Friday, March 01, 2013

March 1, 2013 … From the Head to the Heart

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 60

Passage of the Day: Zechariah 9: 13 [in the context of verses 11-13] [NLT] …  
11 Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon. 12Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners, for there is yet hope! I promise this very day that I will repay you two mercies for each of your woes! 13 Judah is my bow, and Israel is my arrow! Jerusalem is my sword, and like a warrior, I will brandish it against the Greeks.  
Contextual Study of today’s passage: Zechariah 9: 9-17 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 23: 12 : [NKJV] … [Living out the New Covenant in faith … from our hearts, … rather than just from our head.] ... 
12 Apply your heart to instruction, and your ears to words of knowledge. 
Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 23: 12 : [The Message] … [The disciplines we develop should come from the heart after capturing the knowledge we need to turn into action.] ... 
12 Give yourselves to disciplined instruction; open your ears to tested knowledge. 

My Journal for Today: Os Hillman, in his workplace devotional for today, provides his readers [me included] with a little church history lesson, pointing out that in the third/fourth centuries, the church moved from being influenced by more emotional “heart” influence of the Middle-Eastern culture to the “head” influence of the Greeks, following the teachings of intellects like Aristotle and Socrates. And we, in our post-modern, western church, have been heavily influenced by the Grecian approach to religion, which is more logical and pragmatic … as opposed to the Hebrew roots of the faith, which were more emotional and “heart oriented.” Hillman contends, and I agree, that we need to have both, but lean back to capture more of “heart” of the faith, which is more relational than intellectual.

The essence of this argument is found in the exhortation of Proverbs 23: 12, which Hillman put forth to espouse his argument; and I have copied this truth from God’s word above in two versions, the NKJV and The Message. And if I were to give you the Bill Berry paraphrased version of this exhortation, I would state it like this: Learn Gods’ truth from the head; and then surrender to the disciplines of the faith from the heart.

We were given an intellect by God to be able to understand His will and follow His ways from His word; but when it comes to application out of this understanding, we need to surrender our will to God’s from “the heart,” which if the essence of our spiritual being. As Proverbs 23: 7 says (in the NKJV), … … as a man thinks in his heart, so is he …,which, of course, is saying that we become, in our decisions and actions, what we think in our minds.

So, in this age of grace under the New Covenant, established from our RELATIONSHIP with Christ and His blood-bought, finished work on the cross, we need to take in the reality and truth of His completed work, and be covered – IN OUR HEART – by His blood to allow Him to transform us from the reality of our humanity into the nature of His Spirit. This transformation, of course, must be understood by our heads; but it must implemented by our hearts.

Hence, when we pursue God’s will (and we must) and follow His ways from understanding God’s truth from His word, we do so with our heads. However, we will implement it into the disciplines of the faith from a surrender of our hearts to the heart of God’s Spirit. So, this morning I ask myself … “Bill, … do you know God’s will from His word; … and … have you surrendered your heart every day to the disciplines He calls for from your life?”

 I guess being here, writing these things, is, at least, a partial “YES!” to that question. May it continue to be so for me; and I leave it to you to answer it for yourself.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me live in surrender of my heart to You from the mind you gave me to understand Your word and to follow Your will for my life. … Amen

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