Almost twenty ago I entered the hospital with “chest pains”. Eleven days later, because of multiplied complications, I came home. The old “ticker” had problems because the arteries around it were “clogged”. There was need for a quadruple bypass. Such problems, or their solutions, are quite common these days.
Joining the “zipper club” is no fun. Neither is it the worst thing in the world… I am still alive and not pushing up daisies. Being above ground is really not bad at all. I have to admit that I contemplate the moment when I shall see my Savior face to face, but I am not pushing Him. Life is enjoyable but the afterlife I look to be even more enjoyable.
A few years later, I was eating breakfast and noticed that familiar pain of the past. I told my wife I was going to have a check up at the hospital which is only a few minutes from our home. Once there, the routine went into effect… cardiograms, x-rays, echogram, angiogram and finally a “TAXUS Stent”. Twenty eight hours later I was home, ready to get in high gear with anything that weighs less than ten pounds.
All of this reminded me that multitudes of people have heart problems of a spiritual nature that must be cared for. The Bible describes the heart as the center of a person’s inner life. It is the person himself. While the Scriptures may refer to a person’s personality, his desires, his feelings or his character, it also incorporates his spirit, his soul, and his mind.
In his Concise Bible Dictionary, Don Fleming notes: “The heart is what is sometimes called the inner man; and is the source of all the wrong that a person does (Proverbs 6:14, 18; Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-23; Romans 1:24-25; Ephesians 4:18). Therefore, the heart must be cleansed to bring forgiveness; or, to use another picture, it must be re-created to bring new spiritual life. Only God can bring about that cleansing or re-creation” (Psalm 51:10; Ezekiel 36:26; Acts 8:21-22; Hebrews 10:22).
One needs more than a by-pass or a Stent; he needs the redemptive quality of the blood of Jesus applied to his sin-sick heart. He needs a life transformed, a heart repaired. It is affected through the born-again experience. (John 3:3, 5) It comes when one cries out to God for cleansing through the Redeemer of mankind… Jesus. There is no other way for entrance into the kingdom of Heaven. “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)