One day in 1947, my dad mentioned that he had not seen his father for over a week. So, the two of us went over to see him. He was sick in bed — really sick. Dad went and got the doctor to see what was wrong with him. The doctor went through the usual routine of checking him over, but he could not find a heartbeat in the usual place, even though he was obviously still alive. As it turned out, his heart was located on the right side of his chest. In his whole life, he had never been seen by a doctor, so it had never been noted before. He was taken to a hospital, and a week later, he died. All those years, no one knew that his heart was on the right side.
Jesus had much to say about our hearts being on the right side.
“Great multitudes followed Him — from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them.” (Matthew 4:25-5:2 NKJV)
His Sermon on the Mount contains many beautiful and comforting thoughts, but then, there are some very tough, challenging teachings about turning the other cheek, loving our enemies, not worrying or judging, and how the gate to eternal life is narrow and few enter.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV)
These are such difficult words. So many of us have made a great effort to save up for our old age, to supplement our pensions when we are no longer able to work for a living. But Jesus says that that is not supposed to be where our heart is. Not everyone was able to accept His teaching either.
“Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” (John 6:60,66 NKJV)
Their hearts weren’t in the right place any more. Are ours? Are we willing to obey His teaching?
During Lent, this season of repentance, let us ask the Lord to get our hearts on the right side — His side.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we don’t quite understand the words of Scripture, times when we need Your guidance through the written or spoken Word. But when we do, we ask that You would speak to our hearts, and get them in the right place. We ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Joel Jongkind <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Meaford, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission