Summary: This is the beginning of a new year, a year when hopefully more people will make a commitment to God.

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Mark 12:28-30

28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart.

How would you define the heart?

According to Funk & Wagnall’s dictionary the definition of heart is;

1. The central or inner most part of anything.

2. The seat of emotion.

3. The primary organ of the circulatory system.

When speak of the heart of anything we are generally speaking of the innermost part or the core and in most cases the strongest part of it. Take a tree for instance; the heart (the innermost core, the structural support) is actually hardest and strongest part of the tree. Even though the heart of the tree is the strongest part, it can be affected by disease and decay, just as the outer part.

Blight is a destructive plant disease that can infect any plant, even trees. Infected trees exhibit a blackening of the blooms, leaves and twigs, and the whole tree is eventually involved. The blight causes the tree to decay outwardly and the decay can eat all the way to the heart of then tree if left unchecked. This decay of the heart of the tree can eventually cause the death and destruction of the tree. When the disease gets to this point all it takes is a slight resistance against the tree and it is toppled.

Just like the blight that infects the tree---sin can start eating away at a person and if lift unchecked it can cause spiritual and moral decay and eat to the very heart of a person. Well Bro. Mike, I do all that I can to protect my heart---I try to be a good person. I read the Bible occasionally;

I come to church when it is convenient, when I don’t have anything else to do. I pray when I am having a problem. God knows my heart; He knows I would do these things if only I could but you don’t understand what I am going through. Maybe I don’t understand the things you are going through, but I do understand one thing, that you need God more than you need your next breath, I understand that you must stop running from God and run to Him, because if you don’t run to Him sin will catch up to you.

Once that sin catches up to you and reaches the heart it will be manifested outwardly from the heart and will be known by all. Matthew 15:19-20 reads For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man

These are the signs that moral and spiritual decay have taken place.

Now listen to what the Psalmist David wrote in Psalms 119:10-11 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

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