Intent of the Heart Is More Than You Think! :: by Don Twobears

Have you ever noticed how inclined we are to being secure, wherever we may be? How much we spend, how much we concern ourselves with what we wear, or how good we look? That, in turn, drives many to forget about others in our employment pursuit. And then we begin to be concerned with where we live, how big a house, how fancy our cars. We may notice that we have left friends and family behind, rather than lending our personal support to those in need.

After a while, we learn a new language, or could it be the same old bad language, cursing? We begin to use euphemisms like the “little people” when we talk about ordinary, everyday, folk. And then the day comes when you never see a single ordinary person anymore, even the ones you grew up with. Suddenly you’re just too big and too important of a person to be concerned about them anymore. Now it’s a matter of “Image” for you and you never once look at whom you wish to look good in front of.

Luke 12:16-21: “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:34: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Oops! Did I just step on a toe or two? Sorry! It would seem that, this scenario is most prevalent now days, wouldn’t you say? And may I add, it afflicts many Christians today as well, or maybe you haven’t been paying any attention to the parking lots of many churches. Yes, that is hypocrisy! Difference is, born-again Christians are “forgiven” of their sin, they are not better than anyone else. However concerned they are with the commission of the Lord, to bring the unsaved to Him. I often wonder how many homeless would be willing to enter a church, when the parking lot is full of Cadillacs, BMWs and Mercedes-Benz?

Do you know, what I think the problem is? Everyone is more concerned with how everyone else sees them, than to wonder how God sees them. Are we not to care for the poor? I do not mean handing them a donut and a cup of coffee along with a smug smile and a prayer like “Thank you Lord, that I am not like them.” I have to wonder, is there any Scripture to back this concept up with? Let’s Look:

Luke 18:10-14: “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Wow! Now I wonder how I should be acting, what I should be saying and what I should not be doing? Then I get an Email about how much the Lord had Blessed them and that I shouldn’t be talking about how bad it all looks. I will usually write back and ask them if there are still people in their area that lack food, or a home to live in or decent clothes to wear? And I usually ask them why is that? I believe there is Scripture to that effect as well, am I not correct?

Luke 16:13-15: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

Luke 16:19-31

“There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Abraham saith unto him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, ‘Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.’ And he said unto him, ‘If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’”

Yeah, I know, I feel the same way; sometimes I am ashamed that I have not done more for others. And it is true that on occasion I would feel, “Why is it always me doing something, how about some help here?” Every single time, the picture of my Lord’s cross pops into my head and I am ashamed all over again. You would think, with as many times as this happens, people would learn, right? Wrong!

Ya wanna know why that is? It’s always about “attitude” and for the most part, that attitude shapes how we feel about other things as well. How we see other people and we immediately set up a grid in our minds and measure ourselves against everyone else. And after that, we may have a better attitude and then again, we may be worse off and now we are angry. Isn’t that just like all of us?

Here’s something important to ponder at this point in time. Do you know what this “Attitude” really is? Do you what it is called in the Bible? “Intent of the heart.” Now we have to back to all that Scripture above and read it again. Wasn’t there somnething there about one’s heart and treasure?