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From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Follow Your Heart”

Zachery Byrd

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"The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him." (Mark 3:6)

"Follow your heart." Have you ever heard such rubbish? Only the ill-advised and ill-willed would ever give such advice to their children. And yet, we see such vanity printed and plastered upon every surface too cheap to hold anything of actual meaning. These three words have led generations of children down the laundry chute of lust and of envy, of malice and malcontent, of every possible passion and pleasure which circles the drain of broken dreams.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I would be so harsh over something so seemingly innocent? The answer lies in our passage at hand. When the Pharisees followed their heart, where did it lead them? To hold counsel "on how to destroy" Jesus. Now, we wouldn't do that, would we? Yes. Yes, we would. Indeed, Paul says that "the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot." (Rom. 8:7) If that is not clear enough, let the God who searches the heart declare His own verdict: "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." (Gen. 6:5) Our heart is deceitful above all things, as dark and deep as the mighty Mississippi with plenty of evils twisting and turning beneath the surface. Only God Almighty with His eyelids that "try the children of men" can truly know our heart, and He has submitted to us His review (Ps. 11:4).

We may make excuses. Of that, we rank supreme. "Our heart isn't that bad. He was rude to me." "They cut me off." "I slept wrong." We may compare ourselves with others, or even attempt to clean ourselves up. We may put lipstick on a pig, but God still sees the pig. We may not attempt to murder Jesus, but we will remove every vestige of His presence from our life. We may call Him a great teacher, but we will never submit to Him as a great Lord. Before long, we will poke holes in the garments of the godly as the nearest target to destroying Jesus Himself.

Do you not see the necessity of a new heart? Do we not see the need for the Spirit to give us a new heart? To open our eyes to see our sin and our Savior clearly? To write His words upon the walls of this new heart? To guide us by His Spirit through all the dangers of life? If the Spirit does not give us a new heart, a new mind, a new will; then we cannot expect to every dwell in that land of which the seven spirits of God dwell around the throne. Do you have a new heart? Is Jesus precious to you?

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