Here let us pause and ask the solemn and vital question, “Is my heart right in the sight of God?” For unless the inner man has been renewed by the grace of God, through the Holy Spirit, our heart is full of rottenness, filth, and abominations. And if so, here must all our cleansing begin, if it be real and satisfactory.
Now, ye who love the Lord, let me take you to the reservoir of your heart, and let me urge upon you the great necessity of keeping the heart right, if you would have the streams of your life happy for yourselves and beneficial to others.
I. First, keep the heart full. It is the emptiness of mens hearts that makes them so feeble. Men do not feel what they are at. Learn, then, the necessity of keeping the heart full; and let the necessity make you ask this question “But how can I keep my heart full? How can my emotions be strong? How can I keep my desires burning and my zeal inflamed?” Christian! there is one text which will explain all this. “All my springs are in thee,” said David. If thou hast all thy springs in God, thy heart will be full enough. If thou dost go to the foot of Calvary, there will thy heart be bathed in love and gratitude. If thou dost frequent the vale of retirement, and there talk with thy God, it is there that thy heart shall be full of calm resolve.
He who lives without prayer he who lives with little prayer he who seldom reads the Word he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren; but he who calls in secret on his God who spends much time in holy retirement who delights to meditate on the words of the Most High whose soul is given up to Christ who delights in his fullness, rejoices in his all-sufficiency, prays for his second coming, and delights in the thought of his glorious advent such a man, I say, must have an overflowing heart; and as his heart is, such will his life be. It will be a full life; it will be a life that will speak from the sepulcher, and wake the echoes of the future. “Keep shine heart with all diligence,” and entreat the Holy Spirit to keep it full, for, otherwise, the issues of thy life will be feeble, shallow, and superficial; and thou mayest as well not have lived at all.
Secondly, we must keep our hearts pure; for if the heart be not pure, the life cannot be pure. It is quite impossible that it should be so. Christ Jesus in the heart is the sweet purification. He is made unto us sanctification. Elijah cast salt into the waters; but we must cast the blood of Jesus there. Once let us know and love Jesus, once let his cross become the object of our adoration and the theme of our delight, the heart will begin its cleansing and the life will become pure also. Oh! that we all did learn the sacred lesson of fixing the cross in the heart!
Third, unless the heart be kept peaceable, the life will not be happy. If calm doth not reign over that inner lake within the soul which feeds the rivers of our life, the rivers themselves will always be in storm. Our outward acts will always tell that they were born in tempests, by rolling in tempests themselves. Let us just understand this, first, with regard to ourselves. Let us all remember, that the only way to keep our life peaceful and happy is to keep the heart at rest; for come poverty, come wealth, come honor, come shame, come plenty, or come scarcity, if the heart be quiet there will be happiness anywhere. But whatever the sunshine and the brightness, if the heart be troubled the whole life must be troubled too. Remember, in the second place, that it is just the same with regard to other men.© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible