Summary: This is the introduction to the new sermon series, "A Christian's Heart." In this sermon we look at the heart, specifically the spiritual heart and three aspects of what a Christian's heart should be, a loving, changed, and a heart that follows God.
A Christian’s Heart - Introduction
Today we’re going to begin a new series on the type of heart Christians are to possess. This morning I’m going to give you a little taste of this series as we look at three things I consider to be tantamount to anyone who calls themselves Christian, and then through this series we’ll look at even more qualities in even greater detail.
What is the heart?
Medically speaking, the heart is a muscular organ that pumps life giving blood to all parts of the human body through the body’s circulatory system of various blood vessels (arteries, veins, and capillaries). This provides the oxygen and nutrients that our bodies need to survive.
A heart that is healthy pumps the right amount of blood at a rate that allows the human body to function as God created.
When our hearts fail to pump the way they should, when disease attacks it, or our arteries become clogged preventing blood from flowing in or out of the heart at it’s optimal rate, then we are faced with danger and possibly even death.
So I think it’s safe to say that the human heart is one of the most important organs God placed in the human body.
But I think it’s also safe to say that a person’s heart is also one of the most important spiritual organs God has given to us as well. But the heart that I am talking about isn’t the human organ. Rather it is the spiritual part of us where emotions and desires reside.
This spiritual heart is seen from the very beginning when the Bible tells us that we have been made in both the image and likeness of the Lord God Himself, Genesis 1:26. And so God has a heart. But it’s not the physical organ that resides within the human body, although God created it, but He has a heart, one that can be broken over our sins, and a heart we are to follow.
In fact, it’s this seeking after the heart of God that God commends and is Himself seeking after amongst His people. He is seeking a people whose heart is seeking after His heart.
God tells us that He wants His leaders to have His heart so they can rightly teach His word.
“I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15 NKJV)
King David was such a shepherd and was commended by God for having such a heart. Look at God’s testimony of David.
“He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” (Acts 13:22 NKJV)
And so we’re to be actively seeking the heart of God.
Now, in our natural condition, which is the condition known as sin, the heart of man isn’t even lined up with God’s heart. Instead it’s evil, wicked, filled with deceit and treachery. So wicked and so treacherous is the human heart that we are easily deceived by it, but not so God, He knows it well. In fact, He’s the only one who knows our heart’s true condition.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10a NKJV)
The Lord is saying, “I know the heart, I know what’s in there.”
Jesus knew this about the human heart as well, being God and all; therefore He didn’t give Himself over to anyone. It says that He didn’t commit Himself to anyone because He knew what is in man, John 2:24-25.
Listen to Jesus explanation of the human heart. He said,
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” (Mark 7:21-23 NKJV)
And so what we need is a new heart, which is what the Lord promises in Ezekiel 36:26 to those who will seek Him for it, who will cry after it.
This was the cry of King David.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NKJV)
And the reason we need to pray this is because, as the Apostle Paul tells us, it’s with our hearts that we believe unto righteousness, Romans 10:10. Therefore Solomon tells us to guard our hearts.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)