The heart

Consider King Amaziah, who reigned in Jerusalem some 29 years. Though there are many commentaries pertaining to his administration and leadership, none are more telling than the words found in 2 Chronicles 25:2 “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart.”

It’s such a strange commentary that a man can do what is right, but not with a perfect heart. It could be read that he did “right things”, but his heart was not in it. Amaziah’s heart was divided; never truly submissive to the Voice of God. The most glaring instance of his tenure came when he hired mercenaries to fight for Israel. Amaziah thought that the end would justify the means, but God rejected his ill-conceived plan. Amaziah struggled with the odds and then eventually became bitter over the loss of 100 talents of silver (@ 120,000 oz.), which he had already paid for his army-for-hire scheme. Amaziah had “heart” problems.

The heart is described throughout the scripture in various forms.
Jeremiah called it deceitful. Solomon told us to keep our heart with all… Proverbs 4:23 “…diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Jesus said, Matthew 12:34 “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

The heart is the center point of a person’s consciousness. It is the hub of all passions, desires, and philosophies. Its worth is far beyond the muscular, hollow organ that pumps blood throughout our circulatory system. It is the core of a person’s life where all intent and thought emanates.

Through the Word we know that God did accept indifference to His command, even if it was obeyed. God wanted obedience with wholeheartedness. To execute the commandment of God was insufficient if the heart was not in it. Even Jesus said, “Isaiah was right about you in that you serve me with your lips, but your heart is far from me.” The Lord knew the difference, because it is He Who measured the deeds of mankind. His Word is described as a sharp two-edged sword capable of discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

God is interested in our actions, but even more so that we love to do what He has called us to do. Begrudging obedience is not the attribute of a servant of the Lord. He wants us to obey and believe what we are obeying. The first of all commandments is to Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and strength. This is our plight; to do what is right with a perfect heart.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

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