What Heart Inscription?

“The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars, while their children remember their altars and their Asherim, beside every green tree and on the high hills, on the mountains in the open country… 

“Thus says the Lord:
‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man
    and makes flesh his strength,
    whose heart turns away from the Lord…

‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose trust is the Lord…’

“The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:1-3,5,7,9

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 3:3

“My son, keep my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you;
keep my commandments and live;
    keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.” Proverbs 7:1-3

“You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all.  And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:2-3

The prophet’s words for Israel pierced with harsh truth: their sin was so explicit and depraved that it was inscribed on their hearts. Not smudged, nor pencilled, nor shallowly etched, but deeply imprinted and identifiable. Trusting in man and flesh instead of God and His word was consequentially caustic to worship, locale, and generations. Sin poisons the heart, deceives, and spreads its desperate sickness that can be healed, un-inscribed, by One alone.

What is the only cure for the sin-infested heart? Jesus’s blood. For those who have been cleansed and forgiven, what the effective prevention? Inscribing God’s word on our hearts ahead of time, and instead. When the Spirit of God writes His word, and name, and grace upon us, He transforms our trust, allegiances, and desires. He sows life and fruitfulness into and from our lives. (Psalm 51:7; 119:11; Mark 4:3-8,14-20; John 13:1-10; Hebrews 9:14)

To what are we exposing our sensibilities and affections that would engrave in our behavior or reputation lasting detriment, or dishonor to God? How will we inscribe His word more clearly, and permanently, on our hearts?

“O for a heart to praise my God,
a heart from sin set free;
a heart that’s sprinkled with the blood
so freely shed for me:

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
my great Redeemer’s throne;
where only Christ is heard to speak,
where Jesus reigns alone:

A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
believing, true, and clean,
which neither life nor death can part
from him that dwells within:

A heart in every thought renewed,
and full of love divine;
perfect and right and pure and good —
a copy, Lord, of thine.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart,
come quickly from above;
write thy new name upon my heart,
thy new best name of Love.” ~Charles Wesley (1742)

O Lord, engrave Your beauties upon my heart, that I might faithfully bear Your grace, love, and truth to those around me. So imprint me with Your character and light that Your excellencies are beheld and You are glorified.

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