It can be argued that if Jesus [God] instructs us in Mark 12 v 28 – 31 to love God with all our heart then we will find in scripture a clear definition of our heart. This is exactly what we find. God does not tell us to do something and then leave us in the dark about how to do it. In Genesis we find a definition of God’s heart. It follows that because we were created in Gods image then we should find the same capacities in us. [The slide is one out of a Powerpoint I put together.]
- Genesis 6 v 5 Thinking is a function of the heart. “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually“.
Here is the “Capacity to think” or intelligence mentioned as a component of the heart. This ought to raise the question “what do I place my thoughts on”? Prov 23 v 7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, says he to you; but his heart is not with you”. What we think on produces corresponding emotions.
- Genesis 6 v 6 Feeling is a function of the heart. “And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart“. Emotions are not directly under our control. They are produced by the action of thought. As we think on a particular subject the emotions are correspondingly moved and give a degree of passion to the will.
Here is the capacity to feel [emotions].
- Genesis 8 v 21 Doing is a function of the heart. “And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done“.
Here is the capacity to do – action with intent, the empowered will.
This should be a warning to us that we be careful how we receive information into the intellect and how much we think on it. If it is negative information we need to balance it with the opposite positive. I.E. “I have lost my job. How can I pay my bills”; “God has promised to supply”.
Negative information should drive us more passionately to the arms of our heavenly Father. In theological terms it is the law that drives us to the grace of God. The negative reveals how safe God is.Mat 10:29-33 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven“.Rom 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect“.Philippines 4 v 8-9 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you”.
As you embark on the renewing of your mind remember that God is with you and knows the weakness of human nature. Learn to rejoice in Him as you rest your thoughts on Him. Isaiah 26 v 3 “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you; because he trust in you“.