If you missed Part One, you can find that here!
Vines: “By an easy transition, the word came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity. The heart is used figuratively for the hidden springs of the personal life. Scripture regards the heart as the sphere of Divine influence.”
Thayer: “The center and seat of spiritual life. The soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavors.”
Once I got these two definitions, I grabbed a concordance and looked at every verse in the Bible that used the word heart. I would use these verses to start from ground zero and paint a picture of what the heart is and what it does. In those verses, I found that the heart can:
-feel joy (John 16:22)
-be trained for greed (2 Peter 2:14)
-be capable of thinking evil (Matt. 9:4)
-grow dull (Matt. 13:15)
-be foolish and darkened by not honoring God or giving thanks to Him (Rom. 1:21)
-be evil and unbelieving (Heb. 3:12)
-be joyful and glad (Esther 5:9; Psalm 16:9)
-wise (Job 9:4)
-faint (Job 19:27, 23:16)
-sing for joy (Job 29:13)
-be led after our eyes (Job 31:7)
-be secretly enticed (Job 31:9, 27)
Our intentions come from the heart (2 Cor. 9:7, Rom. 6:17; 10:10)
Other things can rule over our hearts (Col. 3:15)
We can hide things in our heart (Job 10:13, 31:33)
We can prepare our heart (Job 11:13)
Our heart can carry us away (Job 15:12)
Our desires come from the heart (Job 17:11)
Lastly, Psalms 12:2 shows that we can have a double heart.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, I filled up 5 pages alone with select verses that I found applicable to my study, and these are just a small portion of what I chose to record in my notes. I know that the next person could come up with a totally new perspective and go even deeper into what the heart is.
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. – Proverbs 27:19
Descriptive phrases like, “it grieved Him to His heart” or “integrity of my heart” adds the dimension of depth that the word ‘heart’ implies. It wasn’t enough to simply state how they felt, they added ‘heart’ to create the extra punch.
The heart is even used to describing creation in order to bring to mind a deep innermost place.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea.
My ending definition ended up looking something like this:
The heart is the starting place of all actions, feelings, and words. It can be changed or trained, and it is the innermost part of us. The heart is our driving force and the defining part of who we are. It is the reason behind what we do.
So how can we love God with all of our heart?
God’s attributes and the fruits of His Spirit, love mercy, kindness, etc. will be the foundation our thoughts and actions. The driving force behind a all we do is to be because of God and who He is, and what he has done for us. The innermost part of us is to be a reflection of Christ. Not what we keep hidden while trying to cover it up with good works and a cheerful disposition. It must truly be changed and renewed. We don’t do these because we are supposed to, or make us look better. But because we are just like everyone else.
The heart is the part that most people can’t see. The hidden part that we are sometimes ok with being a little sinful. Because no one else knows! But of course we know that God knows. He sees the grumbling and impatience in our hearts while others may hear what we want them to. He sees the judging and dislike towards those we just don’t get along with and the people that take advantage of us.
His speech was a smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. – Psalm 55:21
Taking some of the verses about the heart I listed above, we can either apply or avoid these characteristics of the heart in order to live this love. We love God with all of our heart by doing these things.
-feel joy choose to feel joy, no matter the circumstances. Choosing to feel anything but joy is telling God that He is not enough for you.
-be capable of thinking evil (Matt. 9:4) so fill your mind with thoughts that are according to the new man.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, 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. – Philippians 4:8
-grow dull therefore, spend time in Word of God and with friends who will sharpen you.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another -Proverbs 27:17
-be foolish and darkened by not honoring God or giving thanks to Him so continually find ways to give thanksgiving to God.
Giving thanks always and in everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Ephesians 5:20
-be evil and unbelieving love believes all things. It believes God is in control and that giving Him worth is the next best thing to do.
-faint so renew your strength day by day
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. – 2 Corinthians 4:16
-sing for joy having the right mindset creates the right environment.
Rejoice in the Lord always, again, I say, rejoice. – Philippians 4:4
-be led after our eyes so take responsibility and direct your eyes
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. – Proverbs 4:25
-be secretly enticed which means testing everything we are around, to determine which camp it belongs in.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1
Other things can rule over our hearts Christ is to be the only one that is to have full access to reigning over our heart. When we give our hearts to His reign, His commands and example become our personal goals.
We can hide things in our heart So hide God’s truth in your heart so there is no more room for anything else. Hide the thoughts that create life and not death.
Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You. – Psalm 119:11
Our heart can carry us away so be grounded.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. – 1 Corinthians 15:58
Our desires come from the heart what we want indicates where our heart is
Psalms 12:2 showed that we can have a double heart. so decide where your loyalties lie, and stay on your side of the camp. A heart that loves God must be pure in it’s loyalty and devotion.
I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:16
Even Delilah recognized that words or actions that do not follow the heart are worthless.
And she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you’ when your heart is not with me?…”
Loving God with all of our heart means that we actively renew, purify and serve each other through our deepest desires. These actions define who we are.
Not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. – Ephesians 6:6
And finally, the end result of loving God with a pure heart?
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. – Matthew 5:8
What other motivation do we need to carry out this life-altering task?