How appropriate to write an article on the heart at this time. Seven days ago I had an attack on my physical heart, a muscle that weighs approximately 10 ounces.

My first heart attack, hopefully my last. But this newsletter has to do with the heart of which the Bible references over 826 times. It is clear that God places much emphasis on our hearts!

The motto on American currency is "In God we trust." Incoming presidents raise their right hand and place the left hand on a Bible while taking the oath of office. Some of them actually believe in God and take the oath seriously!

It is estimated that there are 20 million Bibles sold in America each year and approximately nine out of 10 households have a Bible.

There are many idioms for the word heart. The "Heartland" of America is associated with mainstream or traditional values, such as conservative political and religious ideals. The term "heartland" often evokes imagery of rural farms with their abundant flowing fields of golden wheat. Think of the lyrics of the beloved patriotic song, "America the Beautiful."

These traditional values and conservative and religious ideals have been under attack at their very core, their heart if you will. In other words there has been an ongoing attack on the heart of America! The Scriptures reveal God's love and His heart in the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:9)!

If one wants to know the heart of God then all one needs to do is look at Jesus of whom it was said, "is destined to cause the falling and rising of many — so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35). "Men will be judged by the thoughts of their hearts, their thoughts concerning Christ" (MH).

I believe Abraham Lincoln clearly exposed and powerfully addressed the heart of American in his Thanksgiving Proclamation.

"It is the duty of nations as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."

He spoke of our nation at the time as "have forgotten God."

"The word of God is living and active, sharper than any doubled-edged sword; it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

Today we would say, "It cuts to the heart." A good prayer for all who profess to know and love Jesus would be the prayer of the psalmist: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14).

Ted Roberts


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