Jude 2 - "Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied."

Man’s heart is the director of our minds, wills, and emotions. It’s the seat from which all the issues from within us bend.

But in our natural state, it has the worst problem:

Jeremiah 17:9 - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"

This deceit can cause us to think we love God but perhaps actually don’t. There will be evidences.

And so we are commanded to be on the watch, because of how central the heart is:

Proverbs 4:23 - "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."

Puritan Thomas Manton helps us examine if we really love God, and begins in this part with the heart. It comes from his excellent commentary on the Epistle of Jude.

You can listen to this part verse 2 here:

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The entire book is available here on Monergism’s site, and this section starts on PDF page 101 near the bottom…

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Thomas Manton – Jude Commentary

From Thomas Manton:

Use. Well, then, saints mind your work. Do you indeed love God? Christ puts Peter to the question thrice, John xxi. A deceitful heart is apt to abuse you. Ask again and again, Do I indeed love God? Evidences are these:-

  1. If you love God, he will be loved alone; those that do not give all to God, give nothing; he will have the whole heart. If there were another God, we might have some excuse for our reservations; but since there is but one God, he must have all, for he doth not love in mates.

    When the harbingers [who go a day’s journey before the king to make accommodations] take up a house for a prince, they turn out all; none must remain there, that there may be room for his greatness. So all must avoid, that God may have the sole possession of our hearts.

    The devil, that has no right to anything, would have a part, for by that means he knows the whole will fall to him; conscience will not let him have all, and therefore he would have a part to keep possession: as Pharaoh stood hucking [haggling] with Moses and Aaron; if not the Israelites, then their little ones; if not their little ones, then their herds; if not their herds, then their flocks: but Moses tells him there was not a hoof to be left.

    So Satan, if he cannot have the outward man, yet he would have the heart; if there be not room enough in the heart for every lust [generally, any corrupt desire], then he craves indulgence in some things that are less odious and distasteful; if conscience will not allow drunkenness, yet a little worldliness is pleaded for as no great matter.

    But the love of God cannot be in that heart where the world reigns. Dagon and the ark could not abide in the same temple; neither can the heart be divided between God and mammon.

    All men must have some religion to mask their pleasures and carnal practices, that they may be favourable to their lusts [corrupt desires] and interests with less remorse; and usually they order the matter so, that Christ shall have their consciences, and the world their hearts and affections.

    But, alas! they do not consider that God is jealous of a rival; when he comes into the heart, he will have the room empty. It is true, we may love other things in subordination to God, but not in competition with God; that is, when we love God and other things for God’s sake, in God and for God.

    When a commander hath taken a strong castle, and placed a garrison in it, he suffers [allows] none to enter but those of his own side, keeping the gate shut to his enemies. So we must open the heart to none but God, and those that are of God’s party and side, keeping the gate shut to others. We may love the creatures [anything created] as they are of God’s side, as they draw our hearts more to God, or engage us to be more cheerful in service, or give us greater advantages of doing good.

    Of what party are they? Bring nothing into your heart, and allow nothing there, that is contrary to God. When Sarah saw Ishmael scoffing at Isaac, she thrust him out of doors. So when riches, and honour, and the love of the world upbraid you with your love to God, as if you were a fool to stand so nicely upon terms of conscience, etc., when they encroach and allow Christ no room but in the conscience, it is time to thrust them out of doors, that the Lord alone may have the preeminence in our souls.

May God grant us diligence in keeping our hearts, and may we seek His help and power in this important work!

Continue on to part 2

— David