Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Diseased Heart - Kills.

Research released by The Heart Foundation showed that Tasmania had the highest rate of cardiovascular disease in Australia. Lack of exercise, poor diet, alcohol and smoking combined with high blood pressure and cholesterol combined to kill. The sad part was that many were in life’s prime and their failure to look after themselves was fatal.

This becomes a metaphor for moral and spiritual heart problems. With the Bible the heart is the term which can cover a person’s total inner life. The Bible could be described as the X-Ray machine or the MRI of the soul and what it reveals is a threatening disease. An assistant to the Great Physician who is Jesus Christ wrote ‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’ (Jeremiah 17:9 NIV)In other words, each of us are in a terminal state, morally and spiritually. This doesn’t simply apply to earthly life and relationships for it also affects our eternity.

As God can see the heart we cannot fool Him by acting nice. Those closest to us have seen the outworking of our diseased heart through our tongue, business dealings, immoral behaviour or hypocritical life. In the media we read or see reports of the more virulent expressions of a diseased heart in child abuse, murder, corruption and the madness of the Islamic State with its cruelty and depravity. In our own solitude we may long to be cured and find resources to enable us to change and live with a wholesome heart. Can the Bible show us the Great Physicians healthy heart program?

Because the issues of the heart are moral and spiritual it requires similar medication, diet and exercise to deal with it. As with any doctorand patient relationship the sufferer must realise he has a problem. Then he must have faith in the doctor’s training, skill and understanding of the issues involved and the treatment needed. In the moral and spiritual sickness realm there are many ‘quacks’ whether religious or humanistic. Trouble is they cannot see the inner realm of your person. But Dr Jesus can! He is the creator of the world. He is the Lord and more than that He is the Saviour who has authority to work on a person’s inner being.

Let us read two testimonies from the Bible of those who have undergone Jesus Christ’s transforming surgery and treatment.

David: ‘Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.’ (Psalm 51) How could Jesus do that? By the authority of being the one who dealt with sin on the cross and rose from the dead, leaving a believer’s sin in the tomb.

People: ‘When the people heard this (about Jesus, the cross and resurrection and their own heart) they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”’ (Acts 2:37) Peter replied “Repent and be baptised every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The effect of that on those who believed is told in Acts 2:46: ‘They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

The Bible is the moral and spiritual resource book for a continual healthy and happy heart. Within its pages you will find lifestyle ‘diets’ which will safeguard you from the depravity and diseases rampant in the world scene. There are certain ‘exercises’ such as worship, doing good deeds and caring for others which keep your inner life trim and terrific. Another great feature of allowing Jesus Christ to cleanse your life is that He puts a new song within. Instead of a lament you can have the heavenly rhapsody. It even sounds out and keeps us in harmony with the Lord in the darkest of times.

There is so much more the Saviour and Great Physician, Jesus Christ offers. Read about it in the book, the Bible. As the Psalmist so neatly put it ‘Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart.’ Psalm 119:111.

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