Summary: Simply defined hardheartedness is to be without a soft heart. In the physical world, this would be applied to our relationships with others. In the spiritual; world,, there is a direct application towards god and his plans and desires for us. This chap
TAKING A LOOK AT HARD-HEARTEDNESS
INTRODUCTION: SIMPLY DEFINED HARDHEARTEDNESS IS TO BE WITHOUT A SOFT HEART. IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD, THIS WOULD BE APPLIED TO OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS. IN THE SPIRITUAL; WORLD,, THERE IS A DIRECT APPLICATION TOWARDS GOD AND HIS PLANS AND DESIRES FOR US.
THIS CHAPTER OF HOSEA IS RICH IN TEACHING REGARDING HARDHEARTEDNESS, SPECIFICALLY ITS CAUSES, ITS CONSEQUENCES, AND HOW TO CONQUER HARDHEARTEDNESS IN OUR LIVES.
I. THE CAUSES OF HARDHEARTEDNESS IN OUR LIVES
A. INGRATITUDE -- Hosea 10:1 Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones.
1. THE WORD FOR SPREADING MEANS EMPTY
2. ISRAEL WAS A SPREADING VINE THAT MISUSED THE FRUIT
3. MISUSE – ATTRIBUTING TO IDOLS WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ATTRIBUTED TO GOD
4. WE CAN GET CAUGHT UNAWARE OF INGRATITUDE IN OUR LIVES
5. LEVELS OF GRATITUDE
a. LEVEL ONE – BEING GRATEFUL WHEN WE ARE BLESSED
b. LEVEL TWO – BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE HOPE OF BLESSING TO COME
Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
c. LEVEL THREE – BEING GRATEFUL DURING TRIALS
Philippians 1:3-6 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
INGRATITUDE TAKES SEED WHEN WE ALLOW OURSLEVES TO EXPERIENCE IT AT ANY OT THESE THREE LEVELS
B. INSTABILITY -- Hosea 10:2 Their heart is deceitful, and now they must bear their guilt. The LORD will demolish their altars and destroy their sacred stones
1. THE WORD DECEITFUL MEANS TO BE SMOOTH OR SLICK LIKE OIL, DOUBLE-TONGUED.
2. SMOOTH OR SLICK HEARTS ARE EASY TO SIN HEARTS BECAUSE NOTHING STAYS ON THEM LONG ENOUGH TO AFFECT THEM.
3. SO FOR ISRAEL ( AND US), WE COULD GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS OF DOING ONE THING WHEN IN REALITY WE ARE INTENT ON DOING ANOTHER
4. GOD, THROUGH HIS WORD IS ALWAYS CHALLENGING US TO TO MAKE UP OUR MINDS AS TO WHO WE ARE GOING TO LIVE FOR – HIM OR SELF
Jeremiah 3:10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense," declares the LORD.
1 Kings 18:21 Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." But the people said nothing.
Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.
James 4:4 You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Revelation 3:15-16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
James 1:8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
5. THE MAN WITH A DIVIDED HEART LEADS A DISTRACTED, RESTLESS LIFE.
a. HIS LIFE IS NOT CONTROLLED BY THE WISDOM OF GOD.
b. SOME FOLKS WILL NOT TRUST CHRIST AS THEIR SAVIOR BECAUSE THEY ARE DOUBLE-MINDED.
c. THEIR INDECISIVENESS IS IN ESSENCE A DECISION, A DECISION NOT TO TRUST IN HIM.
d. GOD WANTS US TO MAKE UP OUR MINDS, BELOVED.
e. THE BEST THING WE CAN DO IS CHOOSE TO SERVE HIM.
C. INDIFFERENCE -- Hosea 10:3 Then they will say, "We have no king because we did not revere the LORD. But even if we had a king, what could he do for us?"
1. THE PEOPLE HAD NO NEED FOR GOD IN THEIR LIVES
2. THE PEOPLE MINIMIZED THEIR NEED FOR GOD IN THEIR LIVES
3. SCRIPTURE WARNS US THAT THERE IS A WAY THE SEEMS RIGHT UNTO MAN BUT THE WAYS THEREOF ARE THE WAYS OF DEATH.
4. WHEN WE BEGIN TO MINIMIZE THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES, IT CANNNOT HELP BUT FLOW DOWN INTO EVERY OTHER RELATIONSHIP WE HAVE!
D. IMPOTENT PROMISES – Hosea 10:4 They make many promises, take false oaths and make agreements; therefore lawsuits spring up like poisonous weeds in a plowed field.
1. DISLOYALTY TO GOD BREEDS DISLOYALTY TO MEN
2. AFTER ALL – IF WE CAN GT AWAY WITH IT WITH GOD, WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET AWAY WITH IT WITH WHOEVER WE CHOOSE.