Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 2, No. 2 Page 8 February 2000

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Open the Cataracta 
of Your Heart

By Mark McWhorter

In many countries people own cars. They may keep their cars in a garage. A garage usually has a door on it. Most of the time the door opens by lifting up and sliding inside next to the ceiling of the garage. It does not open like a door to the house.

In ancient times, royal cities and palaces (where kings and princes lived) had gates to go through to get inside. These gates did not open like normal doors. Instead, they opened like our garage doors do today. These gates were known as cataractas.

In Psalm 24:7-10, there is a very interesting conversation. This part of the psalm is a song which the Israelites sang as they brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. They sing to the gates to lift up and open so that the ark bearing the King may come in. The gates ask, Who is this King? The people reply that it is the Lord and King of Glory. The gates ask, Who is the King of Glory? The people respond by saying that it is the Lord of hosts. And we are left with the impression that the gates do indeed lift up and open for the King of Glory and Lord of hosts.

God wants us to open our hearts to his Word. He wants to live in us through his Word. I know you want to obey him. To do that, you must study the Bible.


You Should Love Chastening

By Mark McWhorter

I remember when I was a boy. There were times when I would do things that my father or mother had told me not to do. Or I would get into something that they had told me to stay out of.

When they found out what I had done, I would get a spanking. If my mother caught me while my father was not home, she would spank me. And then I would have to wait until my father was home. Sometimes he spanked me too.

Now I have to admit that I did not like to get spanked. It was not fun. It was not enjoyable. And usually it hurt enough that I knew I would not do again, whatever it was that had caused me to get the spanking.

Sometimes I did not get a spanking. Sometimes my parents would talk very sternly to me. They would impress upon me how wrong I had been. I have to be honest. I did not even like some of those stern “talking-to” moments.

But now I know that my parents were doing what they were supposed to do. And I appreciate what my parents did for me. They loved me. They were trying to save me from physical and spiritual dangers. They were trying to instill in me a desire to do right.

In Hebrews 12:5-7 we read,

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?”
Be happy that your parents chasten you. God says that means they love you. And God says that he chastens us as well. If we disobey His words, we will live with the consequences. We obey our earthly parents. We should even more obey our Heavenly Father -- “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:9).

Your Heart’s Skin

By Mark McWhorter

I work in a surgery recovery room. We do surgery on the heart. We operate on children and adults. Adults usually get some problem with their heart from an infection or from just growing older. Children are usually born with a problem of their heart.

The heart actually has a skin covering it. It is called the pericardium. This skin is not like your outer skin. It is a thin shiny membrane that helps protect the heart. But sometimes this skin gets irritated. It can be from surgery on the heart. Or it can be from an infection. Or it can be from certain diseases.

When this skin gets irritated it can become thick and hard. When it gets like this, it will not allow the heart to move the way it needs to in order to pump blood to your body. As the skin gets tighter, the heart is less able to give your body blood. Eventually, you will die because your heart cannot pump right.

So the heart surgeon will cut away a large portion of this skin. This gives the heart the room it needs to pump right. The person usually gets well very soon and can live normally.

God talks about the need to cut the skin of the spiritual heart. In Deuteronomy 30:6, God says, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

Circumcision (that is a big word) means to cut around. God will cut around our spiritual hearts so that we can love Him the way we should. In Deuteronomy 10:16, God tells the Israelites to circumcise their hearts. Putting the two scriptures together, we see that the cutting around is done by both God and us. We must study His word and obey it. By doing so, God’s word is working on our heart.

God is the Great Physician (doctor). I know you want the best doctor. Study God’s Word, the Bible. Learn how to circumcise the skin of your spiritual heart.

Until next time, keep learning God’s wisdom. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.


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