One Heart, Two Hearts, Old Heart, New Heart

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Matters of the heart are always difficult. Why is that? Is that fluttery feeling in our chest fear, excitement, passion? … or just heart burn? What is the status of your heart?heart

One Heart

The heart is what pumps blood to every nook and cranny in our bodies. The blood is life. If the heart, or blood, is not working correctly then bad things happen, like blood clots or heart attacks. Making sure we keep a healthy heart is something for which to strive. We watch our cholesterol and attempt to exercise so we keep a strong heart muscle. But you already knew that.

Two Hearts

Long ago, ancient people, such as the early Egyptians, used to think that our emotions centered around the heart muscle. Today we know that the brain triggers emotion, but we still feel tremors in the chest cavity and a racing heart when we feel anger, love, sadness, and anxiety.

We say phrases such as, “I am heart broken,” or, “He has a heart of gold.” Perhaps you’ve had a “heart-to-heart” chat with someone before. When we say those idioms we do not mean a physical heart has broken to pieces or turned to gold. No, we’re speaking about a person’s behavior, or emotions. It is as if we have two hearts. One that beats and keeps our blood flowing, and another one that symbolizes the emotions, character traits, and spiritual depth of humanity.

Old Heart

It is the spiritual depth, the center of emotions and what makes us human, that God focuses on all throughout the Bible. All of us have this center of being, who we are, our souls. Ezekiel writes about us being given a “new heart” from God.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. ~ Ezekiel 36:26

heart of stoneIf we are to receive a “new heart”, then there must be an “old heart”. The Bible tells us quite a bit about the “old heart”. This heart is more deceitful then anything. (Jeremiah 17:9) And the list goes on:

Wow. The “old heart” doesn’t have a good track record. That list tells us everything our old heart can do or become. But that verse in Jeremiah tells us what our heart is: It is deceitful. And he goes on to tell us that our hearts are desperately sick. Not our physical hearts, but our spiritual ones.

Changed Heart

We’ve all known people who have had a “change of heart” when it comes to some circumstance. That heart could change from bad to good, OR from good to not so great. Somehow we need to get our “old hearts” changed into “new hearts”.

Why does it matter? Because your heart is deceitful. ALL the time. It just is. The heart also needs to change because God tells us that he wants to put a new heart into us. Remember that verse from Ezekiel? Read it again.

Heart sandstone-How are we to change our hearts? Actually, we can’t. God has to do it. But we have to choose to allow him to change our hearts from old to new. We have to go to him with an attitude of repentance telling him we want our hearts to change.

Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, β€œBrethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, β€œRepent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” ~ Acts 2:37-38

New Heart

Once the change takes place, what does a “new heart” look like? What does it do? The simple answer is that a “new heart” behaves in the opposite manner of the “old heart”. But there is more to it. A new heart does not automatically know how to act.

A new heart must be:

  • Filled with God’s law (Psalm 37:31, Psalm 40:8) which means we must read the Bible on a regular basis.
  • Obedient (Romans 6:17) to what God says through his word.
  • Steadfast (Psalm 57:7) and not wishy-washy. You either believe in Jesus Christ, or you don’t.

As we start filling our changed hearts with God’s word, and being obedient and steadfast, then our “new hearts” begin to emerge. For some people the heart lights up automatically. For many of us, it is a slow, steady beam that becomes brighter over time. Either way, God is creating something new!

new heartA new heart:

The blood is life. In order for our human bodies to stay alive and work correctly, the heart organ must pump blood everywhere. In order for our spiritual hearts to stay alive eternally and work as God intended them, then a new heart through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ must be placed within us. The old life goes away. A new life begins. (John 3:16)

I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart. ~ Jeremiah 24:7

God desires for you, and me, to have a whole heart. Should we “follow our hearts” as many would encourage us to do? Not unless God has changed it!

God loves you. God wants you. He wants to be mighty in your life. He wants to help you through the tough situation you might be in right now. He wants to use you for good works.

Do you already have a changed heart? Being a Christian is not for the faint-hearted. If you are like me, I’m working on my new heart. It’s in me, but the struggle to fill it with God’s word and obey is real. There are times when it tries to become stone again. Or proud. Or stubborn.

We don’t lose our changed hearts, but they tend to try out those old behaviors we used to habitually do. That’s when we fill our hearts with scripture that fight against those behaviors and characteristics.

Which do you have? An old heart? A heart in the process of change? or a new heart?

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One Heart, Two Hearts, Old Heart, New Heart — 61 Comments


    • Hello! I appreciate your comment. While I understand your position, theologically, with the whole of scripture, I cannot take the view that baptism is required for salvation. “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31, Romans 10:9) Baptism is important, and we should do it, but it is shown to come after belief and repentance. (Acts 2) In Acts 8 the thing that prevented the Ethiopian from being baptized was the belief in Jesus. Once that happened, then there was no reason NOT to baptize. Thank you again for your comment and I appreciate differing theological views!

  2. Pingback: Blogelina Commentathon – Group B | Blogelina

  3. Isn’t the English language crazy!? I can understand why so many struggle with it. Your post provided some great thoughts on our hearts. I have been told I have an “old soul”, but I hope I don’t have an old heart based on what you wrote!

  4. “A new heart does not automatically know how to act” Once we have committed to change, how very important it is to fill ourselves with good, to retrain our motives and habits to follow a new path. To stay on the right path, we need the guidance we receive by being in the right place at the right time, listening to those that are on the same path, and turning away from what we have done before that didn’t get us where we want to go. A new heart… I think it is not a one-time happening, but a continual goal and process. Thanks for the reminders!

  5. When asking what type of heart we have, you made the distinction between a heart in the process of change and a new heart. For me, that begs the question: aren’t we always in the process of change? Although we are told that through Christ the old is gone and we’ve been made new, but do we ever really reach the end of our journey of spiritual change this side of heaven? To answer your question, I’d say my heart is continually changing for the better as long as I’m keeping Christ in my heart.

    • Yes. I agree. We have that change of heart when we choose Jesus to be Lord of our life. God then places that new heart into us…which then continues to be molded into the image of Jesus Christ. So in a way, that new heart continuously changes.

  6. I think, just like my grandmother, I have a heart of gold! I remember having my heart broken a many of times in my younger days and never want to experience that heartbreak again!

  7. Neatly put!

    I have a friend who takes pictures of heart shaped objects all around her and that’s one popular album alright!
    Love how you went through all hearts and even listed heartburn! πŸ˜‰

  8. Very well-thought out post on hearts. Typically we associated “old” with “wise” and “young” with “rebellious” but NOT in this case! I like the spin you put on things and all the great Bible verses you included to illustrate your point.

  9. The theme of heart and the connections made throughout would make an interesting lesson for children in Church School. Thanks for the ideas.

  10. I really like your post and how you tied so many things together including history and religion. Also, your photos are unique — did you create them?

  11. Thank you for the reminder that trying to change my own heart doesn’t work. I need God to change it for me.
    I love the picture of the leaf with the heart cut out and you behind it! So cool.

  12. I believe I have a new heart, but I also don’t believe we are ever truly rid of our old heart. Jesus died for our sins and yet even the most devout cannot claim to be sin-free. For that reason I believe we must continue to allow God to reform our hearts and as thus are always in a process of change.

  13. Beautifully depicted. I forgot how I got this understanding but I believe I was told that when they were talking about hearts in the bible they were referring to the brain which is true when said controls our thought filter depending on emotions.

  14. Nice graphics with a great message. I found myself humming I’m in a new world, old things have passed away.
    Behold all things are new ever since that happy day.
    He opened up my blinded eyes, and then I had a great surprise,
    I’m in a new world since the Lord saved me.

  15. I love this post! You really unpacked the essence of our old heart compared to the new heart we receive when Christ becomes our Lord. It is comparable to the idea of becoming a new creation, but the whole connection to our physical hearts and the blood that flows through them was excellent! Thank you for your wonderful insight!

  16. What a great post with lots to think about. I’m not sure where my heart is right now – really I think just trying to make it from day to day.

  17. Well thought out! This would be a great way to explain “heart” language to kids. I know it can be very confusing for kids when they don’t quite understand the difference between literal and figurative language.

  18. Thank you so much for this great lesson and your others as well. I enjoyed looking around your blog and subscribed. I look forward to spending more time here. It has a lot in common with what I wish to accomplish with Minivan Ministries!

  19. Many thanks for this beautiful reminder that having a New Heart is a continual journey, and that we have a loving God who is with us throughout the journey. Beautiful post πŸ™‚

  20. II have never seen the two hearts connected in such a succinct way before. It has always been a marvel to me why emotional heartache manisfests itself in such a physical chest-ache. Wonderful post.

  21. Whenever I feel something “not so nice” about others or I felt offended by a person, event or circumstance, my husband would always remind me to guard my heart-it is the condition of our hearts that will dictate how we react to problems, trials and the people who in one way or another might hurt us. If our heart is ok, then it will change how we will perceive things.

    Thank u for the reminder through this post!

  22. I am wondering if your article on “heart” can be copied. You have so many good examples and would make an excellen lesson. Thank you.

    • I’m not sure I know what you mean with “copied”. You are welcome to use it to develop lessons as long as I am given credit for what you use.

  23. I guess I wondered if I could make a copy of your article and use it in a lesson for others. We would give you the credit. It is such a good article. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Yes!! At the bottom of the post, there should be a “print” button. If that doesn’t work, let me know. πŸ™‚

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