See that your chief study be about your heart, that there God’s image may be planted, and His interest advanced, and the interest of the world and flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and the love of holiness succeed.
The world’s battlefields have been in the heart chiefly; more heroism has been displayed in the household and the closet, than on the most memorable battlefields in history.
Heart in Scripture is used in various ways. Sometimes it means our reason or understanding, sometimes our affections and emotion, and sometimes our will. Generally it denotes the whole soul of man and all its faculties, not individually, but as they all work together in doing good or evil. The mind as it reasons, discerns, and judges; the emotions as they like or dislike; the conscience as it determines and warns; and the will as it chooses or refuses – are all together called the heart.
The human heart has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.
The first and the great work of a Christian is about his heart. Do not be content with seeming to do good in “outward acts” while your heart is bad, and you are a stranger to the greater internal heart duties.
“I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. I don’t swear. Hallelujah, I’m a Christian.” If a telephone pole could talk, it might say the same thing. But a series of zeros do not make a Christian. A million negatives do not produce even one positive. We may pity the man with an empty mind. But what about the person with the empty heart?
The human heart is like a ship on a stormy sea driven about by winds blowing from all four corners of heaven.
In man’s nature the heart is the central power. As the heart is so is the man… Our inmost being must in truth be yielded to Him… It is only as the desire of the heart is fixed upon God, the whole heart seeking for God, giving its love and finding its joy in God, that a man can draw nigh to God.
The heart in the Scripture is variously used; sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principle of moral operations, as they concur in our doing good or evil…the seat and subject of the law of sin is the heart of man.
The heart must be the principal point to which we attend in all the relations between God and our souls. What is the first thing we need, in order to be Christians? A new heart. What is the sacrifice God asks us to bring to him? A broken and a contrite heart. What is the true circumcision? The circumcision of the heart. What is genuine obedience? To obey from the heart. What is saving faith? To believe with the heart. Where ought Christ to dwell? To dwell in our hearts by faith. What is the chief request that Wisdom makes to every one? “My son, give me your heart.”
Although the tongue is capable of great destruction, the tongue in and of itself is not the ultimate culprit. The ultimate culprit is the heart! The tongue is simply a conduit, or pipeline from the heart. Therefore proper speech reveals a good heart while improper speech reveals a bad heart. Our words reveal our heart and our heart reveals our true master, our true allegiance and our true citizenship. It’s that simple!
Our mouths are not factories trying to manufacture proper speech, but rather fountains in which proper speech overflows from hearts that are being transformed by the Spirit. As Jesus said, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Mt. 12:34).
You must keep all earthy treasures out of your heart, and let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart.
The worst thing thou has to fear is the treachery of thine own heart.
The heart is the rudder of the soul, and till the Lord take it in hand we steer in a false and foul way.
Always has the Holy One of Israel estimated men by their inner nature, and not by their outward professions; to Him the inward is as visible as the outward, and He rightly judges that the essential character of an action lies in the motive of him who works it.
What once bothered us doesn’t bother us anymore. What once activated our conscience doesn’t seem to anymore. What we knew was outside of God’s boundaries, and therefore functionally outside of ours, lives inside our boundaries, and it doesn’t matter to us anymore. It is a scary place to be. The hard heart is a stony heart. It is not malleable anymore. It’s hard and resistant to change, no longer tender and responsive to the squeeze of the hands of the Spirit. There is evil in our hearts and in the acts of our hands, and we’re okay with it. Could there be a more dangerous place for a believer to be?
If my heart is the source of my sin problem, then lasting change must always travel through the pathway of my heart. It is not enough to alter my behavior or to change my circumstances. Christ transforms people by radically changing their hearts. If the heart doesn’t change, the person’s words and behavior may change temporarily because of an external pressure or incentive. But when the pressure or incentive is removed, the change will disappear.
Your ears listen for what your heart craves.
What’s in the well of the heart comes up in the bucket of the mouth (Luke 6:45).
While biblical counselors should place appropriate attention on matters of the body, the central focus must always be the heart. The good news is that God is powerful to help His children change in their innermost being. Teaching shallow behaviorism is fruitless and unnecessary because God’s Word teaches that God’s power is effective at the deepest levels of who we are.
God created mankind in His image and entrusted each of us with a heart. The word “heart” is used over 700 times in Scripture. It refers to our inner man, the core of our being, our mission control center. The heart is the composite of thoughts, desires, emotions and beliefs that guide our daily choices. That is why Solomon urged his son, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life” (Pr. 4:23). We use our heart to worship something – whether the God of heaven and earth or something else we believe will bring us comfort, joy and satisfaction.
The Great God values not the service of men if the heart be not in it: The Lord sees and judges the heart; He has no regard for outward forms of worship, if there be no inward adoration, if no devout affection be employed therein. It is therefore a matter of infinite importance, to have the whole heart engaged steadfastly for God.
[A true heart is] a heart which expresses completely the devotion of the whole person to God. There is not divided allegiance, no reserve of feeling.
When earthly parents model the love of a heavenly Father who “sees not as man sees,” we give our [children] permission to measure beauty differently than their peers: by focusing not merely on the outward appearance, but on the heart.