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In February, the image of a heart is frequently before our eyes as a symbol of love. When it comes to hearts, God is a multiplier. Whatever is in our heart, He will multiply for His use and His glory.
In Luke 6:45, Jesus said, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (NIV)
A heart full of love will be multiplied, and love will abound. A heart full of hurt will be multiplied, and hurt will abound. The words we speak come directly from our hearts. What are we offering up to be multiplied and served to others?
When Jesus asked his disciples to collect food for the crowd of 5,000 men (plus women and children), Andrew said to him, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9 NIV)
Many of us have a small offering, but God is the multiplier of all and can feed many with what we have. If you are filled with joy, He will share that joy to people you never knew needed it. If you are filled with love, He will cause you to share love with those thought unlovable. If you are filled with negativity or bitterness, your bread is moldy and your fishes smell like fish—not fresh or life-giving. The multiplication of such brings sickness of heart, and is not to His glory whatsoever. Still, even Pharaoh who had hardness in his heart—God used his offering to display the hand of God in delivering His people out of an impossible situation.
Always, it is for God’s glory that our heart endures—that it is not of our own might or strength or power. Proverbs 4:23 gives us a warning “Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.” (ISV)
Perhaps your word for this year deals with what is in your heart. Let us strive to rid ourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (1 Peter 2:1 NIV) And, let us try to fill our hearts with all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)
For then, we can do as Peter suggests in 1 Peter 4:11.
“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (NIV)
My word last year was “Trust” and my word this year is “Joy”. Somewhere along the journey, I can look back and say: though I didn’t at the beginning of the year, now I DO trust God! Completely! As I spend the year focused on joy, it’s something I must choose. My joy comes from that complete trust that my life and heart are in His hands. As I trust Him with my heart, He fills it and brings to the surface those ugly parts that need to be dealt with until eventually, you can hold your heart up to His light and no shadows remain.
What is He showing you about your heart?
Are you ready to let go of the things that you don’t want multiplied?
How does your word for the year tie in?