A Short Study of Proverbs 4:23

“Out of the heart are the issues of life.
(Proverbs 4:23)

LIFE begins when the HEART starts beating. Life ends when the HEART stops. So it is with spiritual life. Spiritual (eternal) life begins when God takes away the stony heart, the heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and gives “a new heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26). There is no life without heart.

The heart is the real man. The heart is the seat of affections, convictions, desires and feelings. Real faith comes from the heart, for “With the HEART man believeth unto righteousness.” Real faith is not simply mental but is a heart love. There can be a pretended faith, a mere spoken faith, a mere intellectual belief in facts and doctrines without real heart love for God, Christ, the brethren and holiness. Doctrine only in the head will produce an unfeeling, unloving, uncaring and unemotional man. The love of God shed abroad in the heart will produce a man of many emotions. Love for God, Christ, the Truth, holiness, the brethren; is rooted and comes from the heart. There is no life without heart. There is no faith without heart. Faith is founded on the Word of God and that faith has feelings.

Though we are not saved by feelings, yet no one is saved who does not have them. Feelings come from the heart. Feelings are the reaction of the heart being touched by the Word, the Spirit of God. Show me a man who does not feel his sinfulness, who does not feel a need for Christ, who does not feel joyful upon hearing the gospel, who does not feel deeply thankful and grateful for all his blessings, who does not feel sadness, pain, joy, happiness, gladness, relief, fear and all other emotions at some time upon hearing the gospel . . . the Word of Life . . and I will show you a man WHO HATH NOT LIFE. Show me someone who never mourns, weeps nor laughs upon hearing the life giving sound, and I will show you someone who is dead. Open up a grave; laugh, cry, shout at the man and you will get no reaction. The man is dead; he has no feelings. Laugh, cry and shout to the living and they will respond. Show me a woman who is neither cold nor hot upon hearing the gospel, and I will show you a woman whom God will spue out of His mouth. Show me a person who does not reveal a heartfelt love, a first love for Christ, His gospel, His people, and I will show you someone who loves the world and has missed Christ. Show me a man who claims to preach the gospel, who does not go forth with weeping, bearing the precious seed, and I will show you a man who is a hireling, a pretender, who will bring in no sheeves (Psalm 126:5-6).

Though we should not look to these feelings, trust these feelings, or seek assurance from them (for they come and go), yet there is joy and assurance to be had, when the Word of Life is indeed a SAVOUR OF LIFE to us (Galatians 6:4). Savour is taste. Savour is smell. Savour is enjoyment. And when the Spirit bears witness with our spirit, He makes the Word very savoury to us. He makes Christ very savoury to us, He makes the tabernacle (His church) very amiable to us, He makes the brethren to be loved by us. Whenever the Holy Spirit was present in the early church there was fire, fear, repentance, faith, feelings of conviction, love, joy, peace, and so much more (Acts 2). He is called Spirit for that is what He is and that is the realm he operates in. The heart is the spirit of a man. When the Spirit of God moves on someone, they are moved (Hebrews 11:7). When God gives life to a dead man, he is alive unto God and a new man. When God saves someone, it is a glorious and obvious thing . . . a new birth (like natural) . . . a crying, laughing, living, new born babe in Christ . . . a miracle of God’s grace and power, a wonderful thing, an obvious thing, an inward and outward work of God to the praise of His glory.

P. Mahan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: