1. The heart is a symbol that is closely associated with Valentine's Day. 2. Because Tuesday is recognized as Valentine's Day, perhaps this is a good time to study passages that deal with "matters pertaining to the heart." 3. We learn from Jeremiah 17:10 that God is very concerned about the hearts of His people -- He "searches" them, and He judges accordingly. 4. Additional passages show that: a. God looks on the heart and not the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7) b. God knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:21). 5. Let us begin our study by considering several . . .
I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES THAT PERTAIN TO THE HEART
A. David's writings teach us to allow God to examine our hearts so they will please Him. 1. Psalm 19:14 2. Psalm 139:23-24 B. Solomon's writings teach us to "keep" our hearts (Proverbs 4:23). 1. We are to do this "with all diligence." 2. We are to do this because "the issues of life" come forth from the heart. 3. Keeping the heart is a lifelong responsibility. a. Solomon allowed his heart to be turned away from the Lord (1 Kings 11:3). b. David showed how the heart can be turned back to God (Psalm 51:10). C. Jesus emphasized the importance of having pure hearts when He gave the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:8). D. These passages teach us that God is concerned about our hearts, and He wants us to be concerned about our hearts. E. With these general principles before us, let us turn our attention to some . . .
II. SPECIFIC ISSUES THAT PERTAIN TO THE HEART
A. Passages in the Old Testament teach that the heart is to be involved in: 1. loving God (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:37-38) 2. believing in God (Psalm 14:1) 3. trusting God (Proverbs 3:5-6) 4. having a cheerful countenance (Proverbs 15:13a) 5. our thinking (Proverbs 23:7a). B. Passages in the New Testament teach that the heart is to be involved in: 1. our speech (Matthew 12:34-35) 2. our forgiveness of others (Matthew 18:35) 3. bearing fruit (Luke 8:15) 4. believing that Jesus is God's Son (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38) 5. cleaving to the Lord (Acts 11:23) 6. our obedience (Romans 6:17-18) 7. our giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-8) 8. our singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16) 9. our love for one another (1 Peter 1:22).
1. Have you asked the Lord to examine your heart lately? 2. If you have, what was His diagnosis? 3. If you have not, listen to David again (Psalm 139:23-24).