapid form, today we hit a preponderance of scriptures in Proverbs dealing with words, speech, our tongue, cursing, lying, and  the like.  We are drilled with the differing types of uses of both the good and the bad.

The author of proverbs does bring a plethora of sayings about the words which fill our airwaves, however, the sayings are not about words which come out of vacuousness.  Solomon is reaching beyond the airwaves and into the viscera. Past our esophageal airway and into our heart.  Words are really nothing in and of themselves.  They have an origin.   That origin is the wellspring of life, our splangkna, our guts, our heart.  The Hebrews often equate the emotions of our guts with the kidney.

“A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction” (Prov 16:23, NIV).

“The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction” (Prov 16:21, NIV).

Without being majorly redundant, the source and style of words a person uses is rooted in the heart. How perfunctory of us when we quote Jesus when he said, “But the things that come out of a person’s heart come from his heart” (Matt 15:18, NIV).  It seems so oft quoted, it kind of has become trite.

Bottom line, what are the intentions of my heart?  Rather than just read the words of the proverbial sayings mechanically, every time I read a verse pertaining to speech and words, I thought about intentions.  These sayings ought to inspire us to examine the intentions of our hearts.

We should take those occasions when we are inclined to speak harshly as opportunities to reflect on our motives for speaking and to ask whose interests we have at heart.  We may find that our motives are more complicated than we imagined, that we want what is right but all too often seek what benefits us at the expense of others.  A heart that weighs its answers will also remember that little with love is better than meat with hatred (Prov 15:17, 28).