The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. I have recently been diagnosed with a few serious issues and have been scheduled for open heart surgery. I am amazed at the advances in surgery that God in His great sovereignty has allowed medical science to develop. I am confident I am in good hands as I await my surgery.
Just as heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S., spiritual heart disease has a devastating effect on people. As we scan the pages of God’s Word we find some various heart diseases that need our careful attention. The first kind of spiritual heart disease is a wicked heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?” We are all born with this congenital wicked heart. We all have sinned and we cannot blame the society around us.
Another heart disease is called a darkened heart. Paul is giving a spiritual autopsy of man and his departure from the knowledge of God in Romans 1. This darkened heart happens to all who deliberately blind their eyes to the truth of God and His righteousness.
Another heart disease is a hard heart. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for their hard hearts and lack of compassion to someone who suffered with a withered hand. Mark 3:5 tells us: “And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.” We as well need to guard against acquiring a heard heart toward the suffering of those around us.
Spiritual heart disease is rampant in our world. What can we do? There is some good news. God promises to give us a new heart. Listen to what He tells us in Ezekiel 36:26: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. We simply need to make an appointment with the Surgeon.
Pastor Jim Stultz is with Peace River Baptist Church.