Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first adult human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky on December 3, 1967 in Cape Town South Africa. One month later, Norman Shumway performed the first adult heart transplant in the United States on January 6, 1968 at Stanford University Hospital. Since this time, heart transplantation has become fairly common with about 5,000 heart transplants being performed annually worldwide, 2,000 of those being performed in the United States alone.
The heart is an important organ. I am so thankful for the advancements that have been made in the field of medicine. Because of such advancements, countless lives have been saved through procedures like heart transplants.
Did you know the Bible talks about the heart over 900x’s. Our heart is the essence of who we are. The wise man said it best when he said, “As in water face reflect face, so the heart of man reflects the man” (Prov. 27:19).
Just as the condition of our physical heart determines the outcome of our life, the spiritual condition of our heart determines the outcome of our soul!
In Ezekiel 36:24-28, God tells the people of Judah He is going to give them a new heart and a new spirit. But why? Why did they need a new heart?
Their Lives Weren’t Pure!
The people of Judah allowed their lives to be corrupted by sin. Notice what God tells the people, “I will clean you from all your uncleannesses” (v. 25); “I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses” (v. 29); “I will cleanse you from all your iniquities” (v. 33).
The fact that the people of Judah allowed their lives to be corrupted by sin is evident by the lifestyle they were living. They were worshipping idols and false gods instead of the God who had done so much for them. Their lifestyle was so bad, God called the people of Judah a rebellious and stubborn people who transgressed against Him (Eze. 2:3-4). I don’t know about you, but I’ve been called stubborn before, but I pray it has never been by God. The people of Judah’s relationship with God was drastically affected because their lives weren’t pure, they were corrupt.
Friends, Satan wants nothing more than to contaminate our lives with sin. This is fairly easy to do since there is a sin epidemic all around us. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s there. A few weeks ago I was walking around one of the stores here locally. While standing in the aisle, there were a couple of teenagers, maybe early 20’s, cussing with every other breath they took. The sad thing is I wasn’t the only customer in this aisle. There were small children standing with their parents too. It was a sad reminder that our world is contaminated with sin.
I’m afraid Christians think on a personal level, “If I stop sinning, I stop the problem.” Unfortunately, this is simply not true. When our lives aren’t pure, it’s more than a sin problem, it’s a heart problem.
Our lives aren’t pure when our hearts aren’t pure.
Consider what Jesus said to His disciples about what defiles a person…
18 And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, [envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man” (Mark 7:18-23).
Our impure lives indicate we have a problem with our hearts. Jesus said it’s not what goes in but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man because it comes from the heart. We can stop sinning but that doesn’t change the problem. Let me give you an example…suppose a person was committing adultery on their spouse. Just because this person stops committing the physical act of adultery doesn’t mean this person doesn’t have a problem. Jesus said, “Everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). Just because he is not outwardly committing adultery doesn’t mean everything is okay. He still has a problem. His heart isn’t pure!
We can use the example of murder and see the same thing. A person doesn’t have to physically commit murder in order to have an impure heart and be a murderer. John said, “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (I Jn. 3:15). This person still has a heart issue.
John Piper said it well when he said, “The aim of Jesus Christ is not to reform the manners of society, but to change the hearts of sinners like you and me.”
Our desire as Christians should be to have a pure heart. The Bible teaches that the pure in heart will see God (Matt. 5:8). I have no doubts this is the desire of every person reading this post. The problem is not our desire; the problem is we allow our lives to be infected with sin to the point it corrupts our hearts. The people of Judah needed a new heart becasue their lives weren’t pure.
“Guard your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23).
Now that’s Something to Think About!