1: The great throbbing center of all human life and activity is the heart. No other organ carries so much responsibility for the well being of the body. Every other part of the body is entirely dependent on the heart. All the organs have their own special work to do. The lungs enable us to breathe. The kidneys filter the fluid of the body. The stomach and intestines digest our food for us, and all the rest play their parts. But the one great organ on which all the others depend is the heart. Constantly, day and night, year after year your wonderful heart continues to beat. When you are at rest it beats quietly, and slowly, conserving its great reserve powers for the times when they might be sorely needed.
2: If an emergency should arise, your heart will quicken its pace, speeding up the circulation of the blood wherever it may be needed. When your heart is strong and healthy, the whole body benefits. But it is so important for you to take care of your heart, for upon its condition depends your ability to get the most out of life.
3: Now, if you'll place your hand on your chest, a little to the left of the center, you'll feel that great throbbing center at work. That is your heart. Its function is to move the living stream of blood through all parts of the body, feeding all the cells, and removing all the waste materials. If your heart should fail, your life would end. For that reason it is important that we give this wonderful organ all the care it deserves.
4: What causes the heart to break down and wear out? Can a man strain his heart by overwork? No, it's very unusual to strain the normal healthy heart by overwork, surprising as that may sound. The heart is much more likely to be damaged by disease and poor habits of living rather than by overwork.
5: Some common causes of heart trouble include severe nervous and emotional strain, insufficient proper exercise, overeating, and the lack of proper rest. All these tend to weaken the walls of the blood vessels in the heart. Fortunately, the heart is built of very tough materials that don't break down easily. The muscles of the heart are more durable than any other muscle tissue in the body. When we examine the inside of the heart, we find that it is divided into 4 large chambers. These chambers are lined with a very smooth durable lining which offers no resistance to the bloodstream as it rushes through on its way to the lungs and to the rest of the body.
7: The outside of the heart is covered with a tough fibrous bag called the pericardium. This protects the heart from damage on the outside. At the same time it also provides a smooth water-lined casing in which the heart can move freely without interruption.
8: It is simply amazing how much work the human heart will do in a day. At a normal rate of speed the heart beats about 70 times a minute. This amounts to more than 100,000 contractions every day, or 37 million a year. In 70 years this adds up to more than 2 billion heartbeats. Such figures are too great for us to really comprehend.
9: People often ask, "How does the heart keep going so long without breaking down or wearing out?" No machine made by man can begin to match the human heart for efficiency or durability. Every day your heart pumps between five and ten tons of blood. That is an enormous amount of work for an organ about the size of your fist.
10: For its size the heart is the most wonderful pump in the world. And, you know, there is not one piece of metal in it. Although it may weigh only about 250 grams or pound, it continuously sends a living stream of blood coursing through many miles of tiny vessels, feeding every cell in the body, and helping to repair the tissues wherever damage may have occurred.
11: The human heart has great reserve powers. Normally the heart pumps about one quart of blood every minute when the body is at rest. But during hard exercise, or hard work, it may pump as much as twenty-five quarts of blood each minute. That means, that in an emergency your heart can pump about 25 times as much blood as it normally pumps while at rest.
12: And here's another wonderful thing; if your heart has been damaged by diseases, it repairs itself while it works. If infection should strike, and the valves begin to leak your heart will thicken up its own muscular walls to compensate for any lack of efficiency.
13: Even while it works, the heart's own cells are busy selecting from the bloodstream the materials they need for their own growth and repair. Your heart will do this for perhaps 70 or 80 years; maybe more, if you are good to it, without losing even a few minutes for repair.
14: Your heart beats according to the needs of your own body. The heart of an athlete, because it has been developed by hard training and exercise, beats more slowly than the heart of the average person. The heart of a child beats almost twice as fast as that of an adult. It would seem that the smaller the animal, the faster the heart beats. For instance, the heart of a mouse or a small bird beats about 1000 times a minute. That is almost seventeen times a second.
15: Compare this with an elephant whose heart beats only twenty-five times a minute normally. Do you ask, "What causes the heart to beat?" Well, this is a question to which scientist don't know all the answers. However, there is a very delicate machine called the electrocardiograph which reveals that tiny electric currents are generated within the heart itself. These electric charges are apparently responsible for the contractions or beats of the heart.
16: The speed at which the heart beats is governed by what is called the pacemaker. This is located near the top of heart at the right side. The pacemaker is like a small radio station broadcasting its waves out over the auricles. These waves are picked up by another substation lower down in the heart. From there, they are transmitted along a special network of very fine filaments or fibers to the ventricles. In this way, the beat or rhythm of the heart is controlled by the impulses from the pacemaker. These, in turn, are controlled by the needs of the body.
17: How do we keep the heart running smoothly? By following the laws of health which you have been learning in these studies. Proper food, fresh air, pure water, sunlight, rest and proper exercise. These things will help your heart to work well for many extra years of happiness.
18: Long before scientists knew all these things about our wonderful hearts, the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon, under the inspiration of the Spirit of God wrote, "Keep thine heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." The heart has long been considered the source of our emotions, love, hate, anger, jealousy etc. These are things that make us the people we really are.
19: From our first parents, Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, we have inherited hearts that are by nature at variance with God. We are born rebels against God and His government. This is something we have inherited.
20: One of the most important lessons man can learn in this life is that he is by nature a rebel against God, a sinner. God has told us about this through the Prophet Jeremiah, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" Jeremiah 17:9.
21: As soon as man begins to recognize this as a fact, he immediately starts looking for ways by which he can justify himself before God or do some penance or punishment of his own body that he thinks will please God and so persuade God to overlook or pardon his sinfulness and rebellion.
22: God disclaims any willingness to accept anything a man may do to cleanse himself of sin. Again through Jeremiah God says, "For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God." Jeremiah 2:22. There is no amount of washing and bathing in any water or river of this world that can make us clean in God's sight.
23: Again, through Jeremiah, God says, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin?" "Or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good that are accustomed to do evil." Jeremiah 13:23. We recognize the force of God's question at once. No man or animal can change his inherited characteristics of color or skin markings. Isaiah explaining the condition of man writes, "From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores: they have not been closed neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment." Isaiah 1:6. In Chapter 64 and the 6th verse, he continues, "But we are all as an unclean thing and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away.
24: Man having sinned is doomed for ever. "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23. It is only Jesus who can save us from death because it is only He who has shed His sinless, spotless, and sanctified blood for the human race. He never committed a single sin in his life on earth, yet He died to pay for all man's sins.
25: So, He invites the sinners to come as they are in their sinful condition. "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18. Jesus invites all because all need His cleansing and sanctifying power. "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11 :29. We are to come to Jesus as we are, and having come to Him, we are to confess our sins to Him who is "faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9.
26: Who ever comes to Jesus will not be cast away. "Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us. He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depth of the sea." Micah 7:18, 19.
28: This was what David was thinking of as he prayed in Psalms 51:10. "Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, renew a right spirit within me." David knew that he could not do anything for himself, but God could do everything for him, if he would go to God as he was.
29: Sanctification is the goal for us to reach. Nothing short of this will prepare us for heaven. This is possible as Christ dwells in us through His spirit. We should allow Him to make His dwelling place in our hearts. This can be accomplished as we choose to be led by Him and follow the path of obedience. Jesus is coming soon and only those sanctified through His blood will be ready to go with Him. May God bless us so that we can live a sanctified life through Him.
Here is additional information about the plan of salvation:
"For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye." Ezekiel 18:32.
"Let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Revelation 22:17,
"He (Christ) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5.
"Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy Him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." Hebrews 2:14.
"But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Romans 5:8:9.
"But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, 0 Jacob, and He that formed thee, 0 Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.":Isaiah 43:1.
"Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10.
This concludes your BETTER HEALTH MADE SIMPLE course. May God bless you as you put to use what you have learned.
CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING YOUR LESSONS!!
Remember to not delay to put into practice what you have learned. God will help you and bless you as you seek to live the Better Life!