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A Change of Heart

In common terms, a change of heart is a little more than a change of mind.  Not really.  A change of mind is more of a learning experience where we discovered new information that enlightened us or proved a point.  It doesn't mean that we liked the new idea, but that we were see a thing in a new light.  In Bible terms, this might be metanoia (noia = mind), which is a word used for repentance.

In fact, you may not even like the new change.  A diet is a mental, not emotional, decision.  Liking a diet program may occur later, but initially, we decide to do something we do not like because we know this is a smart decision.  

A change of heart is more about how we feel about a thing or idea.  The Greek word is "epistrepho" is a word for turning, returning, or conversion.  This reminds us of the invitation to return to your "first love."  And, this word if often tied to a form of love.

The subtle difference is that we can change our mind about something, but not like it.  Or, we can learn to love what we now embrace.  Both are very real approaches to how we change.  Both are easily understood since we have already experienced these transitions many times.

We can "lead with our mind" in making a decision, or we can "lead with our heart".  There are vulnerabilities to single-sided decisions to change.  If we make a metanoia decision, it is not generally as durable as an epistrepho decision.

Conversely, an epistrepho decision can be heart-felt and sincerely, but may be poorly thought through.  This leads to decisions that we regret if the program does not work out as well as might have been hoped.

Honestly, it is best when the Mind and Heart are in sync for decisions.  It is then that we have both the passion for the decision and a strong reason that the decision will not fail.  

In the TPT program is a teaching program that starts with the fundamentals of the person God made us.  We learn how the real you functions in our world and with God.  This is because we literally operate on two planes of existence.  We have the physical plane and the non-physical plane.

Our program is not overly concerned about the physical plane.  We all have similar skills to operate in the external world.  

My interest is in the non-physical world, and that is not totally a spiritual concept.  The non-physical world deals in how we think, how we feel, how we react, how we decide, and how we deal with our relationships.  The secular approach deals with the non-physical world, but I would not call them spiritual.  Secularism is a man-orientation to the same issues that a Christian would encounter from a God-oriented point of view.

So my viewpoint is from a God-oriented view of man as I consider God the Creator Who has a lot more information on the subject than our more educated secular philosophers.  

The Heart of man is not the blood-pumping heart in our chest, but one of three systems within the Inner Man or our non-physical being.  The Heart is the early evaluator of what we consider truth and is tasked with developing your Belief System.  Many of these beliefs are initially judged as true, but yet to be tested in real-life experiences.  The Heart is very important to us as it sets the initial path that we expect to follow to success in life.

The Soul is the second system of the Inner Man, and it is here that we PRACTICE or try-out the beliefs that we adopted by the Heart.  The Soul is a kind of short-term experimental arena that is aided by the Holy Spirit to apply the best ideas instead of the flesh-driven option.  

The Mind is the third system of the Inner Man that evaluates the long-term impact of our lives, and gives perspective and real value to the beliefs we hold in our Heart.

While there is much more to be said about the operation of the Inner Man, I am convinced that a Heart and Mind decision will create the mist enduring and more rewarding results.


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Rich in the Word of Christ

The Healing of the HeartFrom the common perspective, rich refers to people who possess a great deal of wealth and property.  But, in the sight of God, rich means the possession of something more valuable than gold, silver, and precious stones.  Colossians 3:16 says, "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom".

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, there are comparisons of physical wealth as gold and silver to wisdom.  This wisdom, however, is not the equivalent of being smart or knowledgeable.  Wisdom is based on truth, and God is truth even as His Word is truth given to man.  

You see, God is not against wealth of any good thing.  There are rich people and even rich Christian people.  That is not a concern for anyone except that they honor God in what they possess.  

There are people who have an abundance in non-traditional wealth.  They are endowed with great intelligence, great power, personality, talent, and skills.  We know that every good and perfect gift is from God (James 1:17), so those with abundance should honor God with their gifts as well.

Anyone can be rich toward God in the faith.  We are missing out on a tremendous source of power that is absolutely full of promise.  The question is how can we be rich in the faith.  The answer should be obvious, but consider the Bible as a field of gold nuggets hidden in a rugged field.  If you will spend the time and energy to search and dig into the ground, you will collect these gold nuggets until you have enough to be rich.  Simple, right?

There is a lot to be said about the collection of these golden nuggets because we do not know how to possess them.  If we hold them in our hands, we can only collect a few.  We will need a place to hold these precious nuggets.  As you will see, God has given us a Treasury to hold these nuggets.

The full explanation is in The Healing of the Heart book, but we all have a treasury in our Heart that has the primary purpose of holding things that we esteem or value as worth consideration.  There is an important primary process to all that we become in life.  What we adopt as truth becomes the strategic beliefs of our lives.  This is what I call the Belief System. 

The whole duty of the Heart is to discern, examine, validate, and adopt truth and reject the errors, biases, and misinformation that abounds in our world.  Foolish people adopt mistaken ideas and are therefore poor in their belief that leads to a misguided life.  Those rich in truth are well-equipped in their beliefs and this leads to a richer life regardless of wealth and possessions.

Which is better, if it were a choice?  Rich in possessions or rich in truth.  You can get possessions if you are wise in your choices, but you cannot get the blessings of God with money.  

This need not be a choice. between your success in life or success with God.  But, which one is your first priority is very important to the quality of your life.


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The Awe of Awesome!

What do you imagine heaven will be like?  The concept of heaven is far beyond our ability to conceive of its beauty and perfection that everything we think is like numbering the stars or the grains of sand on the beach.  We cannot even get close no matter how hard we try.  

Here's a thought that might open your eyes to the occupation of heaven.  Think of every grand structure you have every seen or an amazing work of art.  Imagine the most palatial building adorned with gold, art, jewels, and stone from exotic places.  Consider the artisans who labored a lifetime to create amazing architecture designs.  How long would this hold your fascination?  Would the return to that palace still be amazing?  Anything of amazing beauty seems to provide endless entertainment and interest.

I believe that God is awesome, and we will be in awe of God for eternity.  He is the God of infinity, and we will never see the end of His glory.  

“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.” Psalms 27:4

God is an infinite being with unfathomable resources.  It seems that man is a finite being in a less-than-perfect world.  If the best mankind can achieve is impressive, entertaining, and incredible beauty, what must it be like to have all this in unlimited measure?  Logically the heaven of God must be incredible, diverse, and a constant manifestation of an infinite and magnificent God.  Imagine the ability of an infinite, almighty God that intends only good to those who have made Him their choice.

We may speculate about heaven, but our best thoughts would fall short.  If anyone is impressed with this the beauty, diversity, and immensity of this world; we are seeing a sample of what life would be when God unleashes His infinite power and creativity.  While we cannot explain and describe heaven, we have evidence of His ability on a limited scale in this life.

We will spend eternity learning and discovering amazing things in heaven.  This are no tears, no sorrow, and there is no boredom in heaven.  Life in heaven is the best of life on every level.  We will be among the best of friends, the height of learning, and the most amazing of beauty on every level.  

In Revelation 2:10-18, John was one person who saw the glory of heaven.  More of John's experience is found in Revelation 4:1-11.  What is reported is just a glimpse of heaven.

Paul was also given a glimpse of the paradise of heaven and he said that what he saw is could not be spoken in human terms and the words could not be expressed in human terms.  In short, both men we awestruck by the beauty of God and God's heaven.  What heaven holds for us is so superior to what we can see in this earth that it is a wonder that we do not long for the day of our departure.  


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The Best Bible Memory App

Bible memorizationIn my early days as a Christian, I started memorizing Scripture.  Back then, I used small cards from the Navigators Society that I could easily carry with me.  This was and still is a good way to memorize Scripture.  In fact, anyone can do this by using 3x5 cards to write down important verses.  

I have wanted to add into The Principal Truth program, Bible memorization, but the cost and distribution was a real problem.

After looking into several Bible Memorization apps, I have found that BibleLocker is absolutely fantastic.  It has everything a person may need to quickly and effectively memorize Scripture verses.  It is the tool that I now use to keep up to the verses that I want to remember.

There are important reasons to memorize Scripture.  One of the reasons is that what we think and consider becomes a guide to our lives.  Our lives are literally shaped by what occupies the meditations of the Heart.  What we focus our minds upon is a force of considerable influence.  Thoughts will turn into intentions, and intentions produce actions to achieve our goals.

In The Healing of the Heart, I discuss the impact of reading and memorizing Scripture as a powerful resource.  However, Bible memorization seems a lost art for most people.  The reason for this is probably because most people to not understand the value and impact of Scripture memorization.

Reading, meditating, and memorizing Scripture has a huge impact on the life and success of anyone.  The process is not an overnight overhaul of your life, but Scripture reading and memorization can and will overhaul your life.  Using the tools given by God effectively are not as simple as trying to read the Bible cover-to-cover.  This is possible, but not the most effective approach.

The best approach is when there is value in the present moment for an applicable verse or passage.  Apart from a general reading schedule, there is great value in getting quality guidance in the midst of your present circumstances.  

The is a danger in being exposed to the Scriptures for more than a few minutes.  If the truth abides with you for very long, it will change you.  That is why Satan's greatest priorities is distraction and sundry information.  If he can get you to forget what you heard, the full impact of God's word will be muted.

Luke 8:5 is the parable of the sower.  We are told that the seed is indeed the Word of God.  When the Word goes forth, there is a message of change at work.  Anyone who has been changed from their lost condition to a believer, an adopted son of the Father, and a citizen of heaven knows that the salvation story of the Christ's sacrifice has changed them.

Satan may not stop the Word of God, but he can mute its power by snatching away the seed before it takes root.  And, it first takes root in your Heart.  When truth enters the Heart, it is eventually turned into what we believe, which is the same as faith.  Faith is belief that is ready to take action.  Faith put to work creates change, improvements, maturity, and advancement of the cause.

Even unbelievers know the power of unbridled belief.  Motivation and sales training seminars teach people to see (envision) the end of their hopes and beliefs.  These success-driven groups assert the power of belief or "The vision of success".  Guess what?  It works even in secular applications.  Faith the is more than a moment's hope can change lives, change the course of your future, and solve unsolvable problems.

Secular faith however is imperfect faith.  It will not work for all as it works for some because such faith is selfish and not 100% truth.  Yes, we know that putting money in the stock market will allow it to grow.  But, you can also lose money, make bad choices, or make only a token profit.

God's works every time for every one.  What we cannot predict is when and how the profit will happen.  

Every great breakthrough started as an idea.  The success of the idea was in the quality of the truth it is built upon and the endurance of the vision.  Bible memorization prevents truth from offering only a moment's duration.  If the Word finds good soil and takes root, the results are always good.


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What Happens After Death?

What happens after death is a matter of pure speculation by any mortal.  What happens after death is not unknown to God.  If there is an eternity or life after death, we have only a few sources to consider.  The fist of which is simple cessation of existence.  Life is a one-time event, then nothing.  What as apparent waste of life and human achievement that every man end up in the heap of meaningless things.

Then there is the recycle theory of some religions that believes that we will have an endless rerun of our lives.  Yet, there is no proof of this idea of multiple lives.  The Bible clearly states that "It is appointed unto man once to die, then the judgement."  (Hebrews 9:27)  Though a popular Hindu belief, there is no reliable proof of reincarnation.  Such a belief seems only to postpone the issue of death and accountability.

If we believe in God, eternity, and heaven; then there are questions that should be resolved.  The first of which is what happens at death?  It is at this point that the body ceases to function and the lifeforce (spirit) and Soul depart from the body.  Death is understood, not as cessation, but separation.

After the Spirit and Soul departs, Jesus has prepared a new body or home for our Soul.  (John 14:3)  This is not the guesswork of mankind, but the promise of Jesus Christ who was God incarnate among us.  From the Old Testament time, through the life of Christ, in the pages of the Bible, and seen in the visible ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven; we are confident that there is a greater life and a better existence for those who belong to God's family.

If you have followed this blog, you know that the Soul is the real you or your full person.  Your Soul is eternal and lives on after the separation from the body.  And, it should be the hope of everyone to inherit the greatest life we could ever know.  The Soul, however, is imperfect yet.  We are imperfect people who are not prepared for a perfect heaven.

To solve the sin problem that we could not, Jesus paid the price for sin on the cross for us.  He took on our liabilities and paid the price by sacrificing a perfect life on our behalf.  The door was open to heaven, but there is one final requirement to this offer of heaven.  It is that we become a member of God's family by accepting the payment on our behalf.

We can refuse a gift if we are closed to the giver of the gift.  We can not cash a check if we prefer.  We can refuse to eat a meal prepared for us if we choose.  And we can ignore the gift of salvation if we reject the offer.  An offer is meaningless unless there is an agreement.  

For those who have entered God's family, heaven is your home.  There is a place for your Soul to dwell because He has prepared a home for you.  

What happens after death?  It is going home or entering the place for the lost.  Your Soul will live forever  ... somewhere.


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As a Man Thinks in His Heart

Over the years, I have become a "Heart Specialist".  I did not go to medical school and did not earn a doctorate in cardiology.  I didn't need that to become a Heart specialist for the Inner Man.  You see, we all have two hearts.  There is one that resides in your chest and pumps blood through the body.  There is also one that reside in the Inner Man and pumps faith through your Inner Man.  So, my specialty is about the spiritual Heart that is vital to the production of faith in a person.

It is altogether foolish to think of the physical heart as the seat of our emotions.  There is no capacity of the heart to product any emotions, much less love or fath.  The physical heart is a dual chambered organ that pumps blood.  There is no emotional or rational component within the heart that controls the behavior of a man.

A study of the Heart within the Inner Man will reveal that the Heart is the concerned with collecting knowledge, evaluating the truth content, and producing faith that governs our life.  The constant interest in truth is something we all possess.  We are always interested in finding out something that helps us better our lives.  This is the desire of the Heart to find and collect truths.  This is why we become interested in any information.  If we see value in some information, our interest is aroused.

The pursuit of the Heart is to find truth in a truth-compromised world.  This is where the challenge to success in live and as a Christian starts.  Not everything we hear or initially accept as truth proves out to be true.  If the production of faith is is to the truth we receive, then faith can be compromised or faulty as well.

The acceptance or adoption of truth happens daily.  We are awash with all kinds of information.  We reject or ignore many ideas that we may encounter, but we also allow conditional truths to enter the Heart for further consideration.  When we have assessed and valuated the conditional truths, some are tossed out of the Heart and some are kept.  In the end, the Heart is building a Belief System that is the governance of our lives.

Governance:  The act or process of governing or overseeing the control and direction of something (such as a country or an organization) 

Therefore, we find a verse like Proverb 23:7 that says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he."  The quality of the Belief System will eventually dictate whatever follows.  Where through good times or bad times, we know that how we handle these events test what we believe.

The power to govern is the power to change, improve, and correct how well we handle things.  So, when you improve your Belief System, your life will improve regardless of the circumstance that may take longer to resolve.


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The Realm of the Nesceints

Throughout The Principal Truth series and in several TPT books, you will see references to the concept of Nescience or a person who is a Nescient.  I stumbled across this word early in my research but stored it away as a passing thought.

As the information coalesced into a series of studies, the word nescience seemed to be a banner over what I saw in the everyday world of men.  There is no constant beliefs except the instinctual need for food, shelter, and reproduction.  Mankind is diverse in its practices, but similar in many other ways.

A nescient is anyone whose beliefs are predominately shaped and reshaped by the society around them.  With all our claims of uniqueness, we are very much a reflection of each other until it seems that conform to the culture.

By definition, nescience is the state of not knowing; lack of knowledge, ignorance, or naivete.  Such a people are pliable and lack only leadership that has a promise of something better.

In that sense, a nescient may believe that they determine the course of their lives, but in fact, they follow the same path with latitude for deviation allowed by society.  Some societies are very strict and controlling that strongly enforce social norms.  Other societies are very liberal that allow for all types of behaviors until the behavior becomes contrary to that society.

We are deluded and mistaken to think that we are wonderful, self-determined beings.  We are at best marginally in control of our lives.  This ignorance of the reality is nescience.

 

The Free Will of Man

The Healing of the HeartThe free will of man is a constant mystery.  On one hand we see an all-powerful and infinite God who dwells in eternity.  Then, there is somewhat-gifted, finite man who dwells in the constraints of time.  The quantum span between God and man is impossible to explain or appreciate.  The connection is that God created man and the world in which we live.  The one thing we can deduce from the investment God has made in mankind is that He does not desire to exist in the abundance of His glory and provision.  Twice, God has created beings to can share in His amazing resources.

In the book, The Story of Adam, I have recounted what is known as the Genesis Gap found in Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.  Scholars have debated these verses as there is an amazing story to be told when compared to other related Scripture.  In short, it is believed that there was a Garden of Eden prior to the time of Adam and Eve.  There is no timeline, but the span could be hundreds or thousands of years that a very different type of Eden existed.

This would be the first time we learn of an early creation and various angelic beings.  After the earth was created, a very different world existed.  Instead of vegetation, the earth and garden was adorned with jewels, minerals, and such as created a stunningly beautiful world.  

The first created beings were angels, who also were allowed free will.  Though in an amazing world of beauty and perfection, God did not create unthinking or controlled beings who had not choice but enforced obedience.  God has a will, and He wanted His creation to have the opportunity to enjoy His blessing or literally reject them.  Such is the nature of possessing a will.  It is the ability to make a choice, even a bad choice.

In this pre-Adam world, Lucifer was so impressed with his beauty and power that he decided to rebel against God leading one-third of the angels with him.  The rebellion failed miserably, and Satan and the demons were thereafter sealed in their doom.

After a length of time, the now destroyed world was recreated for man as a lush garden of plants.  The next creation was man, Adam and Even live in perfection and needed nothings.  Though deceived by Satan's lie, Adam and Eve also chose the wrong course.  Free will is not always such a wonderful virtue.  But, unlike the angels that fell, God has opened the door to redemption.  

Free choice brought sin into this world, and we have more than the mistakes of Adam and Eve to condemn us.  But, another decision has been opened to all mankind.  A second chance for redemption was given in the person of Jesus Christ.  The law states that "without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin."  Until Jesus' sacrifice, the blood of sheep, goats, and bulls provided temporary covering.  When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, the entrance price was paid.

The offer has been made.  The price of sin has been paid.  All that remains is for anyone to DECIDE to accept the offer of salvation in the person of Christ.  

Free will not only provides a path of departure from God, but also can be a path of return.  The decision to accept Jesus Christ and the payment for sin on the cross made for us is the best choice anyone can make.

The Considerations of the Heart - Discernment

The primary purpose of the Heart is is the production of faith.  The operations of the Heart demonstrate the process that produces faith.  The Soul is where we put to practice our beliefs, making the Soul the testing and proving ground of our faith, or Belief System.

The Mind is the thoughtful arena where we find the adopted patterns, habits, or character of the person.  

We could reduce these three systems to "Faith from the Heart", "Practice from the Soul," and "Harvest in the Mind".  Though distinct, the Heart, Mind, and Soul of Matthew 22:37 are reciprocal, symbiotic, and interactive with everything we do.  Insomuch, that it can be hard to isolate behavior issues in just one area.

For example, in Hebrews 4:12 we read "the Word of God ... is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the Heart."

In Deuteronomy 8:5, we read, "You shall also consider in thine heart..."  

This brings up the question is where does thought happen?  We are sentient or thinking, rational beings.  In additional, thought like the concept of love, has a variety of variations.  The Heart is a discerning and prioritizing kind of thought that is akin to logical progression.  The Soul operates as a pragmatic and functional kind of thought considers the application or actions taken.  And the Mind provides a big picture, evaluation that may be more reflective and judgemental progress as a person.

Thinking occurs at various levels of the Inner Man.  In this introduction, I consider the Heart quite diverse.  The discernment of Heart should be our first defense concerning any issue.  However, discernment is not an innate skill, but an acquired skill.  A baby or infant has no discernment that is does not learn.  A child will literally touch a flame until it learns that the flame will burn its fingers.  

As seen in Hebrews 4:12, the instruction of the Word of God has an impact on our Soul and Heart, not mentioning the Mind.  There is good reason for this.  The Mind is the end of the process, not the beginning.  All issues of life start in the Heart according to Proverbs 4:23.  Information can be taught or collected by experience.  I can tell you that the flame is hot or your can discover the information by personal experience.

Therefore, the Word of God is information.  It is superior information that should be readily accepted into the Heart.  There is also inferior information which should be subjected to scrutiny before accepted as having merit for your life.  Inferior information ranges from absolute lies, to biases and misinformation, to something that is true as it stands.  Fire is hot regardless of information to the contrary.

The Heart must filter information either "out of hand" or by further consideration of logic or discernment.  Logic, however, is not often entertaining; and the Heart is capable of frivolous pursuits that need not be logical or critically considered.  Given the choice of ice cream or a salad, the easy choice is ice cream.  We all need and want to have fun or be entertained without worrying about the cares of the world for a while.

There is then a balance between entertainment and logic that is needed.  In the considerations of the Heart, entertainment often overrides the logic of the matter.  Faith must rule, and it need not rule out fun unless the fun is harmful to us.  Romans 14:23 says "for whatever is not of faith is sin."  This doesn't mean that we must turn into monks in a monastery.  The verse instructs us that faith qualifies all else.

To boil this conversation down to a few words, discernment of the Heart is a "Faith First Principle".  The many diversions and ideas we entertain must pass by the Sword of God (the Bible) for valuation.  The choice to steal or not steal is a very easy determination.  The decision to tithe is kind of easy.  The decision to get out of debt is actually pretty hard.  Yet, the Bible instructs our Heart, and the decision follows good logic.  Discernment is making the best choice.

What is the Heart of God?

There is only one verse in all of Scripture that tells us that God also has a heart.  That verse is Genesis 6:6 where the sinfulness and wickedness of the pre-flood world was so pervasive and rooted in th people of that time, that God was grieved in His heart.  The rest of the verses about the Heart is how God views our Heart as a measure of our sincerity and obedience to Him.  Since man was more than an animated body, a little study will reveal the spiritual makeup of a man has a Heart, Soul, and Mind that are not the same as the anatomic side of our being.

We see references to the mind of God and heart of God, so it is no leap of logic to see the Creator and creation are designed for a relationship on several levels.

The Heart's primary function is to produce faith which is forms the many beliefs of our Belief System.  And, God is very interested in what we are passionate at every step of this lifestyle process, God want to be Lord.  That is why Jesus told the doubting scribe that the greatest commandment was "to love the Lord, thy God, with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind in Matthews 22:37.

This concept was first stated in Deuteronomy 6:5; 13:3, and 28:47.  So the fifth book of the Bible (one The Five Books of the Law) made this a ageless standard.  

We find the same phrase in Joshua 24:23

To anyone interested in their relationship with God, it seems so very important to start where God tells us to start.  It is the FIRST COMMANDMENT is Exodus 20 is actually to worship only Jehovah God, but Deuteronomy 5 expands the terms of Exodus 20 .  Deuteronomy 6:5 expands the the first commandment as more than just obedience to a set of rule, but as an expression of love that happens in the Heart, Soul, and Mind.

This is the core of everything we teach at The Principal Truth.  There are core teachings that seem to serve as the foundation for so much more about the Christian life.  While we struggle to solve our issues, mistakes, and failure; there are ways to make the crooked path straight which is more than a reference to someone else that we might deem worse than ourselves.  Making straight the path is yet another important topic to study, and we invite you to join us.


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