Our Heart: Source of Life


My mother suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. She constantly copes with pain that even strong pain pills cannot stop. So, there was a time several years ago when she was in intense pain for many days. She just thought it was an especially severe arthritis flare up. Finally, the pain was so extreme that she could not stand it. She called 911. Surgeons were waiting for the ambulance and im-mediately successful heart surgery was performed just in time to save her life.

The heart is the source of man’s physical life.  The Bible teaches, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Lev 17:11).  If our heart is unable to pump the blood throughout the body, we will die.

In the Bible the word “heart” is used many times with reference to man’s mental and moral activity, including his thoughts and emotions.   The heart is our “inner man”, that is, the source of our spiritual life, our relationship with God.  The state of our spiritual life is dependent on the condition of our heart.

All manner of wickedness can come from the heart (Mk 7:15-23).  On the other hand, the heart can be the source of love for God (Mk 12:29), faith in Christ (Rom 10:9-10), and the desire to seek after God’s will, to do it, and to teach it (Ezra 7:10).

What comes from the heart results in either spiritual life or spiritual death – either a relationship with God or separation from Him.  No wonder Solomon warned, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov 4:23). 

God’s Tool for the Heart

God uses a tool to work on the spiritual heart of man, to resurrect man from spi-ritual death to spiritual life, by helping him deal with the cause of that death- that spiritual separation- his sin.  Note the following example:  

It was the Jewish feast day of Pentecost, a thanksgiving to God for the first fruits of the harvest.  As usual, the streets of Jerusalem were crowded with Jews from every nation who had come to worship.  But this Pentecost was like none other.  The Holy Spirit descended on the apostles as made evident by sight (tongues of fire on the apostles’ heads) and by sound (the roar of a might wind).  The apostles began to speak in various world languages that they had never studied to the amazement of everyone (Acts 2:1-11).

When an explanation for what had happened was demanded, Peter stood with the 11 other apostles and announced that what they had witnessed was the pouring out of the Holy Spirit as predicted by the prophet Joel.  Then Peter very clearly, logically and force-fully gave the crowd evidence that Jesus whom they crucified was not only alive but was exalted as King on the right hand of God (Acts 2:12-36).

When Peter brought his remarks to this conclusion, many were “pierced through the heart” and cried out, “Brethren, what shall we do?”  Peter told them to “re-pent, and each of you be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.”  Three thou-sand people gladly received Peter’s instructions and were baptized (Acts 2:37-38, 41).

Such is the power of the Word of God, His tool to work on the human heart.  Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation…” (Rom 1:16).  The writer to the Hebrew Christians stated the same truth in this way, “For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and morrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb 4:12).

Still today, men who are lost in sin, yet having a tender heart, can be touched by God’s Word- shaken with the force of a ton of TNT- pierced through as with a sharp sword.  As those on Pentecost, when they come to faith in Jesus, they will be deeply affected by the guilt of their sins.  They will be moved with love for Jesus who died for them- moved to gladly accept His remedy for sin, the blood that He shed, by obeying from the heart His conditions of forgiveness (Rom 6:17). Have you let God’s Word do its mighty work on your heart? ...

Until there was no remedy

God’s powerful tool for the human heart can be made powerless.  Man can render the dynamite of His Word no more powerful than a cherry bomb, the sharp sword of His Word no more cutting than a dull pair of scissors.  Here’s how it can happen:

Of 603,500 Israelite warriors who left Egypt, only 2 men entered into the “land of milk and honey”  (Num 1:46; 14:30). 

Despite warnings from prophets such as David for men not to harden their hearts as in those days (Ps 95:8-11), they did not learn from the mistakes of the past.

King Zedekiah was typical of the kind of men that caused the Israelites to suffer yet another judgment of God, captivity in Babylon.  The king stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to God.  The chiefs of the priests and the people also persisted in the abominations of the nations around them. 

God had compassion on these people and on the many wicked generations before them.  For at least 150 years He sent them prophets to turn them back to Him.  But they ridiculed and laughed at these messengers and let their messages roll off of them like “water off a duck’s back” until God could no longer contain His wrath.   God’s longsuffering and mercy was held out “until there was no remedy” (2 Chron 36:13-16).

A heart that is hardened renders the powerful Word of God- His tool for reaching, correcting, and saving men- ineffective.  It is as if the heart is covered with stone so that the Word can no longer penetrate.  The heart becomes calloused to the point where it no longer feels the pain of conscience that is designed to cause man to want to end his separation from God by seeking His forgiveness and renewed spiritual life.

Hardness of heart develops as an individual stubbornly resists God’s Word, determining to live in sin no matter what God may say.  Finally, the Word “goes in one ear and out the other”.  The once tender heart becomes tough, and the individual reaches the point of no return.  His spiritual health, like that of Israel, is beyond remedy.

The only way to avoid this spiritual “terminal illness” is to give immediate attention to the Word of God when it pricks our heart because of our sin.  Failure to do so makes us as unresponsive to our conscience as we are to our car alarms that go off so often that we pay no attention to them.  At this point there is no remedy for our spiritual condition.  In our hardened state we will remain separated from God and one day that separation will become eternal in hell (Rom 6:23; 1 Thess 1:9).  Don’t let your heart get beyond remedy! ... 

Your Heart?



Dear reader, nothing in this life is more important than your heart and its condition before your God. What effect does God’s Word, His tool to work on the heart, have on you?  Is your heart tender, able to be pricked as the Jews on Pentecost?  Or is your heart as tough as the heart of the Jews who died in the wilderness or who went into captivity because of their stubborn refusal to repent? 

Our prayer is that you are one with a tender heart.  If such be the case, once God’s Word brings you to faith in Jesus you will feel the guilt of your sins.   Then you will promptly receive the benefits of Jesus blood by repenting of your sins and being baptized.  You will be saved- you will have a relationship with God- you will have life.

Please take a moment to meditate on the chorus of E.A. Hoffman’s song:

“Is Thy heart right with God,

Washed in the crimson flood,

Cleansed and made holy,

Humble and lowly,

Right in the sight of God?”

Do you desire for God’s Word to have His intended effect on your heart?  Let us know.   We will do our best to help you learn His Word by personal study in your home, by video chat on the phone, or by mail via correspondence course.