UNBELIEF AND HARDNESS OF HEART Jan 8, 2015 12:53:27 GMT -5
Post by tomdurst on Jan 8, 2015 12:53:27 GMT -5
UNBELIEF AND HARDNESS OF HEART
Mark 16:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
Imagine being so hard of heart as to not believe the testimony of those who were eye witnesses of the risen Christ. Notice that “unbelief and hardness of heart” are connected. Unbelief isn’t always blatant denial of God but most often occurs in small, almost imperceptible degrees which harden our hearts and dull our spiritual sensitivity.
In doing a Bible Gateway (website) search I found 41 references in the Bible that deal with hardening of the heart—warnings which need to be carefully studied and taken very seriously. In addition to this there are 35 topical studies that use various metaphors relating to heart issues at some level. All of our life issues stem from our heart (the seat of our consciousness). Recent studies are showing that the physical organ of the heart both thinks and stores information. (Google the question “Does the heart think?” for astounding studies on that topic). That is why negative emotions such as shock at sudden bad news, anger, bitterness, worry, and depression can greatly contribute to heart attacks and strokes. There is a direct correlation between “hardening of the heart” and “hardening of the arteries.” Remember that correlation when you choose both your physical food and the food that occupies your mind. The Bible is more scientific than we have ever thought when it admonishes us to “Guard the heart.” (Perhaps I’ll say more about that later).
I found 45 references from the Bible with the word “conscience” in them. There is a very great danger that in neglecting communion with God and allowing other things to have priority in our life we are grieving the Holy Spirit and hardening our heart very imperceptibly, just a little at a time. If we are not careful we can have a “seared conscience” and be unaware of it (see Ephesians 4:30; 1 Timothy 4:2). It is so very important to be INTENTIONAL and FAITHFUL in our spiritual disciplines for if we are not we are separating ourselves from the very life of God and will suffer accordingly. I keep coming back to this theme but do so based on observations of many years and seeing more and more my own need to “watch and pray” at all times.
I invite you to read LET HIM ALONE (newly revised) which is on the link below:
LET HIM ALONE