Our good friend, Brad Harrub with Focus Press asked me to write a special article for the December issue of Think Magazine. He said that this issue would be used to help families teach children about the wonder and majesty of God. If you do not receive this outstanding magazine I would encourage you to subscribe. It is an outstanding periodical. You can find out more at www.focuspress.org.
Here is a part of the article I submitted to Brad. In doing research for this article I was once again reminded of just how great our God really is. He is the perfect Creator and He knows everything we need to survive in this world.
Our heart weighs between 7 and 15 ounces (200 to 425 grams) and is a little larger than the size of our fist. By the end of a long life, a person's heart may have beat more than 3.5 billion times. In fact, each day, the average heart beats 100,000 times, pumping about 2,000 gallons (7,571 liters) of blood.
Our heart has 4 chambers. The upper chambers are called the left and right atria, and the lower chambers are called the left and right ventricles. A wall of muscle called the septum separates the left and right atria and the left and right ventricles. The left ventricle is the largest and strongest chamber in your heart. The left ventricle's chamber walls are only about a half-inch thick, but they have enough force to push blood through the aortic valve and into your body.
The heart normally beats about 60 to 80 times a minute when you are at rest, but this can vary. As we get older, our resting heart rate rises. Our hearts do not work alone. Our brain tracks the conditions around us—climate, stress, and level of physical activity—and adjusts our cardiovascular system to meet those needs. The human heart is a muscle designed to remain strong and reliable for a hundred years or longer.
No wonder David proclaimed, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14) Our Father in Heaven made our hearts just the right size, placed it in just the perfect place in our bodies, and created it to do exactly what we need to survive.
God gave us not only a physical heart; He gave us a spiritual heart. The word “heart” appears more than 700 times in our Bibles. The Bible informs us that our heart is the center of our emotions and feelings. While God does not have a physical heart that pumps blood, He does have a Spiritual heart. Genesis 6:6 tells us that God was “grieved in His heart.”
The Scriptures speak of “glad” hearts (Exodus 4:14), “hardened” hearts (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 7:13; 8:15; 8:19), “stubborn” hearts (Exodus 7:14), “willing” hearts (Exodus 35:3); hearts that are “stirred” (Exodus 35:31, 26), “understanding” hearts (1 Kings 3:9), “discerning” hearts (1 Kings 3:12), “wise” hearts (Proverbs 23:15), “clean” hearts (Psalm 51:10) and “pure” hearts (Proverbs 22:11; Matthew 5:8).
Wise King Solomon instructed his son, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) Our Savior taught us that we are to have “pure hearts” (Matthew 5:8), that we are to love God with all our “hearts, (Matthew 22:37), and that wherever we place our treasures, that is where we will place our hearts (Matthew 6:21).
Just as our physical heart can be strengthened and improved through exercise and proper care, so our spiritual heart can be strengthened and improved through proper spiritual exercise and care.
We should do everything possible to have hearts like Jesus and hearts that reach out to the lost. We also need hearts that will serve others and that will love those around us. May God help us to develop this kind of heart. So, share with us what you do to strengthen your spiritual heart?
Dear Father, thank You for creating us in Your image. Thank You for giving us both a physical and a spiritual heart. Help us, dear God to develop hearts like Jesus. Help us to have hearts that reach out to others and that show love for others. Forgive us when our hearts are weak. In Jesus Name, Amen.