Do you really know your heart? What God says about it? And He wants it to be? Who is the real you? Your feelings? Your thoughts?
The word “heart” in Hebrew is mostly the word “leb” and in the Greek “kardia”. The heart is the innermost center of the natural condition of man. It is the center of the rational-spiritual nature of man.
The heart is the seat of love (1 Tim. 1:5) and of hatred (Lev. 19:17). It is the center of thought and conception; it knows (Deut. 29:4; Prov. 14:10), understands (Prov. 8:5; Isa. 44:18; Acts 16:14), deliberates (Neh. 5:7), reflects (Lk. 2:19), and estimates (Prov. 16:9). The heart is also the center of feelings and affections; of joy (Isa. 65:14); of pain (Prov. 25:20; Jn. 16:6); all degrees of ill will (Prov. 23:17: Acts 7:54; James 3:14); of dissatisfaction, from anxiety (Prov. 12:25) to despair (Eccl. 2:20); all degrees of fear, from reverential trembling (Jer. 22:40) to blank terror (Deut. 28:28; Psa. 143:4).
It is the governing center of the entire person, with all his attributes, physical, intellectual, and psychological. Character, personality, will, mind are modern terms which all reflect something of the meaning of “heart” in its biblical usage.
H.W. Robinson gives the following good classification of the various senses in which the word “heart”, the Hebrew words of which are “leb” and “lebab” are used:
1. The physical organ or a figurative use – 29 times
2. Personality, inner life, or character in general (e.g., motives, nature) – 257 times
3. Emotional states of consciousness, found in widest range – 166 times
4. Intellectual activity – 204 times
5. Volition/will or purpose – 195 times
The New Testament usage is very similar.
Gen. 6:5 What did the Lord say about the heart/nature of mankind before He destroyed the world with the flood?
Would you have ever pictured all of mankind’s basic nature and/or thought-life in this way?
Is this how you view your human nature and/or thought-life apart from the new nature that is received through conversion(trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior), and why?
Gen. 8:21 What does God say about the intent (inclination, thoughts, and desires) of mankind’s heart (mind) from his youth(“neurim” – which means the very time when mankind begins to act with consciousness)?
Is this how you view the inclinations of “nice, innocent”, little kids?
Is this how you see the thoughts and desires of your own childhood?
Gen. 20:2-6 What does this passage say about king Abimelech’s heart (motives) in regard to taking Sarah as a wife?
Have you ever been just about ready to do something in all honesty of heart (motives) only to discover that what you were about to do was wrong?
Or, you actually did something with pure motives, only to find out later that it was wrong to do?
Ex. 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17
What does it say that God did to Pharaoh’s heart/will?
Why did God do this?
How do you feel about what God did, and why?
Ex. 25:2; 35:5 From whom did God want a contribution?
Why do you think that God specified this as the motive or prerequisite?
When you contribute things to God or people, what motivates you to do so, or what’s your attitude in or for contributing what you do?
Num. 15:39-40 Why did God want the Israelites to wear tassels on the corner of their garment?
Do you have any kind of reminders (i.e., notes, posters, bookmarks, etc.) to help you keep perspective on obeying God’s Word rather than your own desires, goals, drives, or feelings?
If so, what?
And how effective have they been in keeping you on target with obeying God rather than your own wants and lusts?
What could you do that you’re presently not doing that would help remind you to obey God rather than your feelings and desires?
Deut. 4:3-4, 9 Why were the Israelites to give heed to themselves and keep their souls diligently?
How quickly do you forget the lessons that God teaches you or the answers to prayer that He grants you?
How can you keep these lessons from ever departing from your heart (thoughts)?
Deut. 4:29 After falling away from God, when would the Israelites find God again?
Have you ever backslid or fallen out of fellowship with God for a time and then genuinely repented (changed your thinking) and then desired close fellowship with God again with all your heart (will/purpose)?
If so, what happened?
Deut. 4:39-40 What were the Israelites to take to heart (mind), and why?
How seriously do you take to heart/mind the fact that the Lord is God in heaven and on earth?
Do you take it to heart to the point where it motivates you to obey the Bible?
Or, is it just intellectual, factual data that doesn’t budge you to take action in your Christian life?
How does a person go about taking this to heart?
Deut. 6:5 (Mk. 12:30) How were the Israelites to love the Lord God?
[To love the Lord with all your heart (will/purpose) is to love Him with full sincerity of choice.].
Are you doing this, and why?
What things keep you most often from loving God in this way, and why?
How can you prevent this from happening in the future?
Deut. 8:2-3 Why did God test the Israelites during their wilderness wandering?
Has God ever tested you by bringing trials, hardships, and/or pressures into your life?
If so, what did you discover about your heart (inner being/nature/character) as far as your attitude toward God?
Did you keep obeying, loving, and serving God in spite of these trials, and why?
Deut. 8:11-14 What were the Israelites to watch out for (beware of) when things would go well for them and they’d forget to keep God’s commandments (Deut. 8:14)?
When things are going well for you, do you tend to forget about God (your prayer times as well as Bible study times get shorter or cut out) and get proud of heart/mind, thinking that it’s you or your achievements that are gaining your success or prosperity?
How can you prevent this?
Deut. 9:4-5 What weren’t the Israelites to say in their heart/mind when God was to drive their enemy out of the land?
When God does some good thing for you, do you automatically think that it’s because of your righteousness or something good about yourself?
Deut. 10:12-13 How were the Israelites to serve the Lord?
How do you serve God (e.g., half-heartedly; out of obligation; lazily; apathetically; or wholeheartedly), and why?
Deut. 13:1-3 Why would the Lord allow a false prophet or dreamer to have a sign or a wonder come true?
Have you ever allowed circumstances which seem to fall into your favor or in line with your desires to cause you to depart from loving (obeying) God in what you once knew was right and His will (e.g., evangelism and building up believers), and instead you went after other gods (e.g., career, romances, money, sports, music, possessions, etc.)?
What can you do to prevent yourself from allowing mere circumstances to determine God’s will for you, and why?
Deut. 17:16-17 Why shouldn’t a king over Israel multiply horses, wives, or gold for himself?
Has your heart (love for) ever turned away from God because of selfish desires (i.e., possessions, relationships, money, etc.)?
If so, what happened?
How can you prevent this from happening?
Deut. 20:8 Why did the army officers encourage the fearful and fainthearted soldiers to go home?
If you’re pursuing a mission or project that God has given you and your Christian team to do, and some of the people in your team are afraid and fainthearted to go on the mission, what might be the wisest thing that you could do, if you were one of the team leaders?
Deut. 26:16 What were the Israelites to carefully do with all their heart and soul?
Is your attitude one of carefully seeking to obey God’s Word, the Bible, with all your heart/will/purpose and soul/desire?
If so, how do you plan to do so specifically?
If not, how would or could you specifically carry this out?
Deut. 28:47-48 Why were the Israelites going to serve their enemies?
How do you serve God (e.g., grudgingly; mechanically; out of obligation; or with joy and a glad heart/disposition), and why?
1 Sam. 7:3 God promised that He would deliver the Israelites from the Philistines if the Israelites did what?
If someday you find yourself worshiping or serving the gods of career, sports, money, possessions, computers, popularity, music, romance, family, education, or politics, and you want to be delivered from your enslavement to them or the mess your life is in because of them, do you know what you’d need to do?
If so, what?
Will you return to the Lord with all your heart/inner being, and why?
1 Sam. 14:7 What did Jonathan’s armor bearer say to Jonathan?
Have you ever expressed your loyalty to a close Christian friend in this way or some similar way?
Or, has anyone ever expressed his/her loyalty to you in a similar way?
Do you think that God would have you to tell someone this?
1 Sam. 17:32 What did David, the shepherd boy, tell King Saul that should not be?
Has your heart/emotions ever failed (been in despair) because of a hopeless looking situation (or a giant of a circumstance threatening your life)?
Why was this so?
What will it take for you to have David’s perspective (1 Sam. 17:37, 45, 47)?
2 Sam. 6:16 What was Michal’s (David’s wife) attitude when she saw David leaping for joy before the Lord because the ark of God was returned safely to Jerusalem?
Have you ever despised anyone because you were jealous of that person’s love for God and/or things spiritual (e.g., doing evangelism and building up believers spiritually)?
Or, have you known of anyone who despised you in his/her heart/mind because of your love for God, His Word, or will (e.g., in doing evangelism and building up and training believers)?
2 Sam. 24:2, 10 How was David feeling after he had sinned by numbering the people of Israel, whom God had previously told David not to number?
Has your heart (conscience) ever troubled you (with guilt) after you’ve sinned?
What did you do to remedy your troubled heart (e.g., rationalize your sin or confess it and do what God wants you to do)?
1 Ki. 3:6 How does Solomon describe his father David’s life (“walk”) before God?
Could people say this about your father? Or about you?
If not, what would you need to start doing for your heart/character to be upright (morally honest)?
When will you start?
1 Ki. 3:9 What did Solomon ask God to grant him, after God had told Solomon that he could ask for whatever he wanted?
For what would you have asked God (e.g., money, a mate, a popular career, an understanding mind, etc.), and why?
1 Ki. 8:17-19 What was in the heart/desire of David?
How did God view David’s heart/desire (1 Ki. 8:18)?
What is in your heart/desire to do for the Lord, and why?
1 Ki. 8:61 What does Solomon tell the people of Israel?
Is your heart (your entire being) wholly devoted to the Lord as demonstrated by your obedience to His commands, and why?
Have you ever admonished anyone to do this?
If so, when, and why?
1 Ki. 8:66 Why were the people of Israel joyful and glad of heart?
Is your heart (feelings) glad when God blesses other godly people, or are you jealous of them, and why?
1 Ki. 11:1-4 Why did God tell Solomon not to associate with foreign women?
Why is it important to not closely associate (if at all) with people (whether Christians or not) of the opposite sex who are good looking, but are living in sin, carnal, worldly, or out of fellowship with God?
And why is it important to not pursue a relationship with non-Christians or Christians of the opposite sex who have wrong priorities, values, goals, objectives, or purpose in life (those contrary to the Bible – those excluding biblical evangelism, building up spiritually and training Christians, and living holy lives themselves)?
Will you heed this warning?
1 Ki. 11:9-10 Why was the Lord angry with Solomon?
Has the Lord ever been angry with you because your heart/inner being (the real you) turned away from Him to go after selfish desires and self-centered goals?
If so, why did you let this happen?
How can you prevent this from happening again, or for the first time?
1 Ki. 12:26-27, 32-33 What did Jeroboam devise in his own heart/mind (1 Ki. 12:32-33), and why?
Have you ever devised evil or wrong things in your heart/mind, for selfish reasons, in order to keep others from doing what is right and trying to drag them down to your level of sinful living, and why?
1 Ki. 15:3 What does this say about King Abijam’s heart (inner being/self)?
Are you just partially devoted to God, doing just those things which are convenient and comfortable for you or that fits in with your schedule or goals, and why?
If so, what do you plan to do to be wholly devoted to the Lord and His Word, and when will you start?
1 Ki. 15:11-14 What does it say about King Asa’s heart/inner being (the real person/self)?
What are you doing to insure that your heart is wholly devoted to God all of your days, and not just when you are an idealistic, young person?
Will materialism, career, money, settling down in marriage, raising a family, or anything else detract your heart (i.e., you) from being wholly devoted to the Lord and His mission for your life (i.e., witnessing and building up believers), and why?
2 Ki. 10:31 What was King Jehu not careful to do?
Does carefulness imply determination and watchfulness as an act of your will?
How do you demonstrate carefulness to do so with all your heart?
2 Ki. 14:1, 3, 10 What did military victory do to this good king’s heart (mind)?
Though you may be a spiritual or good Christian now, what steps do you plan on taking now to avoid having a proud heart over any successes that God may grant you?
2 Ki. 22:11, 13, 18-20 Why was God going to spare king Josiah from seeing Judah desolated and let him die in peace instead?
Is your heart/inner being that tender (sensitive) to sin both in your own life as well as in those around you, so that you weep because of it and deal with it (by turning from sin)?
1 Chron. 12:33 With what kind of heart/will/purpose did the army of Zebulun help David?
When you support/help someone that you believe is in the right, do you support him totally and loyally, and why?
1 Chron 12:38 With what kind of heart did all the men of war come to Hebron to make David king over all Israel?
If you have ever helped place a spiritual person in a leadership position, did you do so with a perfect heart (having no ulterior motives or separate interests, but simply because you believed the person qualified to be in that position)?
1 Chron. 22:19 What did David tell the people of Israel to set their heart/will/purpose and soul to do?
Is your heart set on worshipping God by showing honor and allegiance to Him in obedience and praising Him, and why?
If so, how are you doing this specifically, or how could you be?
1 Chron. 28:9 What did David tell his son Solomon to do, and why?
Did your father ever give you advice like this? Has anyone?
Have you ever given another Christian this counsel?
Are you serving God wholly (with entire determination/singleness of purpose) or just partially (with divided allegiance), and why?
1 Chron. 29:17 What does David say that God does to our heart/inner being (i.e., the real you)?
Has God tried (tested) your heart recently to see whether or not He is your first love and priority?
If so, how did He do that (for example, was it giving you a choice: between Him and an appealing job that would interfere with your service to Him; or between Him and a relationship with someone that would hinder your obedience to His Word; or between Him and an opportunity for comfort and ease apart from doing His perfect will)?
2 Chron. 12:14 Why did King Rehoboam do evil?
Do you think that this could be one of the major reasons why you do evil when you sin?
How does one go about setting their heart/mind/purpose to seek (pursue an intimate relationship with) the Lord?
Is this what you’re doing, and why?
2 Chron. 16:9 Whom does God strongly support?
Is your heart/inner being completely His, or is it divided among other desires and interests (i.e., sports, pleasures, politics, hobbies, home, cars, grades and education, lust, computers, money, etc.), and why?
What do you need to start doing right now to give Him your complete heart (love, obedience, and loyalty)?
Will you, and why?
2 Chron. 25:2 What does it say about King Amaziah?
Have you ever read your Bible, prayed, shared your faith with someone, and/or built up Christians spiritually, but did so reluctantly or with wrong motives rather than because of your whole-hearted love for God?
If so, how can you prevent this from happening again?
2 Chron. 26:16 What was the result of king Uzziah’s becoming militarily strong?
Have your good looks, intelligence, popularity, possessions, job, grades, money, etc. made your heart/mind proud so that you made foolish decisions and became unfaithful to God?
How can you avoid this from happening?
2 Chron. 32:24-26 Why didn’t king Hezekiah give a return (of thanks) for the benefit he received from the Lord?
What was the result of Hezekiah’s pride?
Does this give you an incentive to never let your heart get proud?
How did Hezekiah stop God’s wrath (2 Chron. 32:26)?
If you ever realize that you are proud of heart (maybe you haven’t given the Lord a return, a thank You, for a benefit you’ve received from Him), will you humble yourself and do what you know is right?
2 Chron. 32:31 Why did God leave king Hezekiah alone (safe from his enemies)?
Has God ever left you alone (free from enemies, troubles, or trials) for awhile in your Christian life, to test you in order to see what was in your heart/mind (whether you’d get proud because you feel that your time of peace or prosperity is somehow due to you)?
If so, what did you discover about your heart/thinking?
2 Chron. 36:11-13 Besides stiffening his neck, what else did King Zedekiah do against the Lord?
Have you ever hardened your heart/will against turning to the Lord and not humbled yourself before a Jeremiah (a spiritual leader or trainer) who spoke for the Lord (so to speak) in confronting your sin as he spoke from what the Bible teaches?
If so, what should you do about it, and why?
Ezra 7:9-10 Why was the good hand of God upon Ezra?
Is your heart/mind “set” on studying, practicing, and teaching God’s Word, the Bible?
Or, is your heart (set) on graduating from college so you can get a job to make lots of money, so you can get married, raise a family, and then retire comfortably, and why?
[Though there is nothing wrong with these things in and of themselves, they become wrong if placed above loving and obeying God and His purpose for your life in evangelizing and helping to build up Christians spiritually, Matt. 28:19-20; 1 Thes. 5:11.].
Job 31:7-11 Job asks to be judged if what was true, Job 31:7?
Do you allow your heart/desires to follow your eyes (lusts, covetousness, desires for selfish gratifications), or does your heart follow the Word of God and what you know to be God’s will for your life, and why?
Psa. 4:4-5 What does David say that we should do upon our bed in addition to being still?
Do you ever take time to be still and meditate on (think about) God, your life, and how you can love, obey, and trust Him more fully?
If so, how often, and why?
If you have not, when will you start, and why?
Psa. 9:1 What does David say that he will give to the Lord with all his heart/being?
When you give thanks to God, do you do it with all your heart/being or just mechanically mouth the words?
How can you insure that your thanks will be sincere and genuine with each occasion that you give it?
Psa. 11:2 What does it say that the wicked do to the upright in heart (character)?
Knowing this, does this demotivate you from becoming upright (morally honest)?
Psa. 12:1-2 How does the treacherous speak falsehood to one another?
Have you ever been a two-timer, saying one thing to someone (i.e., making promises or giving compliments) and yet doing or thinking another thing (being deceptive, a liar, or fickled)?
Has anyone ever done this to you?
How did that make you feel?
Psa. 14:1 Who has said in his heart/mind, that there is no God?
Have you ever thought this in your heart/mind when things didn’t turn out or go for you the way you wanted them to, or when God didn’t answer your prayers the way you wanted?
Psa. 16:8-9 Why is David’s heart glad?
Is your heart glad when you continually set the Lord before yourself (to do His will; keep His commandments) and realize that He’s right beside you, as His child?
Psa. 19:8 What rejoices the heart according to David?
Do God’s commandments motivate you to rejoice, or do you view God’s precepts as a burden and move you to depression and guilt, and why?
Psa. 19:14 What does David pray would be acceptable in God’s sight?
Have you ever prayed this?
Do you think that the meditations of your heart/mind would be acceptable to God, or are your meditations (thoughts and day-dreams) filled with lust, jealousy, pride, and covetousness?
How can you change what you meditate upon, and will you?
Psa. 25:16-17 What does David say has enlarged?
Have you ever prayed anything like this for similar reasons, and why?
Psa. 26:1-2 What did David ask God to do (Psa. 26:2)?
Have you ever asked God to test your mind and heart/feelings to see if they were properly God-centered, and why?
Psa. 27:1-3 What would David’s heart/emotions do even if surrounded by enemies?
Why (Psa. 27:1)?
What would your heart/emotions do in a similar situation, and why?
Psa. 27:8 When God told David to seek Him, what did David’s heart (he himself) say to God?
When God tells you to do something, like go “make disciples (converts) of all the nations”, what does your heart (you yourself)say?
Psa. 28:7 In whom does David’s heart (he himself) trust?
Because David is helped, what does his heart do?
What or whom does your heart (you yourself) trust in, and why?
Psa. 31:23-24 What are we (godly people) told to let our heart/inner being do?
When circumstances are not going the way you’d like, what do you let your heart do, and why?
Psa. 37:4 What does it say that God will do if we delight in the Lord?
Have you experienced God giving you the desires of your heart (inner being)?
If so, what?
Psa. 44:20-21 What does God know?
Do you ever dwell on the lusts of your heart/mind or evil schemes, thinking that no one will ever find out or know what you’re thinking?
How will remembering this passage change your thinking, and why?
Psa. 51:10 What did David ask God to do after he confessed his sin?
Is having a clean (pure) heart/life your desire after you have realized that you have sinned, or do you deep down really want to commit that same sin again, and why?
Psa. 51:16-17 What does God prefer over animal sacrifices to Him?
After you sin, do you try to buy God off by either doing things for Him or giving Him things, or do you have a humble and repentant heart/attitude over your sin, and why?
Psa. 61:1-2 What does David do when his heart/courage is faint?
What do you do when your heart is faint?
Do you give up or give in to the pressures?
Do you get bitter toward God and/or people?
Or, do you pray, and why?
Psa. 62:8-10 Whether things are or aren’t going well for you, what should you do (Psa. 62:8)?
Is this what you do or are doing, and why?
What shouldn’t we set our heart/thoughts and feelings upon for safety, security, or well-being (Psa. 62:10)?
What are you setting your heart upon for your well-being in life, and why?
Psa. 66:18 When does the Psalmist say that the Lord will not hear his prayers?
Do you think that the Lord will hear your prayers if you regard/cherish sin in your heart/life, and why?
If you know there is sin in your life, will you continue to rationalize it, cherish it, or confess it, and repent of it, and why?
Psa. 69:3-4, 20 What has reproach done to David’s heart?
Has your heart (emotions) ever been broken?
If so, what did you do, and why?
Psa. 73:13 What does the Psalmist think that he has done in vain?
Why does he feel this way (Psa. 73:3, 14)?
Have you ever felt that you have kept your heart/life pure in vain as you’ve viewed the seeming fun and prosperity of the wicked as opposed to the pressures of living a godly Christian life?
How does the Psalmist finally deal with his original feelings (Psa. 73:16-20, 25-26)?
Have you come to grips, with an eternal perspective, that the wicked will perish while the godly will be in heaven with God?
If not, do you think that having such an eternal perspective will change your thinking about the seeming vanity of keeping your heart pure, and why?
Psa. 73:21-22 When was the Psalmist senseless and ignorant and like a beast?
Have you ever acted senseless and ignorant and like a beast because you had bitterness in your heart/mind?
What did you do about your bitterness, and why?
Psa. 78:17-18 How did the Israelites put God to the test in their hearts/thinking?
Have you ever put God to the test in your heart by asking for selfish desires (e.g., for lots of money, a non-godly mate; material possessions for yourself, etc.)?
What does God sometimes do with our selfish desires (Psa. 78:29)?
But how does God really feel about our selfish desires (Psa. 78:31)?
What do we sometimes do when God disciplines us (Psa. 78:34)?
But what do we sometimes do after a short time (Psa. 78:36), and why (Psa. 78:37)?
How steadfast, consistent, genuine, and faithful is your heart/will in sticking with promises you make, and why?
Psa. 81:11-13 What did God do to Israel after they wouldn’t listen to Him?
Has God ever given you over to the stubbornness of your heart/mind because you wouldn’t listen to Him?
If so, what happened?
How can you prevent this from happening in the future, or get out of the mess you’re now in, if you are living in disobedience now?
Psa. 90:12 Why did the Psalmist ask God to teach him to number his days?
Why do you think that the Psalmist’s awareness of the shortness of his life would affect how he would present his heart/life to God?
How are you presenting your heart/life to God, and why?
Psa. 95:10 What does God say about the hearts/lives of the Israelites?
Would God say this about your heart/life at the present time, and why?
Psa. 101:3-5 What did David say shall depart from him?
Do you agree with David, that you don’t want a perverse (obstinate/stubborn) heart/attitude, and why?
What are you doing to insure that you don’t have a perverse heart?
Who won’t the Psalmist endure?
Do you condone, tolerate or ignore people who have arrogant hearts/attitudes?
Psa. 107:11-13 How did God humble the hearts/lives/attitudes of the Israelites?
What did they do before the Lord saved them out of their distresses?
Has God ever humbled your heart/attitude with labor or with having you do something that you did not like?
At what point did the Lord deliver you from your distress?
Psa. 119:2 Who is blessed (happy)?
Are you blessed (happy)?
If not, could it be because you’re not seeking Him with all your heart/whole being?
Psa. 119:34 Why did the Psalmist pray for understanding?
Have you ever prayed for understanding for this reason?
Is your obedience to God (keeping His laws) done with all your heart/whole being?
Psa. 119:36 For what does the Psalmist ask God?
Have you ever asked God to direct your desire/heart to the keeping of His commandments?
Psa. 119:80 Why does the Psalmist desire a blameless heart/life?
Do you desire a blameless heart, and why?
Psa. 141:4 For what does David ask God?
Have you ever asked God to not direct your desire/heart to any evil thing so as to commit sin, and why?
Psa. 143:3-4 What was David’s heart/mind like because his enemies persecuted him?
Has your heart ever been appalled (discouraged within you), and why?
What did you do to deal with your heart condition, and why?
What did David do (Psa. 143:7)?
Prov. 2:2, 5 What does Solomon tell his son to incline his heart/desire to, and why?
Is your heart/desire bent on understanding (seeking to be understanding of life, people, God, etc.), and why?
Prov. 3:3 What are we to write on the tablet of our heart/mind?
What does this mean?
How would a person go about doing this?
Why do you think these two qualities are important?
Prov. 3:5 What are we to do with all our heart/being?
Are you doing this?
In what areas/situations of your life, and why?
In what areas aren’t you, and why?
Prov. 4:23 What are we to do, and why?
How can you specifically watch over (guard) your heart/mind, so that right actions (springs of life) flow from it?
Prov. 5:11-13 How did the guy who later fell into adultery/fornication feel about being reproved by his teachers (Prov. 5:12)?
Does your heart (i.e., do you) hate and spurn the instruction and reproof of your spiritual leader?
Prov. 6:16, 18 What is the Lord’s attitude toward a heart/mind that devises wicked plans?
Does your heart/mind ever devise wicked plans toward those whom you’re jealous of, or those who have wronged you in some way?
Prov. 6:23-26 What shouldn’t guys desire in their heart/mind, and why (Prov. 6:26)?
[“a loaf of bread” – means “go broke”].
Do you want to go broke by wasting your money on this sin as well as suffer other consequences, and why?
If not, what do you plan to do about it?
Prov. 7:10 What is the heart/mind of a harlot/prostitute like?
And what does that sometimes result in for a naïve guy (Prov. 7:22-23, 26)?
Are you wise enough to avoid the craftiness of immoral women?
If so, how?
[Guys shouldn’t allow their heart/mind to turn aside to the harlot’s ways (fantasizing immorally) because they’ll be cast down and slain, Prov. 7:25-26.].
Prov. 10:8 What will the wise of heart/mind receive (i.e., gladly accept)?
What does that mean to you?
Do you gladly accept the commands given to you by both God and your spiritual leader, so that you’d be considered wise?
Prov. 12:25 What does anxiety in the heart/mind do?
What can make it glad?
When you see people who have anxiety of heart, do you try to give them a good word to cheer them up, and why?
Prov. 13:12 What makes the heart/mind sick?
Has your heart ever been sick for this reason?
If so, what specific hope was deferred?
How did you deal with your heart sickness/depression/discouragement?
Prov. 14:13 What may be true of the heart/emotions even in laughter?
Have you ever pretended to be happy when on the inside you were in pain/hurting?
If so, why did you?
Prov. 14:14 Who will have his fill of his own ways?
Have you ever fallen away from God in order to “do your own thing”, only to discover that in time it really didn’t satisfy you?
If so, what did you do about it at that point or thereafter?
Prov. 15:13 What makes a cheerful face?
What happens when the heart/feeling is sad?
How often is your heart joyful, and how often is it sad, generally?
What makes your heart to be in each of these conditions (e.g., circumstances; what you dwell on; etc.)?
Prov. 15:28 What does the heart/mind of the righteous ponder?
Do you think before you speak, or just babble whatever impulses you have, and why?
What are the benefits of thinking before speaking?
Prov. 16:5 Who is an abomination to the Lord?
What are you doing to prevent yourself from being an abomination to God?
And what happens before destruction (Prov. 18:12)?
How much do you fear destruction/ruin for this reason?
Prov. 17:3 What does it say that the Lord does?
How do you feel about the Lord testing your heart/attitudes, and why?
What do you think He would discover about your heart/attitudes (e.g., that you’re genuinely committed to Him; supremely love Him; give up anything or anybody to follow and serve Him; or, that you’re just playing games and are not sincerely serving Him)?
Prov. 21:2 Though every man’s way is right in his own eyes, what does the Lord do?
Do you think that God is only concerned about your outward actions and not your motives?
Do you only view your choices and actions and always think that they are right?
What could you do to be more aware that your motives, not just your actions, are very important to God?
Prov. 22:15 What is bound up in the heart/inner character of a child?
And what will remove it far from him?
Was this true of your childhood?
Prov. 23:6-7 Though selfish people may tell you to help yourself with their food, what is true of their heart/true feelings or thinking?
If that’s the case, what shouldn’t we do?
When you’re confronted with this situation, what will you do, and why?
Prov. 23:12 To what are we to apply our heart?
Are you delighting and giving (applying) your heart/mind to discipline (instruction)?
If so, how?
Prov. 23:17 What shouldn’t we let our heart/mind do?
Do you ever envy the possessions, wealth, power, prestige, or immoral relationships of sinners, and why?
Prov. 24:17-18 What shouldn’t we let our heart/emotions be glad about, and why?
Have you ever been glad (gloating) about your enemies ever stumbling (having problems or failures), and why?
Prov. 25:20 What is a person like who sings songs to a troubled heart/mind/life?
Are you sensitive to the troubled hearts of people, so as to not joke or make light of serious or sorrowful situations?
If not, how can you learn to be?
Prov. 26:24-25 Who shouldn’t we believe when he speaks graciously, and why?
How gullible are you to the gracious sounding words of hateful people?
Prov. 28:14 What will happen to the person who hardens his heart/mind (is unteachable)?
What steps are you taking so that you don’t fall into disaster because of being unteachable to biblical advice or teaching?
Prov. 28:26 Who is a fool?
Why would this be the case?
Would Jeremiah 17:9 and Titus 3:3 shed some light as to why?
If so, what light?
Eccles. 7:9 For what shouldn’t we be eager in our heart/emotions, and why?
Are you eager in your heart to be this way, and why?
Eccles. 7:26 What did Solomon discover as more bitter than death?
Do you have to discover this by personal experience before you’ll be careful to watch out for this?
Eccles. 11:9 What does Solomon sarcastically tell young men to follow?
What will this result in, however, if the young man does this?
Are you following the impulses of your heart/emotions and the desires of your eyes (i.e., sexual lusts and fleshly romances; greed for wealth or materialism; power or position; etc.) rather than waiting upon God to provide for you what He thinks you need and when He thinks you need it?
Jer. 7:23-24 How did the Israelites walk (live)?
As a Christian, have you ever lived this way and gone backward in your Christian life rather than forward, and why?
About what were you stubbornly resisting God (e.g., who or when to marry; what to do after college – secular career or full-time Christian work; the priority of building up believers spiritually and evangelism over personal desires, goals, and ambitions; giving up some sport, hobby, activity, or relationship in order to have the time to be spiritually trained and to train others…)?
Knowing this, what changes do you plan to make in your life, and how soon?
Jer. 11:20 What does Jeremiah say that God tries?
When was the last time God tested your feelings and heart/attitude toward Him?
How did He do this, and what happened?
Jer. 17:5 Who is cursed?
What would it take to turn your heart/inner being from the Lord (e.g., a disappointment of unanswered prayer; a romance with a person who doesn’t want God and His mission of building up Christians spiritually and evangelizing the lost being first in your life; a job that consumes all of your time and energy, so that you’re too tired to spend time with God in Bible reading, prayer, and evangelism; a career that causes you to compromise your integrity and biblical morals; an incurable, long-term illness), and why?
Jer. 17:10 What does it say that the Lord does?
When God does this to you, what do you think that He will find, and why?
Ezek. 28:5 What did increased riches do to the king of Tyre’s heart/mind/attitude?
How can you prevent riches from lifting up (bringing pride) to your heart?
Matt. 5:8 Who is blessed (happy)?
Are you one whose heart (inner character/being/thoughts/motives) is pure?
If not, what do you need to do to be sincere, honest, and correct in your heart?
Matt. 5:28 What has a guy who looks on a woman to lust for her already done in his heart/mind?
Did you ever think that just because you never committed the outward/physical act of adultery or premarital sex, that you never committed either sin?
Have you discovered by now that in God’s view to think something in your heart/mind is as though you did it outwardly?
How will this affect your motives, thoughts, attitudes, and feelings in the future?
Matt. 6:19-21 Where will a person’s heart/mind be?
Why do you think that this is so?
Where is your treasure (what’s very valuable or important to you), why, and is this what God thinks it should be?
Matt. 12:34 What does the mouth speak?
What fills (consumes/occupies) your heart/thinking?
Is this what you most often talk about, and why?
Matt. 15:18-19 From where do evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slander come?
Have you ever thought that your heart/human nature contained these things, and why?
Matt. 18:34-35 How are we to forgive Christians who offend or owe us something?
Do you forgive from your inner being those who offend or owe you something, and why?
Matt. 19:8 Why did Moses permit the Jews to divorce their wives?
Was it God’s original intention that anybody should divorce for any reason at all?
When people’s hearts/minds are hardened (calloused toward God), what don’t they care about?
Mk. 3:5 What was Jesus’ reaction to the hardened hearts/thinking/feelings of the Jewish religious leaders?
Have you ever been grieved over the hardened heart of another Christian because that Christian wanted to go his own way and do his own thing, rather than God’s?
Has anyone ever been grieved (that you know of) over the hardness of your heart?
How did you respond to their grief, and why?
Mk. 6:51-52 Why didn’t Jesus’ disciples gain any insight from the incident of the loaves (Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000)?
What can you do to prevent your heart/mind from being hardened/closed, so that you can gain insight into the things that God wants to teach you?
Will you be making a conscious effort to prevent the hardening of your heart?
Mk. 7:6 What can and has been true of some people who honor God verbally?
Have you ever shared your testimony, evangelized, given a speech, or in any other way verbally honored God, but you did so mechanically rather than genuinely, because your heart/inner being was far away from God?
If so, did you realize that your heart/inner being was far away from God at the time?
If so, what did you do about it, or what should you have done about it?
Lk. 8:11-12 What does the devil do to some people who hear the Word of God, and why?
How do you think that the devil takes away the word/gospel from their minds (e.g., 2 Cor. 4:4)?
Lk. 18:1 Why was Jesus telling His disciples a parable here?
When persecution or opposition for your Christian faith and lifestyle comes your way, do you lose heart/motivation (get depressed and discouraged), or do you pray and share your feelings and thoughts with God in order to gain a new perspective and strength, and why?
Lk. 21:34 What did Jesus tell His disciples to be on guard about?
Is your heart/mind weighed down with the worries of life (e.g., career, finances, marriage, popularity, possessions, graduating college, etc.)?
If so, how can you prevent your heart from being weighed down with these things?
Lk. 24:25 What did Jesus say to His disciples after His resurrection, other than that they were foolish?
How quick are you to believe what the Bible says?
For example, how quick are you to believe the Bible’s teaching that God’s will/purpose for your life is to evangelize the spiritually lost and build up believers spiritually and that this should be a higher priority in your life than your career, schooling, wife, husband, children, parents, self, etc. (Lk. 18:28, 30), and why?
Lk. 24:38 What question does Jesus ask His followers during one of His resurrection appearances?
Do doubts ever arise in your heart/mind as to things that (Jesus or God through) the Bible says to you (e.g., His will for your life, His promises, etc.), and why?
Jn. 13:2 What did the devil put into the heart/mind/will of Judas?
Have you ever known of a disciple (follower) of some Christian leader today who betrayed (turned on to do harm to) his/her spiritual leader?
Do you think that demonic influences were involved in this betrayal, and why?
Jn. 14:1 Why weren’t Jesus’ disciples to let their hearts/minds be troubled?
As a Christian, when circumstances look bad for you here in this life, why don’t you have to let your heart be troubled?
How does knowing God’s Word (His promises, as in Rom. 8:28; 5:3-5; Jas. 1:2-4; 1 Pet. 5:7) help?
Acts 2:36-37 Upon hearing Peter’s gospel message, what does it say happened to the Jews who had come to Jerusalem (Acts 2:5) from all over the world?
And what did they say?
How do you respond to God’s Word (either upon reading it or hearing it taught by someone) when it points out sin, disobedience, or error in your life, and why?
Acts 4:32 Who was of one heart/purpose and soul?
Are you of one purpose and mind with the Christians who you fellowship regarding all that the Bible teaches, and why?
Acts 5:3 Who had filled (controlled) Ananias’ heart/will to lie to the Holy Spirit?
Were you aware that Satan could control the hearts/wills of apparent Christians to sin?
Has your heart ever been controlled by demonic forces to do wrong, that you know of?
If so, how did you know?
Acts 7:39 Besides repudiating God, what else did these Old Testament Jews do?
Have you ever initially been obedient to God in action, but later turned back in your heart/mind to do what you once were doing because of selfish desires?
Acts 8:18-22 What does Peter tell Simon the magician (vs. 9) because he thought that he could buy the gift of God?
Have you ever wanted spiritual powers or a leadership position because of pride?
If so, did you realize that your motive/heart was wrong?
Did someone point this out to you, or did you discover this on your own?
In either case, what did you do about it, and why?
Acts 11:21-24 With what kind of a heart/mind did Barnabas encourage the new believers in Antioch to remain true to the Lord?
Have you ever encouraged another Christian to remain true to the Lord and to do so with a resolute (determined/faithful) heart?
Or, has anyone ever done so to you?
If so, how did you feel about him/her?
Acts 15:8-9 How did God not make a distinction between Jews and Gentiles who believed in Christ as personal Savior?
How has or is your heart/inner being cleansed of its sin, and why?
Acts 21:10-13 How did Paul respond to the local residents begging him not to go up to Jerusalem?
Has anyone ever broken your heart/feelings?
If so, how did you cope with it?
Rom. 1:21 Whose foolish heart/mind was darkened?
Do you know anyone like this?
If so, how do you feel about their attitude?
Rom. 1:22-25 Because some people exchanged the glory of God for corruptible images, what did God give these people?
From where did you derive your concept of God (e.g., books, school, religious people, church, or the Bible)?
How does your concept of God affect the way you live?
Rom. 6:17 What did the people at Rome, who were slaves to sin, become?
From where (what source) does your obedience to God and the Bible stem, and why?
Rom. 9:2-4 How does Paul feel about the Jews (his brethren, kinsmen) not being converted to Christianity, to salvation?
Is there anything or anybody over which/who you have unceasing grief in your heart/feelings?
Rom. 2:14-16 In what way do the Gentiles, who don’t have the Law (God’s Word/revelation) show that they have become a law to themselves?
Have you ever wondered why primitive peoples who’ve never heard of the Bible or the 10 Commandments have regarded murder, stealing, etc. as wrong?
Has this passage helped to explain why?
Rom. 10:9-10 When shall a person be saved, and why?
When or how were you saved?
How often do you confess with your mouth, Jesus as Lord?
Rom. 16:17-18 What does the smooth and flattering speech (of those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the Bible) do?
Has your heart/mind ever been deceived by so-called Christians who flatter you into thinking that NT, Christ-styled evangelism and building up believers spiritually and training them is not for today?
If so, how did you come out of this deception?
What should be our relationship to those who deceive, and why?
1 Cor. 4:4-5 What will the Lord do when He comes?
What do you think the Lord will expose as to your motives for all the various things you have done for God and people?
Were your motives self-centered (e.g., to get a pat on the back and recognition from people, or to get a good feeling from helping someone out), or to glorify God?
2 Cor. 2:4 How did Paul write to the Christians in Corinth?
Why did he write to them such a rebuking letter?
Have you ever written to someone out of much anguish of heart/emotions?
2 Cor. 4:15-16 Even though Paul and his helpers were getting worn down physically because of persecution and rough living conditions (“outer man is decaying”) and because God’s grace was spreading to more people to God’s glory, what was true of Paul and his companions?
Do you lose heart/motivation (enthusiasm and strong desire) for the Christian life, when persecution, opposition, and criticism come your way because you’re trying to obey and serve God in the best way that you know how?
How do you deal with these feelings?
2 Cor. 9:6-7 How were each of these Christians to do their giving (donating money to help out other Christians in need)?
When you give money to help support Christians in need, how do you give, or how do you determine the amount that you give, or what’s your attitude in giving?
2 Cor. 1:21-22 What did God give us Christians in our hearts/lives and for what reason?
Are you appreciative that God gave you the Holy Spirit as a pledge that He’ll follow through on giving you eternal life in heaven?
Gal. 6:9 In what shouldn’t we lose heart/motivation, and why?
Do you ever lose heart in doing good, especially when what you do is either unnoticed, unappreciated, or even criticized, and why?
How do you keep from quitting or losing heart, especially in these kinds of situations?
Eph. 1:18-19 For what did Paul pray for these Ephesian Christians?
Are the eyes of your heart/mind enlightened?
How do you know?
Have you ever prayed that the eyes of the hearts of Christians you know would be opened?
Eph. 3:13 What did Paul ask these Christians not to do, and why?
Have you ever lost heart (been discouraged, given up, been depressed) at the trials or hard times that Christian friends of yours have had?
What was the outcome, or how did you finally respond to the situation, and why?
Eph. 4:17-19 Why were the Gentiles living in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God?
When a Christian has a hardened heart/mind (Mk. 6:52; Heb. 3:13), how can we walk (live), Eph. 4:17?
Have you ever made some foolish decisions and lived in the futility (uselessness and vanity) of your mind, being darkened in your understanding of God’s will for you, because you had a hardened heart?
What eventually happened, or are you still living in that condition?
Eph. 6:21-22 Why did Paul send Tychicus to the Christians at Ephesus?
Have you ever comforted another Christians’ heart/emotions when they were experiencing stress, discouragement, or disappointment?
Eph. 5:17-19 What are we to do with our heart/mind to the Lord?
Do you ever sing in your mind to God, and why?
If not, what will it take for you to start doing so?
Eph. 6:5-6 How were slaves to obey their masters?
How do you obey those whom are in authority over you, and why?
Phil. 1:6-7 Why did Paul feel that it was right to have confidence in God’s perfecting a good work in these Christians?
Do you think the best of certain people because you have them in your heart (thoughts of a warm, positive, and good attitude toward them)?
If so, why would you have certain people in your heart?
Phil. 4:6-7 What will guard our hearts/emotions and minds in Christ Jesus when we’re tempted to worry about circumstances?
What do we need to do for this to be true, however?
Are you doing this?
Col. 3:12 What kind of heart (attitude or disposition) are we to put on (choose to have as an act of our will)?
Have you chosen to have this kind of heart?
If so, why, and when?
Col. 3:15 What are we to let rule in our hearts/inner being?
Are you doing this?
1 Tim. 1:5 What was the goal of Paul’s instruction?
What is the goal of your instruction of others, and why?
If it’s not for them to love God and others from a pure heart/motivation (purified of all corrupt affections), why not?
2 Tim. 2:22 We are we to pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with whom?
Are you pursuing these qualities?
If so, are you doing it alone or with someone else?
If with someone else, does that person have a pure (unmixed, single-minded, loyal) heart/motivation?
Why would this be important to do?
2 Thes. 2:16-17 What does Paul desire/pray for regarding the hearts/inner being of these Thessalonian Christians?
Why would Paul pray for something like this?
Have you ever prayed this for anyone?
2 Thes. 3:5 What else does Paul desire/pray for regarding the hearts/inner being/lives of these Christians?
Why would Paul pray for this for them?
Have you ever prayed this for someone?
Philemon 1:20 What does Paul ask Philemon to do?
How was Philemon to do this for Paul (Philemon 1:15-18)?
What are some ways you can refresh people’s hearts/inner being/lives in Christ?
Have you refreshed anyone’s heart in Christ lately?
Philemon 1:7 What did Philemon do to the hearts/lives of the saints?
Could people say this about you?
If not, when will you start?
Heb. 3:12-13 Why were these Hebrew Christians to take care (be careful; beware)?
Have you ever fallen away from God or been on the brink of falling away from God because of an evil, unbelieving heart/mind?
[Maybe you felt that God let you down by not answering your prayers, or letting a close friendship break apart, or not coming through on one of His promises (i.e., Rom. 8:28; 1 Cor. 10:13; Matt. 6:33; etc.).].
What are we Christians to do to try and prevent this from happening, and how often (Heb. 3:13)?
Why should we do this (Heb. 3:13)?
Are you daily encouraging other Christians to trust God and His Word?
If so, how?
If not, what will you do to start being obedient in this area of encouraging?
If you’ve ever been on the brink of falling away from God because of an evil, unbelieving heart, what can or should you do to prevent actually falling?
[If the Christian life or God’s promises don’t seem to work for you, just remember that it does work, but something on your part isn’t right (i.e., expectations; concept of God; or disobedience on your part). Ask a godly Christian to help you out!!!].
Heb. 4:12 What is God’s Word able to judge?
[God’s Word probes the deepest recesses of the heart/mind and provides spiritual light for those who will accept its truth. If allowed to do its probing work, the Word leaves nothing hidden. It will reveal completely what man is – totally depraved apart from God’s influence.].
When you read the Bible conscientiously, does it often convict you of sin in your life (i.e., wrong motives, attitudes, actions, words, etc.)?
What do you do when you’re convicted of sin in your life, and why?
Heb. 10:19-22 Because we’ve been forgiven of all of our sins because of Jesus’ death on our behalf, how are we to draw near to God?
Are you drawing near to God with a sincere heart/inner being; or, are you playing games with God, being insincere in your Christian life; or, are you going through the motions of a Christian but being insincere because your heart/inner being is away from God?
If you answered “yes” to the 2nd or 3rd question in the above series of questions, what do you plan to do about it?
When, and why?
Heb. 12:2-3 Why are we to consider the hostility that Jesus endured from sinful people?
The next time you experience persecution, opposition, or criticism from people (i.e., non-Christians or worldly, carnal, disobedient Christians) for your obedience to God, will you reflect upon just how much Jesus suffered and died for you?
How will reflecting on this help you to keep on living an obedient life?
Heb. 13:9 It’s good for the heart (spiritual life of a person) to be strengthened by grace (the spiritual worship of God), and not by what?
Have you ever thought that the mere performance of external ritual, rites, and/or religious rules would strengthen your spiritual life?
How does God insist that we worship Him (Jn. 4:24) and thereby strengthen our hearts?
Heb. 3:7-8, 15; 4:7 What is said over and over again that the Jews weren’t to do?
Why do you think that this is stressed so much?
How does this apply to you?
Jas. 1:26 Who deceives his own heart/mind?
Have you ever been made aware, by anyone, that you were deceiving your own heart, because while thinking that you were spiritual, you were actually committing sin of some sort?
If so, what did you do when they made you aware of your deceived heart, and why?
Jas. 3:14-15 What shouldn’t those who have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in their heart/mind/inner being do?
Have you ever gotten proud and rejected God’s Word or certain commands in the Bible, such as to do evangelism and build up other believers spiritually (“lie against the truth”) because of bitter jealousy in your heart toward those who are doing aggressive/initiative evangelism and spiritually teaching and training other Christians?
Or, have you ever been tempted to pursue your own selfish ambitions, such as: getting a normal, regular, secular job and just comfortably settling down and maybe helping out in a church when it’s convenient rather than building and training believers and evangelizing the way the New Testament Christians did (and so “lie against the truth” by rationalizing this compromise of yours)?
What can you do to keep from being bitterly jealous or having selfish ambitions?
1 Pet. 1:22 What were these Christians to do, since they had in obedience to the truth purified their souls for a sincere love of the brethren?
Are you fervently (intensely) loving the Christians that you mingle with, and are you doing so from your heart/inner being(sincerity and genuineness)?
If not, how can and should you start doing so, and when will you?
Will your obedience to this be short-lived or on-going?
How can you insure that it will be on-going?
1 Pet. 3:14-15 Instead of fearing people’s intimidation for doing what’s right and being troubled, what should we do?
When things are going rough for you because of your righteousness, do you want to take charge of your life and do things your way, or do you sanctify (set/make) Christ as Lord, Master, and Controller of your heart/life, and why?
1 Pet. 3:3-4 With what imperishable quality are women to adorn the hidden person of their heart/lives?
Women, is your adornment precious in the sight of God?
Men, are you being attracted to and appreciating the right kind of adornment in Christian women – the hidden person of their hearts of a gentle and quiet spirit rather than to mere externals, like jewelry or clothing?
How can you encourage Christian women to adorn themselves in this way?