A Defective Heart

March 18, 2021
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Listen while you read: "O How I Love Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

In March 1993, I had chest pains and periods of shortness of breath. I went to see the doctor, and he referred me to a specialist. After a number of tests, it was determined that my aortic valve was defective. It was leaking badly, and it eventually would have led to a heart attack. On November 12, 1993, I had open heart surgery. My defective valve, as well as part of the aorta, was removed, and a pig valve was put in its place. Little was known about how well it would work or how long it would last. I was part of a group of 500 people worldwide who took part in a study. It was assumed that it would last ten to twelve years. It actually lasted eighteen years. In January 2012, it had to be replaced, and another tissue valve was put in. It is still working well.

Nicodemus also had a defective heart — not his physical heart, but his spiritual heart. Nicodemus, the Pharisee, held a position on the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council and ruling body. He did everything required of him by the law, but it seems that he was unhappy with his faith. He had heard about Jesus, the rabbi who was going around the countryside preaching, healing, and performing miracles, and he wanted to see Him. He was aware that Jesus was special, so when he met Him, this was his opening statement:

John 3:2b – Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. (NKJV)

Jesus told him that he must be born again — a difficult statement to understand. Nicodemus questioned Jesus as to how this could possibly be accomplished. So, Jesus explained to him that he needed a new beginning, a new heart, just like being born again. He needed to put all his doubts aside and believe in Jesus, because:

John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)

It appears that Nicodemus kept an open heart toward Jesus. Once, when the Pharisees sought to bring Jesus in for questioning, he even spoke up for Him:

John 7:51 – Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing? (NKJV)

After Jesus' death on the cross, Nicodemus became bolder in following Him. Accompanying Joseph of Arimathea, he brought about 75 pounds of spices to anoint Jesus' body after Joseph had received permission from Pilate to take the body for burial. He and Joseph took Jesus' body and laid it in Joseph's tomb in the garden. He had a new heart indeed.

How about you? Do you feel at times like you need a new spiritual heart? Some of us have never asked Jesus to give us a new heart and for the forgiveness that comes with a right relationship with God. If so, we need to do that now. Others of us have done this in the past, but feel that we have fallen away and need to restore Jesus as the Lord of our life. Jesus is just a prayer away.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I recognize that I am a sinner in need of Your forgiveness. If I have never asked You to give me a new heart, I ask You now to come in, to forgive me, and to give me a new relationship with Your Father. I surrender to You as Saviour and Lord of my life. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good words, Joel.


    Wonderful message as always.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Joel, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.


    Thank you so much for another of your inspiring and interesting messages. They are so well written and touch the heart!


    Yay for your ‘new’ physical heart, Joel, (and its longevity, as well as the new heart spiritually that has inspired this great devotional. Thank you.


    Joel,
    How wonderful it is that Jesus understands we may fall away, and then through his grace, restore us when we turn again to him with repentance. He refreshes us with His presence and forgiveness our wavering hearts.


    Hello Mr. Jongkind,
    I have enjoyed reading you devotionals for some time.
    I have been told I need a heart valve replaced because my aorta is getting larger, after reading your message today, it has given me an answer to my prayer.


    Greetings Joel. SHALOM
    You and I could be “first cousins”. On a routine test several years ago, I was found to have a serious defect in my aortic valve, and I needed four bypasses done. I now have a bovine valve, a leg without its main vein, and four bypasses.
    Your prayer is our prayer. Well done.


    What an exciting personal story. I praise God for scientists, surgeons and technicians who can quest to make life longer and living better! I get my vaccination tomorrow and am relieved that this treatment is being “rolled out” across Canada.
    Stay safe! God bless you in every way and keep that heart pumping!
    (BC)


    Hi. I had an aortic transplant about ten years ago. The doctors decided I needed my aorta replaced with a metal valve. Thank the Good Lord it’s working fine. I pray it continues that way.
    May the Lord keep you safe in His loving arms and keep your heart strong.
    I enjoyed listening to your devotional this morning.
    Take care and stay strong.


    I appreciate and am grateful for the thoughts you share with us.
    Thank you.
    Peace and blessings.


    Joel … a great analogy. Praise God that he works miracles – sometimes through surgeons.
    Blessings.

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