Abundance of the Heart

I was in a video conversation with some very good friends when one of them made a comment regarding a subject we were discussing. Instead of really listening to what was being said, I made a face that prompted the person making the comment to ask what my thoughts were. I was cautious and said I wanted to be careful how I phrased my words. I was encouraged to speak what was on my heart, so in grand fashion I let my thoughts spill out all over the table.

At first I didn’t realize what I had said. Several others in the conversation jumped in and shared their points of view. It wasn’t until one of them spoke about how “our” conversation made him feel that I realized what I had done.

  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 NKJV

Before the video call ended, this part of the verse pierced my heart, For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” 

When I looked up the verse my heart sank…

I realized that I was “an evil man” who had “evil treasure” in my heart because I “brought forth evil from my heart”. The comments I made were “right in my own eyes” but I did not have the entire picture.

 “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.” Proverbs 21:2 NASB

The Hebrew word for weighs in the above verse is takan  תכן  and means: to regulate, measure, estimate, ponder, balance, make even, level, weigh, be equal, be weighed out, test, prove

 “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, But the LORD weighs the motives.” Proverbs 16:2 NASB

Tonight my heart was tested and I failed.

I want to be the “good man” who has “good treasure” in my heart and “brings forth good”.

How does this happen? By allowing YHVH to test my heart to show me what is really in there. Most of the time it is in the words that come out of my mouth because I have chosen to be the judge and jury.

I am thankful for my friends who lovingly showed me what was in my heart by speaking the truth in love.

“…but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 NASB

This conversation made me realize I have a lot of “growing up” to do in order to help the body grow by building it up with love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glad Heart

My daughter introduced me to essential oils by gifting me a starter kit last year for my birthday. I excitedly opened the package to reveal several different bottles with names I was familiar with and others I was not. As I took each bottle and broke the seal, a powerful scent wafted into the atmosphere. Some of these were very pleasant and others were not. I realized as I opened the bottles that some of them should be applied to your skin and some ingested to receive maximum benefit.

Today I came across this Scripture:  Proverbs 27:9 NASB “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.”

I also found a commentary on the same verse:

Proverbs 27:9. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart, &c. — “As balsam and fragrant perfumes marvellously refresh and comfort the natural spirits, when they droop and are tired; so doth the very presence of a true-hearted friend, and much more his faithful counsel, rejoice a man’s soul; especially when he is at such a loss, that he knows not how to advise himself.” — Bishop Patrick.

I began to see how scents can appeal or repulse when inhaled or ingested.

Think about that for a moment…

The Proverb listed above states that oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

Is my counsel sweet to my friends, or is it repulsive to them? Do I give advice without being asked or wait for the right opportunity to advise? Do I speak the truth to be heard or do I speak the truth in love?

Ephesians 4:15 CJB “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah.”

What kind of fragrance are you?

 

 

 

You have tested my heart…

“You have tested my heart; You have visited [me] in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” Psalm 17:3 NKJV

I came across this video while researching “Spiritual Heart Disease”; a subject YHVH has been speaking to me about for several months. I do not personally know this man, but what he is teaching resonated with my spirit. The video was posted two years ago but is a NOW word for today.

 

I’m also including a video of his testimony:

TRUST

Proverbs 3:5-8 NASB

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.

  • Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    • Not some, not part, but ALL!
  • Do not lean on our own understanding
    • YHVH sees the whole picture…we do not! We can’t place our own right to understand above His right to direct our lives the way He sees fit.
      •  Isaiah 55:8-9 NASB “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
  • In all your ways acknowledge Him
    • Acknowledge: to recognize the rights, authority, or status of
    • We MUST acknowledge that YHVH is the Creator and knows what is best for His creation. He gave us a manual to follow called the Word of YHVH.
  • And He will make your paths straight (direct your path)
    •  When we read His Word we acknowledge His supreme authority by following what it says.
      • Psalm 119:105 NASB “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
  • Do not be wise in your own eyes
    • Being wise in our own eyes is relies on self rather than YHVH.
      • Proverbs 1:5 NASB A wise man will hear and increase in learning, And a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel,
      • Proverbs 9:9 NASB Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
      • Proverbs 12:15 NASB  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
      • Proverbs 26:12 NASB Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.
      • Romans 12:16 NASB] Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
  • Fear the LORD and turn away from evil
    • Psalm 111:10 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.
    • Proverbs 1:7 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    • Pro 9:10 NASB The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
    • Proverbs 15:33 NASB The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility.
  • It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones
    • Proverbs 4:20-22 NASB My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body.
    • Proverbs 16:24 NASB Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Trusting is NOT easy, but it is required if we acknowledge YHVH as our Father & Master. What areas of your life do you need to learn to trust HIM with?

 

 

 

 

Enemy

Enemy: A person who is actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.

Enemy

 “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;  Or the LORD will see it and be displeased, And turn His anger away from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18 NASB

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’  “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:43-45 NASB

 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28 NASB

 “If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For you will heap burning coals on his head, And the LORD will reward you.” Proverbs 25:21-22 NASB

“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:20-21 NASB

 “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Galatians 6:1 NASB

 

 

Wholehearted

As I began my devotional time this morning I was led to read Psalm 119. I didn’t get very far before YHVH highlighted a word:

“How happy are those who observe his instruction, who seek him wholeheartedly!” Psalm 119:2 CJB

Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart.” Psalm 119:2 KJV

What does it mean to “seek him wholeheartedly” or “with the whole heart”?

As I was contemplating this I was reminded of Caleb. His name first appears in Numbers 13:6 which is the Torah portion Shlach L’kah (Numbers 13:1-15:41). Chapter 13 and 14 address the story of the 12 tribal leaders who were chosen to “spy” out the land of Canaan…a land that YHVH said he was giving the people of Israel (Nu 13:2).

Twelve leaders of Israel were in the land 40 days (vs 25) and returned with a cluster of grapes so large it had to be carried on a pole between two men (vs 23)! They also brought pomegranates and figs which they showed to the entire community. Caleb (Kalev) tried to encourage the people that they could take possession of the land and believed they could conquer it (vs 30). But ten of the leaders brought a negative report that discouraged the people and caused them to grumble against Moses & Aaron (vs 31 – 14:2).  The repercussions of this were staggering as YHVH pronounced that none of the people who left Egypt and saw His glory and treated Him with contempt would enter the Promised Land (Nu 14:20-23).

So what does this have to do with “wholehearted”?

Numbers 14:24 “But my servant Caleb/Kalev, because he had a different Spirit with him and  has fully followed me – him I will bring into the land entered, and it will belong to his descendants.”

What does the name Caleb/Kalev mean?

From “Behind the Name” (https://www.behindthename.com/bb/fact/175074)

Dog; dog-like devotion to God

Faithful could be another translation. However, if you read in the Hebrew Bible the exploits of CALEB (as in one of the twelve spies who went into Caanan Numbers 13:6 & 13:30), one will see that he wasn’t simply faithful, but that he served the God of ISRAEL with his whole heart.

From “The Way Prepared (http://www.thewayprepared.com/studies/joshua-and-caleb.html)

Wholehearted

The Hebrew name ‘Caleb’ is an interesting one. Let’s examine several features of this name.

First, let’s notice that the name Caleb is the Hebrew Strong’s number <03612>, and is used 35 times. The number “35” in Scripture speaks of “Repentance,” and is the same as “7 x 5,” which speaks of complete preparation of the Bride. So we see that Caleb speaks of those who fully prepare themselves through repentance, and as a result will enter, together with Joshua.

Next, we see that according to the various Hebrew dictionaries and concordances, the apparent meaning of the name Caleb is “a dog.” Recently I received an email from a faithful sister in Messiah, to mention an alternate meaning, based on the Hebrew letters used in the name. It turns out that the name Caleb is actually a compound word in Hebrew, and is apparently quite common in ancient Hebrew. The name is ‘Col-Leb’ (Cof + Lamed) meaning “all or whole” — Leb (Lamed + bet) meaning “heart.” Therefore, Caleb (or Col-Lev as pronounced in Hebrew) actually means “with all the heart” or “whole-hearted.” The word for dog must therefore have originated from the word Col-Lev, and not the other way around.

If we look at the definitions for the words ‘dogged’ and ‘doggedness,’ we see this same quality that describes a dog: “stubbornly unyielding” and “persistent determination.” This ‘doggedness’ perfectly describes one who is ‘whole-hearted,’ and fits the description of the faith and determination exhibited by Caleb!

Interesting thoughts from these two articles.

My brother has a photo posted on Facebook with him and a dog that looks like she is laughing. The caption he wrote is “This isn’t even my dog and it’s sad that I trust her more than I trust most people, even though she seems to be laughing at me behind my back”.

How is it that we feel we can trust dogs more than people? Could it be they are loyal, faithful, honest, non judgmental, forgiving, etc. Where do I fail as a human being by not showing these characteristics to my fellow brothers and sisters?

YHVH spoke highly of Caleb/Kalev as one who had a different Spirit in him and fully followed YHVH.

I want to be like Caleb/Kalev. I want to follow YHVH wholeheartedly. I desire to have YHVH search the innermost parts of my heart and show me where I do NOT follow Him wholeheartedly.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  Psalm 139:23-24 NKJV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Heart Disease

I have been pondering some things since my 53-year-old brother had a major heart attack on Memorial Day this year. His right coronary artery was 100% blocked. I am happy to report he is alive and doing well.

This traumatic event got me thinking about what brings on a blockage of the artery in the natural. According to the Cleveland Clinic:

“Coronary artery disease is the narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, usually caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis (sometimes called “hardening” or “clogging” of the arteries) is the buildup of cholesterol and fatty deposits (called plaques) on the inner walls of the arteries. These plaques can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle by physically clogging the artery or by causing abnormal artery tone and function.” (Emphasis added)

As I read this I immediately thought of the Scripture YHVH spoke to my heart in 1997:

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

We have a history of heart disease in my family. After my brother’s heart attack I began to ask some questions of my parents to find out who had what kind of heart issues. I have to tell you I was pretty surprised to learn that these problems went back many generations!

I   don’t   want   to   end   up   with   heart   disease.

I know I can change things in the natural, but what needs to change with my spiritual walk? This is where the pondering began

Tonight at sundown we enter into the month of Elul on the Hebrew calendar. It is a time to focus on repentance in preparation for the High Holy days of Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashanah) and Yom Kippur (Atonement) by getting our spiritual house in order.

My focus this year will be on the heart.

My goal is to post something from Scripture about the heart every day for the next 30 days.

Jeremiah 17:7-10 “Blessed is the man who trusts in YHVH, then YHVH will be his security. He will be alike a tree planted near water, which spreads out is roots along a brook and does not see when heat comes, whose foliage is ever fresh; it will not worry in a year of drought and will not stop producing fruit. The heart is the most deceitful of all, and it is fragile – who can know it? I, YHVH, plumb the feelings and test the innermost thoughts, to give to man according to his ways, the fruit of his deeds.”

Abba, may I be found as one who trusts in you as you plumb my feelings and test my innermost thoughts.