A giant financial institution often asks “What’s in YOUR wallet?” But, I think the real question that needs to be asked and that each of us must answer is “What’s in YOUR heart?” Jesus taught about this at different times and in different ways. Please join me as we take a look a subject that I call The Abundant Heart.
Pro 4:23 Says: Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
The FIRST thing I want you to notice is this scripture is telling us to keep or to protect our heart. Another way to translate that word would be to guard or maintain our heart. But it isn’t good enough that we just do that. He wants us to do so with all diligence. Notice it is with DILIGENCE. That word indicates that this should be done like a guard posted at a prison or a perhaps a bank. But, that isn’t good enough either. The author pre-qualifies the level to which we are to reach while guarding. He says to do so with “ALL” Diligence. It isn’t good enough to just walk around and put in your time or to kick back and sleep while on guard duty. He wants us to be ACTIVELY engaged with everything we’ve got in guarding and protecting our heart. Why is this? Well, he tells us in the second half of that statement. “…for out of IT <your HEART> are the issues of life.
The second thing I want you to notice is that your heart is a container. It contains something. What it contains are the ISSUES of LIFE. The word “ISSUES” is confusing because in common usage today it is most commonly a negative term. How many times have you heard: “So and so over there has issues”, or “They are trying to deal with their issues”, or “I have Father or Mother issues”, etc. Everything negative is some sort of “ISSUE”. But, this is NOT what that word means. In the original Hebrew, the word for ISSUE has several shades of meaning including deliverance, to <go or bring> forth and outgoings. The “deliverance” is not from demons. It is more akin to the act of delivering. I think a better word that would be easier to understand might be “Issuance” or “Issuances.” Issuance is the “act of issuing”, as in “The bank or an insurance company is issuing a check.” But, these issuances are not of paper checks, or money. The issuances are of LIFE. The Hebrew word for life is derived from a root word which means “to cause to revive or to bring to life” or to “restore to life” or to “preserve alive.”
The third thing I want you to notice is that the contents of our heart has VALUE. You don’t have to have armed guards around the outhouse or in front of the trash cans. The contents of those containers are worthless. You put guards in front of the bank and around the bank vault. Because the contents of the bank and its vault are of high value. the content of your heart must be of HIGH value or you wouldn’t be admonished to guard it with ALL diligence.
So, what this scripture is saying is that our heart is a container like a bank vault and we are to actively guard it because what it contains is of high value. We make drawings upon its contents much like writing a check and that check impacts our very life.
But what if we don’t actively guard our heart? What if nobody ever told us? What then? Or what if we didn’t deposit “money” or the proper currency into our heart? What if we deposited something else into that bank vault? You know, if you get a bank deposit box, you generally place your valuables in there. Things like rare coins, gold and silver bullion. But you don’t have to. You could put baseball cards in there, or you can fill little bags with kitty litter and put those in there. It’s up to you. the vault is a place where you put what is valuable to you. If you want little packets of kitty litter in your box in the bank’s vault, the bank doesn’t care. Your heart doesn’t care either. It’s the one guarding the heart that cares. You are that guard. So, I ask you again, what’s in YOUR heart?
Do you know what’s really in your heart?
In Luke 6:45, Jesus said: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The first thing I want you to see in this passage is the word treasure. Both the good man and the evil man have something they treasure within their hearts. The word used here is the Greek word thēsauros. The word denotes a place of safe keeping. Have you ever noticed that banks don’t have large store front windows with all their money on display? That’s because it isn’t safe. Instead, it’s hidden in a vault deep inside the bank. Likewise, the treasure of your heart is hidden deep in your heart.
The next thing I want you to see is the phrase “Bringeth Forth.” Most modern translations say “Brings Forth.” Remember Proverbs 4:23? to “bring forth” is an Issuance from our bank vault or our treasure as Jesus called it.
Next I want you to see the word Abundance. Both the good man and the evil man had treasure in Abundance. Notice it DOES NOT say “for of the LACK of the heart…”. In BOTH cases there was abundance. Again I ask, what are you putting in YOUR heart?
Lastly, I want you to see the mechanism used to draw from the treasure within our own heart. It’s words. We speak words, and those words are motivated by whatever has been abundantly deposited in our heart. I want you to notice something that is VERY important. Notice the scripture is referring to your HEART and NOT your mind. What is in your heart can be completely different that what is in your mind. Be honest with yourself for a moment. Have you ever thought of yourself as being incapable of saying certain things or behaving in certain ways and then along comes a situation. It agitates you just right and then… BOOM! You find yourself saying and/or doing things you never thought you would actually say or do? Then later, you’re left scratching your head and wondering; “Where did that come from?” Well, I’ll tell you exactly where it came from. It came from your own heart. It was you mind saying that you would never react that way. But given the right situation, your heart steps in and out it comes. The good, the bad and the ugly. Unfortunately, in these situations, it’s mostly ugly. Here is the most important thing you can learn from this post and if you will remember to do this, you will begin growing in Christ like you never thought possible. When a situation like this happens, recognize that the problem IS NOT the other person, IT IS YOU. Then ask the Holy Spirit to show you WHY this happens to you. You aren’t responsible for the other person, but YOU ARE responsible for how you react to them. It doesn’t matter how wrong you perceive them to be. In fact, they may not be wrong at all. Either way, you are responsible to love others no matter what. If you can’t love this person, then the issue is in you. This is the beam that is in YOUR eye. Jesus said for you to get the beam out of your own eye before you attempt to get the speck out someone else’s eye (Luke 6:42). Why is this so important? It’s because these situations expose what is really in our hearts. These have become our core beliefs that are deeply held within our heart. Our minds may not think along those lines at all. How many times have you seen someone in a moment of frustration blurt out something like “I’ll never amount to anything!” Or, even worse, they speak this over a child. Sadly, as time passes, you see this “prophecy” come true. This is because that person truly believes this in their “heart of hearts” and in that moment they are speaking in faith and without any doubt in their heart.
Mar 11:23 For truly I say to you that whoever shall say to this mountain, Be moved and be cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that what he said shall occur, he shall have whatever he said.
Unfortunately, because of this heart issue there are many moments like this and they keep speaking this over and over again. A person in this condition is continually cursing themselves with their own words. They are “bringing forth” that treasure (they can’t or will never amount to anything) from their heart (not their mind) with those words. Perhaps now the following scriptures will have a little stronger meaning to you.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
James 3:1-12 Speaks of the tongue as a rudder on a ship, able to turn the course of the ship any way the helmsman desires.
My friend, these scriptures are not talking about the tongue in the literal sense. Trust me when I tell you that you can go to the back of the boat and place your face in the water and stick your tongue out all you want. You will not alter the course of the boat any discernible amount. No, he is talking about the words we speak. Our words can bring life or they can bring death. Blessing or cursing. It all depends on what’s in our heart. So, the question isn’t, “What’s in your wallet?” It’s, “What’s in your heart?”
What are you putting in Your heart today? Are you “treasuring” something in your heart that shouldn’t be there at all?
We will look at this in more depth in the next installment.