Dear Church Family,
Here are two verses to consider as Thanksgiving approaches. The first is from the mouth of Jesus in Luke 6:45 speaking to the centrality of a person’s heart in determining what comes out of our mouths:
Luke 6:45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
The second is from the Old Testament book of Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” This speaks to the centrality of our hearts as the source of our actions.
Clearly our hearts are of supreme importance, but what does the bible mean by “heart”? In the New Testament the word is “Kardia” and denotes the center of all physical and spiritual life; it includes understand-ing, will, character, and emotion. In the old Testament the word is “Leb”, and refers to the inner person including mind, will, emotion and character.
Putting these two together is not difficult. When the bible uses the word “heart” it refers to our mind, will, emotion, and inward disposition. A pertinent question for us on a daily basis is, “How is my heart?” “How is the inward disposition of my soul?”
Jesus said it is a storehouse from which flow our words (which direct our lives). The teacher in Proverbs said it is essential to “guard our hearts” – to set up barriers and evaluate its composition- because our actions flow from it.
Are you able to give thanks to God? Or are you bitter, resentful, angry, disquieted? Your ability to give thanks to God is an assessment on the state of your heart. The bible knows nothing of a day set aside to give thanks. Instead it repeatedly presents thanksgiving as a way of life. For example; Ephesians 5:19b-20 Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So how is your heart? Let that question be a spiritual tool to help shape a heart of thanksgiving not just for a day, but for a life time.