“Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties,” wrote Jules Renard. Once thought of being the source of feelings of love and emotion, the heart is actually the powerhouse of the circulatory system. And of course, the brain is the headquarters for all feelings.
We also know our hearts don’t look anything like the heart-shape. A normal heart is really the size of a clenched fist. It’s an amazing organ that keeps beating normally 60-100 times per minute. In an average lifetime, a heart beats about 3 billion times without ever stopping for a rest.
When I served as a youth pastor in New Zealand, I took an exercise class called “Cardiac Combat.” The name came from battling against cardiovascular heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the world. It was an intense circuit training class with non-combative boxing. Every time the trainer blew his whistle each participant would have to rotate to the next station.
Exercises included running in place holding a weight ball over your head, jumping back and forth sideways across a beam, kicking a bag, and uppercuts into a trainer with pads who was yelling, “Is that all you got?” Very motivational!
It was a good way to strive toward peak performance.
While exercising against physical heart attacks to fend off cholesterol and fatty deposits is very important, it’s also crucial to exercise against spiritual heart attacks. We can stay fit spiritually by prayer and studying the Scriptures. If we lose heart, we lose faith and vice versa.
Satan is actively attacking everyone’s heart with sin. Next time you hear that heart attacks are killing America, remember there’s more than one type: the physical and the spiritual. Satan is the culprit behind life’s troubles. He wants people to act unlovingly. Satan wants people to suffer. In fact, sin is the leading cause of death.
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Maintaining a healthy heart in the 21st century – nothing is more difficult, more challenging and more rewarding! We are living in an age of sensory overload.
There is an eye opening email I received entitled, “B.U.S.Y.,” standing for “Being Under Satan’s Yoke.” It’s supposed to be a conference that Satan held for his evil angels. One line particularly caught my attention. “Overstimulate their minds so they cannot hear that still small voice (the Holy Spirit).” The illustrative speech goes on to say, “flood their mailboxes, bombard them with advertisements, etc.” He basically says to leave people with no time for God and higher thoughts.
In today’s world it is easy to lose heart. It’s very easy to go off course. Jesus said to his disciples then and now, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3) That’s the best promise of all time! Jesus speaking at the Last Supper promised to come back and take the faithful home to live forever.
Only with Jesus in command will we find the way, because He is “the Way and the Truth and the Life.” (John 14:6) Don’t lose your loving heart in this crazy world. Instead give it to Jesus for safekeeping.
Only with Jesus in command will we thrive, truly live and maintain a spiritually healthy heart! Rededicate your heart today.
Editor’s note: Kerry Scott Baldwin is an Elder in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.