YOUR HEART BEFORE YOUR ACT
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matthew 12:35 NKJV)
What you do naturally flow out of who you are. Your action is according to your heart. It is your being that determines, directs, influences or governs your doings.
You act and speak like a human because you are a human being. This is why God is primarily concerned about the state or condition of your heart – the centre of your being.
Every true and lasting transformation is always from inside out; it starts from the heart. Until your heart is changed, your actions will never change.
It is simply an experiment or exercise in frustration, futility and failure to seek to change a man’s attitude, action, character or behaviour without changing his heart first.
This is the problem with religion!
Religion is always seeking to change people’s doings or actions without first affecting or changing their hearts (the centre of their being).
Unregenerate religious zealots are always frustrated because they are trying to change from outside to inside rather than from inside to outside. They are striving to change their acts before having their hearts changed by God through the New Birth experience.
Many people today are primarily concerned about their doings (what they do) and not their being (who they are). The truth is this, it is who you are that is primarily responsible for what you say or do.
Your action flows from your heart. It is your heart that determines your course of action in life. Therefore, it is useless seeking to change your actions without having your heart changed first.
Your heart is the control centre of your emotions and actions!
This is why the Lord Jesus chided the Pharisees.
Matthew 12:34-35 – NKJV
34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
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If you are an evil being, you will naturally think, imagine, do and say evil things. Your doings flow from your being!
The word translated “heart” in the New Testament is the Greek word “Kardia” which denotes the centre of all physical and spiritual life.
It also implies the fountain and seat of thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, and endeavours. It also signifies the faculty and seat of understanding and intelligence.
The heart is the centre of the will and character of a man!
It is absolutely impossible to truly and wholly change a man’s life without changing his heart first. This is the major reason why people remain unchanged and even get worse in a religious system, rehabilitation or correctional institution.
Until a man’s heart is changed, his actions or doings will never change!
Jesus clearly states this truth.
Mark 7:21-23 – NKJV
21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 “thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
23 “All these evil things come from within and defile a man.
All of us were born with a spiritually and morally deformed, distorted, twisted and perverted heart. None of us came into this world with a spiritually and morally sound, good, upright or perfect heart.
As a result of the disobedience and the consequent fall of the first man, Adam, all human’s hearts have become naturally evil, wicked, corrupt and deceitful. Our hearts have been totally damaged, corrupted, distorted and perverted by sin beyond any spiritual or moral repair.
The Scripture amply testifies to this truth.
Genesis 6:5 – NKJV
5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Jeremiah 17:9 – NKJV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?
God does not seek to repair our sin-riddled heart, but to remove and replace it with a new heart created after His likeness in true righteousness and holiness (Eph. 4:24).
What God seeks to do in your life is to make you a brand new being, a new creation, with a new heart and spirit. God promised this long time by the mouth of His prophet, Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 36:26-27 – NKJV
26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
The Hebrew writer refers to this prophecy.
Hebrews 8:10-12 – NKJV
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
How would this awesome promise or prophecy become a reality in your life?
By faith in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ!
By being born-again!
The new heart is a provision of grace for all men; it is a free gift available to all men through faith in Jesus Christ and His finished work.
When you surrender your corrupt, evil and deceptive heart to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes in to carry out a spiritual transplanting on you, thereby making you a new creation with a brand new, godly and holy heart (Tit. 3:5).
Paul affirms this truth.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – NKJV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Beloved, if you are in Christ, you are now a brand-new creation, a new being, a new person, with a new and divine heart and nature.
Your new heart “was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:24 NKJV).
Your new heart is “renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him.” (Col. 3:10 NKJV).
Your new heart delights in God’s Word (Rom. 7:22).
Your new heart has God’s Word written on it (Heb. 8:10).
As a born-again believer, you now have the new and holy heart it takes to walk in newness of life. Therefore, arise today and begin to walk in newness of life, not anymore according to your former corrupt heart.
1 Peter 1:13-15 – NLT
13 So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.
15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who choose you is holy.
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I acknowledge today that You have given me a new and holy heart as a gift through faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, I begin to walk in newness of life, no longer according to my former old and corrupt heart, in Jesus’ name. Amen.