Earlier today I went to see my cardiologist. A cardiologist is a doctor who specializes in the heart. I try to see him once a year just to have him check me out – not because I have a heart problem but because I want to avoid a heart problem. I may have already told you that my dad died of a heart attack when I was 13. He was only 42. And I never knew my dad’s dad because he died of a heart attack before I was born. I’m hoping to be around a lot longer than they were so that you guys can say that you knew your Pop Pop really well. But you never know about these things.
So even though I don’t seem to have any heart problems physically at this point, I do have a major heart problem. The Bible informs us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). If I had not been given a new heart when I was 16 years old you would not want to call me your Pop Pop. I would be a selfish, self-centered, self-seeking, self-indulgent old man. As it is, I still have to fight hard against the disease of self. But thanks be to God who has rescued me, redeemed me, reconciled me, and created within me a change of heart through Christ Jesus my Lord.
Ezekiel 36:26 says, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh…” Were it not for this spiritual heart transplant I would be a very different person. Your Nona and I pray often for you that the Lord will give you new hearts as well and will remove the heart of stone that we are all born with.
One other thing about the heart. Do not EVER listen to the advice that is so prevalent these days, often shared by well meaning people, both believers and unbelievers, who tell you to “just follow your heart.” Your heart will lead you astray – because, as I mentioned above, it “is deceitful above all things.” Follow the Lord. Listen to His Word. Pursue Him above all things. And do the one thing that the heart is supposed to do. For as the Scripture says in Proverbs 3…
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make straight your paths.
And never ever forget that you are very loved!