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What's In the Heart?

Biblically, the heart is defined as the inner person. This means that the thoughts and intentions of a person originate deep within their heart. An academic definition for the scriptural view of the heart would include the ability to comprehend the mind, affections, will, inclinations, resolutions, conscience, and the seat of appetites and passions. The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament defines the heart as the "center and source of the whole inner life with its thinking, feeling and volition.

The state of our hearts is not good. Jesus said that everything evil comes from the human heart (Matthew 7:22-23). The Proverbs sternly warn people to watch over their heart (4:23). Meaning, the heart can bring life to whatever is in it...good or bad. the prophet Jeremiah gives a grim assessment of the heart saying, "The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick" (Jeremiah 17:9). The heart of humankind in its natural state is sinfully wicked seeking to serve its own desires, passions, or affections. For this reason, a person ruled by the heart will be lost to themselves, serving and worshipping only what the heart wants. This naturally wicked heart is not passive, it is always seeking something it wants for itself. This sounds grim, and it is. However, this is not how the heart was intended to be when God created us.

A remnant of our natural desire to worship still exists in the heart regardless of the effects sin has in everyone's life. This remnant causes a person to seek something to worship. Because the heart is corrupted by an inescapable sin nature, we do not naturally worship the true God as we were created to do so in the beginning. Rather, we turn to other things which become idols or other "gods" in our life. This is how we worship when our hearts are not clean and focused on God. The Bible says we are to do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). We cannot accomplish this if we are focused on an unholy desire in our hearts. We will worship improperly unless or until we make worshipping God our only heart's desire.

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