Matters of the Heart

Today’s Reading Matthew 19

Marriage, children, and money: all of these are subjects that are very taboo and personal, yet Jesus uses these to examine the heart of us.  These subjects have been for several ages the most difficult topics to discuss with our family, friends, or even acquaintances.  The reason is the true emotions and passion that is associated with each of them can result in beneficial or detrimental consequence. For instance, if your friend had something to say about your spouse or children they would have to have a deep understanding of your family to impart any advice or suggestions.  You would not be able to tell any friend your opinion on how they are should:  treat their spouse, or raise their children, or how to spend their money without first creating a bond with them.

What Christ is doing in Chapter 19 is reexamining these topics with individuals that have alternative motives but there are some very powerful pieces of knowledge and joy to attain from this passage.

  • Marriage is a blessing from God. In all forms of marriage, God has created a union to bring together two individuals.  The human though of marriage as in Deuteronomy and as seen in today’s society is when the toughest time arise, then you can dissolve the marriage at anytime. In Deuteronomy, before Moses created the law, people would marry a person, then divorce and remarry, then divorce and remarry the previous person.  People were not able to work things out and create harmony in the midst of conflict.  But Christ states that the reason that Moses made the law was because the hearts of the people were not able to compromise and resolve their intimate issues.  God created marriage as a forever bond, but the heart of man has allowed other influences to change the initial intent.
  • Children are a blessing from God. We have been very fortunate and blessed our present society with the birth rate high and birth mortality low.   There are places that still the child mortality rate is significantly high. Sometimes we may take for granted our children and want them to grow up faster.  I have three beautiful children, and there are times that we are tired and need rest, but we must continually not hinder them in any fashion.  Many times, I am out with my children and they will ask me about 500 questions in an hour and it continues.  Or they will have endless “recycling” projects everywhere.  But, we must be attentive to their questions, and their projects, and them daily.  When we attend to them, we can see how God attends to us and our needs and wants and questions.
  • What we have is a blessing from God. In the chapter the young rich man doses not fully understand the concept of management and ownership.  He has been given so much in the terms of possessions that he forgot whom the true owner of the possessions.  We are God’s stewards and are the managers of the gifts that he has given us.  If only his heart knew the true return-on-investment that was in store.  All that is given to us is a gift from God and we have to be the best managers of this bounty.

In these examples that Christ have given us, Christ has a central message: God wants your heart.  In all the examples, the individuals were not fully devoted to God in their heart and this causes them not able to see the beauty of his Creations in a different light.  As God conveyed in the story of Abraham and Isaac, God is not concerned with the sacrifice, but the true heart and obedience of the person.  As we mediate on these thoughts and this passage, lets ask ourselves: Is our heart in the place that God wants?  If not, what can I do to align myself with God to become a better steward of my heart?