Gratitude Helps Keep The Whole Heart And Body Safe.

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This chapter centers more on the heart. Therefore, we shall start by discussing  the heart first for a better understanding. Whenever the heart is mentioned in the Scripture, it is not referring to the blood pumping physical organ inside the chest cavity of mankind but rather something spiritual described as the center and director of human activities. This heart is the center of intellect/ mentality, intuition, thoughts and mind. This is because we humans reason (Mark 2:8, 11:23), imagine things (Psalm 140:2); meditate, believe, (Romans 10:9);  keeping and hiding words (Psalm 110:11). With the heart we seek God (Psalm 119:2,10); meditate on His word (Psalm 19:14), believe and trust God (Prov. 3:5), cry out to God, (Psalm 84:2), Hide God’s word (Psalm 119: 11), experience God’s love, (Romans 4:5). The heart is linked with emotions/feelings such as joy (Exodus 4:4, Jeremiah 15;16); sorrow, (John 16:6), bitterness, (James 3:14), humility (Matthew 11:29), fear, (Josiah 5:1), Psalm (4:7,15; 65:14. Grieving, (Lam. 2:18 ),. Affections such as love (Mark 12:30, Dueteromy 6:5, 1Timothy 1:15). It is the arena for will and decision making (Acts 5:4, Romans 6:17), desires and wishes (2 Chronicles 6:7, Romans, 1: 24, Romans 10:1) and will.   The heart is the center for emotions-feelings. Our characters are formed by it. It is the pillar of worship and our spirituality. The heart is also in connection to our morals and spiritual life. It is where God Spirit dwells. God ascertains a person’s true character and spiritual state from the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). At creation, when God created man in His own image and likeness, everything about man including his heart was pure, holy, healthy and good. Man’s  character, words, thoughts, emotions, feelings, imaginations, actions and behaviours were right and man was at peace, joyful, healthy and strong inside out. This was because man was in a right fellowship relationship with God and God was in control of man’s heart. Apart from this the beautiful harmonious relationship between all the creatures, the conducive environment and positive happenings in the Garden of Eden provided the best inputs that conditions the heart positively. However, satan came and deceived Adam and Eve and they fell into sin of disobedience as they chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil which God commanded them not to (Gen 2:16-17). As a result of this, Man became alienated from God and the heart of man became depraved. Creation as a whole came under God’s curse as a result of man’s sin. Man was expelled from the beautiful Garden of Eden where he enjoyed life at its best and to the fullest. Man became a slave under satan whom he had obeyed. With man now being under the influence and control of a cruel and wicked task master. Man was also faced with an unfriendly environment and its negative happenings, situations, coupled with fruitless hard labour and frustrations. With all these negative encounters the man’s heart became weak, sorrowful, overwhelmed, heavily burdened, evil and desperately wicked (Jer.17:9 Mark 7:21-22). These in turn make the body become weak and plagued with deseases, decay and death. However, God in His infinite love and mercy for mankind sent His gracious salvation through His Son Jesus Christ for the redemption of the whole world (John 3:16). Whosoever embraces God’s gracious salvation through faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Saviour receives a new heart and a new spirit from God (Ezekiel 11:19). Based on all written above concerning the heart, it is not surprising therefore that the believer is given a very important charge to maintain the heart well, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23). God wants us to mantain the new heart and keep it pure, healthy and allow no form of contaminations at all in it! This is because although the believers have experienced God’s gracious salvation that has delivered him or her from the powers of satan, the world and the flesh yet the believer still lives in a broken world where terrible things are happening; where satan our adversary still roams about looking for who to devour; where the flesh will still want us to do its biddings and where the world would still attempt to get us conformed to its values (1 John 5:19). How can one keep the heart in situations such as these? BY A LIFESTYLE OF GRATITUDE! To be continued……. GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I

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