There is the classic (and poor) question, "Have you given your whole heart to Jesus?" As the folks at Table Talk Radio point out, the answer to that, in and of ourselves is. . . no. We are always sinful people with hearts that are torn and bruised and broken. Thanks be to God that Christ Jesus has given His whole Heart, indeed, given His whole Body over for us upon the Cross.
But yesterday in our Psalms study class, I saw something that just put a whole new perspective on this language.
Teach me your way, O LORD,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
Now, let's think about that for a second - it uses that "whole heart" language, language which can be used to throw such a massive guilt trip upon people. But that is no where near it's intent. See what happens -- "Unite my heart". That's where things start. Things start when God teaches us His way, how He does things, and that this way of God unites and heals our hearts.
Our Gospel for Sunday here begins: "Be merciful, even as Your Father in heaven is merciful." The way of the LORD is to be merciful, the Way of the LORD is Christ Jesus (I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. . .) going to the Cross so that He can shower mercy upon us in the Preaching of the Word, in the waters of Baptism, in giving us His whole Heart and Body and Blood in His most precious Supper. When it comes to fixing my heart, God Himself is the One who is active in this, the One who does in. This is a Christ thing, a thing He does.
And then, when we have received this wondrous gift, the heart that He has united and forgiven gives thanks and glorifies His name. We see this now in part, as we struggle through this life of sin, this life were temptation and trial continually shatter our hearts. . . but Christ Jesus continually unites our hearts - Creates in us cleans hearts (if you prefer the Psalm 51 language) -- and then finally, on the last day our hearts will be united in the resurrection of the dead, never to be broken again, and then we will truly give thanks to God, truly glorify His name forever."
Verse 12 - I give thanks to You, O God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify Your Name forever.
This is not a stick of the law with which to beat flagging Christians. This is a confession of faith in the Messiah who makes my heart whole, even now and forever more. This is a confession of faith in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come where my heart will be able to be given wholly and where my glorifying of God will never cease.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!