Tom, my brother-in-law, and George, my friend, came for dinner. They are heart transplant recipients. I bet you didn’t have two heart transplant recipients for dinner at your house Friday night.
It was a fabulous evening. Their wives came, too, and they gave perspective on what it has been like for them as caregivers. They are sacrificial and devoted in every way. But without doubt, the guys carried the conversation. Enthusiastically. Passionately. Loudly. “Were you on this machine?” “How long were you on the list?” One brought out a spreadsheet—that’s right, a spreadsheet—and they compared meds. They clearly love their new life and are humbled by the gift of someone else’s heart.
Psalm 15 talks about our heart and we remember God gave followers of Christ a new heart. Listen in:
A Psalm of David
O Lord, who shall sojourn [abide] in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
Great—just what we need: another list to keep. Or, is it a list at all? Are we meant to forever check off an endless list of behaviors, or is the Bible saying something else? It is a crucial question: Is Psalm 15 a list to establish a relationship with God? Or, is it to help us stay and grow in fellowship with Him?
Here is my take. Though we don’t have the reasons or context for David’s words, we do see he longs for a closeness to God. In our life journey how do we draw and stay close to God? I remember a cartoon showing a couple riding in a car. It was an old car for sure, because the front seat was a bench seat. The husband was driving (as usual in those days) and the wife was right against the left side door. “Honey,” she said, “ we don’t seem close as we used to be. Why, we don’t even sit next to each other in the car anymore.” He simply replies, “I haven’t moved.”
God hasn’t moved. His presence—His closeness—is made continual (“sojourn” or “abide”) as Christians travel with Him in fellowship, reflecting His prized Son from deep within. It’s a verse two thing—a heart thing.
Tom and George live with the presence of someone else’s heart in them, giving them a new life. They know physically what is spiritually, daily, practically, and joyfully true of followers of Christ.
So, how is your heart?