The newest report from the American Heart Association indicates that cardiovascular disease is one of the top killers in the world. Every year, up to 17.3 million people die from such diseases and it is estimated that in 2030, there may be more than 23.6 million people that will have their lives taken away by cardiovascular disease. It is no wonder that more and more people are noticing the health of the heart and seek ways to protect the heart.
In the Book of Proverbs, which is in the Bible, it mentions the importance of guarding your heart: “Keep "守" thy heart "心" more than anything that is guarded; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Of course the heart that is mentioned here is not a heart of flesh and blood, but it actually points to our inner thoughts. The importance of this verse is not in relation to our physical heart, but it is in regards to our life.
Genesis 8:21 says “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” Once you examine it carefully, you will find that God’s word is true. For example, a little child may lie, even though his/her parents or other adults have never taught them to do so. However, once they do something wrong, very naturally they will begin to stammer and lie, so that they can deny responsibility and cover their wrongdoing. The Bible says that our ancestors had sinned and sin thus has defiled our hearts. The natural life has caused our every intent of the thoughts of our hearts to be evil continually (Genesis 6:5). The power of sin affects us daily and we can see that man’s thoughts is becoming more and more corrupt. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) The Bible reminds us if we do not properly deal with the issue concerning our thoughts, eventually desire gives birth to sin; when sin is full grown, it will lead us to perdition and we will regret it forever (James 1:16).
God’s word has diagnosed us. We indeed are people who are suffering from “heart disease”, but thank the Lord, if we are willing to be enlightened and confess that we are ill, then we will hear the Lord say: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick…For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)
The Lord is the best doctor. He knows that if sin is not dealt with, our hearts eventually will be controlled by sin. Therefore He did not use a way other than being nailed to the cross Himself and shedding His precious blood to wash away our sins. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)
Our hearts once were entirely controlled and defiled by sin, but because of the Lord’s redemptive work, our thoughts have been cleansed by His precious blood. Now our thoughts can be restored to their original function, become sensitive to God’s reminders and guidance, and “have the heart” for spiritual matters. Our deeds will also change in step with the heart, making God’s pleasure the focus.
For those who believe in the Lord, the Lord indeed is our Saviour; He has healed our “heart disease” and saved our lives. We should protect this pure heart carefully and not easily allow sin to defile it again. We should love and serve the Lord and give our hearts to Him.