Summary: A message about how we need a clean heart.
Open with me to acts chapter 11 verse 23. It reads “Who, when he came and had the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cling unto the Lord.”
There are so many scriptures that talk about the heart of man. As early as Genesis 6:5 God tells us that the heart of man has become evil. In jer.17:9 it says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Now if the heart is evil the scripture says “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” So right there God lets you know that you can’t say you are good if you have any evil desires or thoughts in your heart. Thank God that He judges by the blood and not by how good we THINK we are!
But there is another heart I want to tell you about today. It is a heart that will cling to God. This is not the cold untouched heart of a man who is void of God! Because if it was then it would be impossible to love the lord thy God with all thy heart! This is the heart David prayed for in Psalms 51:10 when he prayed “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” This new heart is one that will cling to God and love Him. It is the only heart that can be accepted by God as being clean because it is washed in the blood of Jesus who died so that we may live!
So we know now that man is born with an evil heart. He is separated from God. So what is a man to do? How can we have a clean heart? Listen, you must have a clean heart to have fellowship with God and the life He gives! It is God who creates a new heart in you. We can not create a new heart that will follow God ourselves! Going to church isn’t going to do it either! You can’t force your heart to change anymore than you can force your mind to stop thinking! You can not command your heart to desire to seek God! It is not in our power to change our hearts. But it IS in Gods power! It’s God that knows the heart. He created it, and He can change it! He can give you a heart that has purposed to cling to Him.
People who don’t know God don’t know how you can think going to church is more fun than a night at the bar! They don’t have to look further than your new heart God gave you to find out though! God gives a Christian a new heart that this world can not understand! Listen, God is the one who places the desire to go to church in you and takes the desire for the bar out! But the only way to get this new heart is to repent of your sins and turn to God! When we do…God will take out our stony heart and put a clean new one in us!
The newly saved Christian will naturally desire to seek and do Gods will from his heart. He will be clinging to God. That’s why the church should be so different from the world. We have a different heart in us. But you know, sometimes we can’t seem to tell the church apart from the world. Sometimes we can’t tell ourselves apart from the world can we? Our hearts may not be seeking God like it once did. It gets hard to pray during the day. We open our bibles on Sunday (if we go to church) but on Monday it sits on the shelf because we feel that if we open it ourselves we “get nothing out of it”.
Let me tell you that the reason this is would be because we have not protected our hearts and our heart has turned from God to run after the world. We must repent as a church and as individuals! We don’t get anything out of our bibles because God won’t pour new wine into old bottles! It’s time to get real with God. It’s time to stop playing with the world and start living for God! We need to make God our focus at ALL times! And when we do repent of our caring more about what’s going on for lunch then what God is speaking He will give us a new heart!
When He does it is up to us to “put on the whole armor of God.” He gives us a breastplate of righteousness to guard our hearts! We must be righteous or our hearts will turn from God. The only way to be righteous is to walk with God. You must look to Him and seek Him always. Don’t let the cares or pleasures of the world steal you away from seeking God! Meditate and learn from God and walk in what He teaches. This is your guard over your heart. Do not allow your desires to be on earth for that is where your heart will be. So guard this pure heart by seeking God first everyday all day. You can live and do your daily tasks, just make sure you’re aware of God as you do so. If the word isn’t as exciting to you as the game on TV then maybe the game has become your God. You may need to check your heart and repent to have it made new again.