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April 14, 2013

Text: Jeremiah 17:9-10  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Of course, you will admit that you have been deceived: deluded, duped, fooled, hoaxed. How did it feel? Unsettling? Embarrassing? Degrading? Who did that to you? A sibling? A friend? A salesperson? A jokester?

Don’t forget to add yourself to the list of those who deceived you. Self deception! Ever tell yourself that there was something that you just had to have? You absolutely couldn’t live without? Three months later it was in the closet forgotten! Did you run out and buy an Edsel, Gremlin, or DeLorean? Did you invest money and lose your shirt?

Perhaps you understand that it was something within you  that motivates you to err, sin, do wrong. It is often something that the Bible calls “the heart”. And we, too,  speak as if that bodily organ does more than pump blood. Every day we see those heart shaped figures in some ad or “warm fuzzy”. “I ♥ my dog”. People about us say, “Trust your heart.” Is it reliable? Is every decision of the heart good?

The Bible tells us lots of  things about the heart. God’s word presents the heart as a moral and spiritual instrument, deciding moral and ethical issues. It can justify and it can condemn.

First, there are the good qualities that the heart possesses. It can be receptive to gladness from God. Psalms  51:10 The heart absorbs wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs 2:10  Those who wish a relationship with God must have a pure heart. Matt 5:8 It can be disciplined to  God’s word. Psalms 119:36a

On the other hand, the heart can be corrupted by evil. It can produce evil designs. Proverbs  6:18 It can deceive men. Proverbs 12:20 The foolish man speaks folly from his own heart. Proverbs 12:23 The heart can be perverse. Proverbs 12:8

Look up the word “heart” in a concordance. You will learn a lot more about the subject.

The heart needs to be shaped by the teaching of God’s word. If one does not study and accept the word of God, Satan will crowd it out. Mark 4:15b  Thus our hearts can and must be filled with the word of God. Psalms 119:11

It is your duty to educate and guard your heart for righteousness. Proverbs 4:23. Your heart and your conscience may be deceived.

”O, what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive!”  Sir Walter Scott

Do not be self-deceived. In the judgment day it will be the ultimate embarrassment.

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