Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NIV
Have you ever listened to the beat of your own heart? The constant thumping rhythm lets us know that the heart is doing its job. As one of the most important organs of the body, it makes sense that it is located in the center of our body. Its critical function makes it essential to our survival. Your body cannot function without a heart.
Different daily events elicit different rhythmic heart beats. During a normal day our heart beats at a cadence that is strong and steady. When we are exercising or rushing through the day, our heart begins to flutter and beat more rapidly. When we are resting our heart beat slows to a deliberate resting dub, dub….
Just as our physical activity makes our heart beat a certain way, spiritual or emotional matters of the heart can cause our heart to beat in similar cadence. When we experience feelings of joy or excitement, our heart beats more rapidly. When we suffer emotional pain and suffering, our heart feels that pain. With the heart being such an integral part of who we are, it’s appropriate that God places so much importance on matters of the heart throughout the Bible.
One of the most important emotions both physical and spiritual is love. Love covers so many different areas of our lives. One can never underestimate the power this one seemingly simple word can invoke. The word “heart” is used over 791 times in the NIV. The word “love” is used over 551 times. Together they are listed a total of over 1,342 times-- that’s a lot of love! So, why all this emphasis on matters of the heart? Having walked beside Jesus during His time on earth, Peter saw first-hand how Jesus loved everyone. Peter experienced Jesus’ grace and forgiveness even after he had denied Him 3 times. Peter knew that the only way for people to truly understand the gift Jesus had given them was to love others. If you don’t have love in your heart, you are not able to grasp forgiveness.
Jesus knew that we couldn’t be close to God if we carried hatred in our hearts. God only accepts love. Because of love, He sent His Son to die for us. When we choose to love those around us, we cannot harbor that burden of hatred anymore. When we choose to love, we allow forgiveness to enter our hearts, thereby allowing God to wipe our sins clean with the blanket of forgiveness. Love covers all!
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So, as you read this, you are probably more aware of your own heart beat. If you get really still you can begin to rest in the peace of your own heart beat. Allow God to speak to you today. If you are carrying any unforgiveness in your heart, listen to what God has to say to you. If you pray for forgiveness, did you feel your heart beat a little faster in anticipation of God lifting that burden? Maybe your heart beats a little faster knowing that God is now in control and you no longer have to worry about the struggle you’re facing. Or, maybe your heart is beating strong and steady because you are resting in God’s promises. Whatever your journey, love is a matter of the heart.
Dear God, sometimes life gets so busy I forget to focus on loving others. Help me to listen more with my heart and stop trying to manipulate my situation. Help me to allow forgiveness to enter into my heart so that I can draw closer to You. Help me to show Your love to others.
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