And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
Then He went up into the boat to them, and the wind ceased. And they were greatly amazed in themselves beyond measure, and marveled. For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.
Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
A common form of heart disease is hardening of the arteries. The Bible calls it 'Hardness of the heart.' In hard-hearted people, the flow of life's blood seems reduced to a trickle. In the worst cases, a total blockage can occur.
Primary symptoms may include: coldness, selfishness, unforgiveness, hatred and stiff necks--as well as a lack of mercy, kindness, understanding and/or compassion. Left untreated, this stony problem can lead to misery and even death--both for the patient and others within close proximity. Contagion is possible for the unprotected.
The largest single contributor to hardening of the heart appears to be a lifestyle issue: specifically, the separation of man from his Creator. Therein, man voluntarily disconnects from his Central Blood Supply--or more specifically, to the Donor called Jesus.
The promoter of destructive lifestyles is Satan. Through various devices, including media and idols, the father of lies attempts to attract the lost and distract the found. Nevertheless, God provides a free Map (a.k.a. the Bible) to the Donor Station (a.k.a. The Cross).
Once a connection is established, heart regeneration begins. Through a divine multiplication plan fueled by an unlimited supply of love, the Blood of Jesus is able fill the hearts of every man, woman and child on earth. His Blood carries mysterious properties of supernatural life.
There is no charge for this regeneration service, but recipients of His Blood must sign into His Transfusion Program by faith. The first step is a plunge: a total cleansing called Baptism. The next step is the infusion of His Holy Spirit. Therein is the Blood flow found.
In the most extreme cases, a heart transplant is required: God puts it this way: 'I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh' (Ezekiel 36:26).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Heart Conditions series.