The Heart Comes First
Luke 6:45: A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The heart of the evil man is evil. It needs to be forgiven AND to be changed. The heart of the good man is good. It has been forgiven and changed. Only God can forgive sin and only He can purify the hearts of men.
Luke 5:21b: . . . Who can forgive sins, but God alone?
Acts 15:8-9: And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us (the Jews) and them, (the Gentiles) purifying their hearts by faith.
Mark 12:30: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
The heart is the leader of the soul, the mind and the strength. If we love the Lord with all of our hearts we will also strive to love Him with all of our souls, minds and strength. It is of primary importance that He possess our hearts.
Proverbs 23:26: My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
Thomas Scott on Verse 26:
*Give thyself wholly to wisdom.* . . . If this verse be considered merely as the words of Solomon to his son, or to the reader, it means no more than an affectionate call for earnest attention to instruction, and especially to the subsequent important caution. But in these chapters, Wisdom (that is, Christ, the Word and Wisdom of God) seem to address the reader as at the beginning of the book; and on that supposition, this verse is a call of Christ to every reader to give him his heart. The law demands love to God with the whole heart and soul; but sin and the world have possession of it in fallen creatures; and the express design of the gospel is to bring us, by repentance and faith, to give our hearts to the Savior, and to God through him, that he may there set up his kingdom, write his law, and reign the undisputed lord of all our affections. And unless this call be obeyed, all else will be decidedly rejected.
Adam Clarke on Verse 26:
*My son, give me thine heart.* This is the speech of God to every human soul; give thy affections to God, so as to love him with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Ephesians 3:14-21: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Without the presence and influence of Christ, our hearts are never satisfied and never able to love the Lord and please Him.