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”.