January 23

“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

“A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2)

Now that Christmas and New Year’s is behind us, stores and public places are filled with hearts to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The heart has become a symbol for emotional affection, sentimentality, and the idea of loving something (as in, I “heart” puppies). What a contrast to Scripture’s concept of the heart! In the Bible, the heart is often referred to as the center of belief, the seat of truth, and the window to the soul. Our hearts contain our purposes and control our behavior. A wise person, who has knowledge and understanding, has buried biblical wisdom deep in the heart and can bring it out to made wise choices. This is the heart that trusts in Christs, and has discernment by the power of the Holy Spirit.

A good example of biblical wisdom, through Christ, is found in Acts Chapter 8. Simon, the magician wanted to purchase the power to grant the Holy Spirit from Peter and John. Peter wisely discerned that Simon’s heart was “not right before God” (8:21). Peter rebuked Simon for considering God’s gift of grace as something to be purchased, and called for him to repent, seeking God’s forgiveness (8:22). The apostle specifically named the sinful intent of Simon’s heart, which was “in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” In other words, Simon’s heart was under the control of Satan in spite of his profession of faith (8:23). Peter’s heart moved him to the right (toward righteousness and wisdom), while Simon’s foolish, unbelieving heart pulled him to the left, away from righteousness.

Here is a reminder that our behavior originates in our hearts. No wonder Christ spoke so clearly on this matter. (See Luke 12:34; 24:25, and other passages.) Two applications may be drawn. Believers have been given the Holy Spirit, by God’s grace at regeneration, to discern right from wrong and wisdom from foolishness, even when it is deeply embedded in our hearts. On the other hand, we should not expect our children or other unbelievers to be able to act wisely or faithfully, as God’s defines wisdom, because they do not have the Spirit’s help. It is our responsibility, as believers, to use the graces of God to bring our wisdom to maturity in the hopes that we will become Christ’s ambassadors as He works in the hearts of the elect.

Do you have wisdom buried in your heart? If not, will you get it by immersing yourself in Scripture? If you do have this buried treasure, will you put it to use, for Christ’s sake?

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