How’s your heart doing today? Are you giving it the attention it deserves?
MARCH 14, 2022
Matt Heard: How’s your heart doing today? Are you giving it the attention it deserves? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We’re here to let you know that because of what Jesus has done, God will never be angry at you again. Steve invited our friend, Matt Heard to do the teaching this week. Matt is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor, coach and the founder of a ministry called Thrive.
Matt Heard: Thank you Matthew. Well, I hope you all had a great week-end. And I’m looking forward to this week. I’m looking forward to diving in to something that is central to who we are as human beings, but also as followers of Jesus. But as we start the week, why don’t we acknowledge who the real teacher is? So, let’s talk to them wherever you are. Father, thank you that you have given us this day. It’s a day you’ve made. It’s a day you’ve made for us to glorify you by flourishing as people, as humans, as followers of you, tasting grace and life and truth. And so, would you teach us today about this whole matter of the heart and enable us to be men and women who really are guarding and fueling our hearts? And I pray this in the name of the one who’s more for our heart than we ever imagined. In the name of Jesus. Amen. Well, have you ever realized how much you and I talk about the heart and how we reference it on a daily basis, but we do it without really thinking about it. I mean, we use phrases like, referring to somebody as cold-hearted or somebody’s faint hearted, or maybe they’ve gone through difficulty and they’re brokenhearted. Some people are half-hearted, sometimes we’ll feel like we’re wholehearted about something or approaching something in a lighthearted way or we’re hard-hearted or we’ve experienced a loss of heart. Or we talk about an athlete who played as heart out, or we experience heartache, or we refer to somebody as heartless, or they have a bleeding heart. We tell people I’m crossing my heart or a heart’s in the right place. Or we’re wondering if our heart is in our throat for particular event, or if we wear our heart on our sleeve or we’re speaking from the bottom of our heart. Maybe we encouraged somebody to take heart and we joke with somebody eat your heart out. Or we get to the heart of the matter. I mean, if you’re from the south, which I am, you’ve learned about 47 ways you can use the phrase, bless your heart. And sometimes it’s slamming someone, sometimes it’s trying to encourage them, but this heart thing comes up over and over and over. But do you not realize what it really is? We ever paid attention to that? I, I read a book a number of years ago by two brothers. One is a cardiologist and the other is a novelist, Stephen and Thomas Hamilton. They called their book, The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart. And I was drawn to that just in itself of you’ve got a novelist and a cardiologist talking about the history of the heart and to study the heart. And they go through so many fascinating areas of how the heart was discovered, but they’re talking about two different hearts in the book. There’s the physical heart, the thing that’s beating in our chest. And then they’re referring to what they sometimes call the metaphorical heart, but they’re looking at the development of both of those. And they talk about a key time was in the early 17th century when two Williams overlapped, both of them in England. Talking about the heart, one was Sir William Harvey was the personal physician to King James I, and then he continued to be the physician to James, his son, Charles I and after Charles I ascended to the throne, he published a book called the, and he didn’t get any publishers to help him with his title, you’ll gather that quickly, but the name of the book was Anatomical Exercise on the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals. And he dedicated it to King Charles. And by the way, in that dedication, he said.
Most serene King, the animal’s heart is the basis of its life, it’s chief member, the son of its microcosm on the heart. All its activity depends from the heart, all its liveliness and strength arise.
Well. Okay. That’s true. But then, I think he does a little sucking up here, he says.
Equally is the king, the basis of his kingdoms, the son of his microcosm, the heart of the state from him, all power arises, all grace stems.
I mean, flowery, but true. What was revelatory about that is in science, nobody had determined that the circulation began in the heart and ended in the heart. A lot of people had different theories over time. And so, that was a breakthrough in the science of cardiology, but there was another William that overlapped with him. That William had the last name Shakespeare, ever heard of him? In Shakespeare’s writings, over a thousand times, he refers to the heart. And so, as the Hamilton brothers are pointing out, while Harvey was emphasizing the physical heart being the king of the body, Shakespeare was emphasizing that metaphorical or figurative heart is the king of our identity. Whatever it is, it’s important. And that’s why this week, we’re going to talk about the heart. Not your physical heart, I’ll leave that to you and your doctor and your cardiologist, but we’re going to talk about the heart of our identity as human beings, what we experience as followers of Jesus. We’re going to talk about the heart as our core, it’s the catalytic core of who we are. Proverbs 27:19 says.
As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.
So, my heart really is me, it’s the center of who I am. Here at Key Life, we’re not interested in polishing your religiosity, there are plenty of other places you can do that, but we would advise you not to, but that’s a different story. But we’re really interested in enabling you to thrive as a human being, to thrive as a follower of Jesus to God’s glory. And if we’re yearning to flourish, Proverbs has a non-negotiable exhortation for us. Alright, pay attention, we’re going to be looking at this and unpacking it throughout this week, Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23.
Above all else, guard your heart for it’s the wellspring of life.
Above all else. I don’t think he’s making any hesitation regarding how important the heart is there. He says prioritize it. It’s the wellspring of who you are, as a human being, as a follower of Jesus. I did a search in my Bible, a software program yesterday, and the word heart comes up 762 times. And the vast majority are referring not to that physical heart, but to that core of who we are as a human being. I mean, heaven is only 651 times. So, heart is pretty important. And if you hang around me for awhile, sooner or later, you’ll discover what I began dealing with years ago, about how important the heart is. And I’ll ask the question, how’s your heart doing today? I did that one time at a banquet. And I was sitting next to a well-known Christian leader, who I knew had been going through some difficult times, in his journey, his organization. And, I said, how’s your heart in the midst of all of this? And he looked at me and said, well and he proceeded to give me a little bit of what his doctor had told him a couple of weeks before. And I thought, okay, he’s not tracking what I’m saying. And I tried to rephrase it a little bit, but still asking him, well, how’s your heart holding up in the midst of this? And he looked at me, pretty perturbed thinking, you know what? My medical, my medical situation is none of your business. So, I thought, okay, I’m gonna, I’m going to let it go. But what it illustrated is how little we pay attention to this heart, the Scriptures say is so important. It’s not something that’s off to the side. Now, I’m not going to read through all 700 of those verses, but let me read through a few of them. And I want you to tell me if you can start picking up what the heart is about. Luke chapter 2, verse 19.
But Mary treasured up all these things, and she pondered them in her heart.
The heart is where we ponder and think. Joshua chapter 5, verse 1 says.
Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan, and all the Canaanite kings along the coast, heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites, until we’d crossed over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.
So, my heart is where I get courage from. Deuteronomy 4:9
Do not forget the things you have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.
So, it’s where we remember our significant events. Matthew chapter 12, verse 34.
For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
So, my heart is where my interaction with others is birthed. John 14:1
Don’t let your hearts be troubled.
It’s where we deal with stress. Nehemiah 4:6
So we rebuilt the wall until all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
So, my hearts where my intensity is cultivated. Proverbs 16:21
The wise in heart are called discerning.
The heart is where I discern wisdom, Hebrews 4:12
For the word of the Lord is living and active, and it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
My heart is where my attitude is determined. I Corinthians 4:5
Who will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of people’s hearts.
Where we develop our motivation. Bottom line, my heart is where I engage with the gospel. Romans chapter 10, verse 9 says.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you’ll be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified.
So my heart is absolutely critical, not just in being a human, but being a follower of Jesus. Several years ago, I was in Scotland at a museum and there was a 16th century Scottish drinking bowl called the Watson Maeser that had this inscription on it.
Money lost, little lost. Honor lost, much lost. Heart lost, all lost.
I hope you guard your heart and learn to do that because it’s the wellspring of life. And as a result, I really hope you thrive today.
Thank you Matt. That was our friend, Matt Heard teaching us today. And you can check out more from him at ThriveFullyAlive.com And of course, make sure you hang out with us the rest of this week because Matt will be here through Thursday. How cool is that? Well, let me ask you something. Have you ever known a controlling Christian? Have you ever wondered why they do that? Could it be that one of the bad side effects of moralism, you know, the idea that our good works earn as God’s love, is that the moralist thinks he should run everybody’s life. And thus a controller is born. Well, Chad West offers a fascinating insight on this in an article he wrote called Why Controllers Control. You’ll find it in the new Key Life magazine. If you’re tired of the controller in your life, why not claim your copy, right now. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org to ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
Key Life Network
P.O. Box 5000
Maitland, Florida 32794
If you’re in Canada, send your request to
Key Life Canada
P.O. Box 28060
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 6J8
Just ask for your free copy of the new 2022 edition of Key Life magazine. Finally, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or join the growing number of folks who simply text Key Life to 28950. That’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.