The Deceitful Heart

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Image of the word, "depravity", which summarizes our deceitful heart

Today’s Bible reading* paints a bleak picture of the human condition: we all have a deceitful heart. In fact, our heart is desperately sick. I mentioned a few days ago that Jeremiah had more to say about the heart.

The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—
who can understand it?
I, the LORD, examine the mind,
I test the heart to give to each according to his way,
according to what his actions deserve.
Jeremiah 17:9–10 (CSB)


We are blind to how deeply we are affected by the Fall. In fact, we don’t know that we don’t know how bad off we are without Jesus. If you “follow your heart”, be careful. Be very careful, because your heart will deceive you. We don’t see it. But God does. And only He does.

Nothing escapes His knowledge. He knows how incurable our hearts are. He examines and tests our hearts as a silversmith tests silver in a crucible. (Proverbs 17:3) He tests our hearts, not to see if we can pass the test, but He tests our hearts to refine them. And whatever is in our hearts will manifest in our actions and our words. (Luke 6:45)

God will deal with us according to our deserving actions. God will reveal everyone’s heart on Judgment Day. But He will also reveal the heart of His people who ask Him to before that fateful Day.

Why not spend a few minutes today, asking God to reveal your heart’s condition? As He shows you how stubborn and rebellious your heart is, confess those sins and ask Him to restore you to Himself. Ask God to apply the sacrificed blood of Jesus to your sin, to atone for it, to cleanse you from your sin, and to empower you to live a life that pleases Him.

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23–24 (CSB)

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
Jeremiah 17
Jeremiah 18
Jeremiah 19
Jeremiah 20

This devotional was originally published on August 13, 2021.

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