Summary: The heart is the center of our being and what determines who we are. It’s important and needs to be watched carefully to avoid impurities.
(Based on Southeast Christian Church’s “living a Life of Integrity” and a message by Darrel Land)
SERIES: “WORDS OF WISDOM FOR KINGDOM LIVING”
TEXT; MATTHEW 5:27-32
TITLE: “GUARD YOUR HEART”
INTRODUCTION: A. Most Sundays I am excited to preach
1. I’m usually fired up to prepare a message and present it
a. I have to admit that it’s not really the case today.
b. Maybe you’re assuming that it’s because I’ve spent the last two weeks spending
over 4 hours a night in final rehearsals and performance of The Promise and that
--I am tired but that is not the reason
2. The passage we’re going to study this morning is a tough and controversial
a. It made me wonder why I decided to preach verse-by-verse through the Sermon
on the Mount.
b. But because that’s what I’m doing, I’ve got to bring a message about adultery,
lust, hell, and divorce.
--I thought I might preach on something easier – like MONEY!
3. It’s difficult to balance Jesus’ high standards with His grace and forgiveness
a. I know that discussing such sensitive subjects without offending peoples’
sensibilities is tough.
b. There are a lot of congregations that treat divorce as the unpardonable sin and
refuse to let anyone serve in a leadership position who has been divorced
--By the way, I can’t find biblical evidence of that position
c. There are also congregations that just ignore what Jesus teaches on these
difficult subjects altogether.
4. Now that I think about it some more, let’s just sing a few more songs and go
a. Well, I really can’t do that in good conscience.
b. The Apostle Paul told the elders at the church in Ephesus that he was glad that
he preached to them “the whole counsel of God.”
1). It’s the preacher’s job to communicate all of God’s Word to people.
2). We take an oath to preach the word “in season and out of season” and not
just to “say what itching ears want to hear.”
B. I’m going to ask that you remember today that I’m not the letter writer
--I’m just the mail carrier
1. I promise that I will do my best to teach you how I understand Jesus’ teaching and
how it applies to our life.
--Please promise to do your best to receive this message in love
2. Actually the subject of marriage and sexual purity is so important that we don’t dare
pass over it even though it creates tension.
a. If this helps to prevent one affair, one divorce, one broken heart, or one addiction,
it will be well worth the time we spend today.
b. More importantly, if one child is given a secure, loving environment in which to
grow up or one soul is saved for eternity, God will be glorified.
--Jesus challenges us to guard our heart. So let’s look carefully at what Jesus said
3. Mt. 5:27-32 – “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I
tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery
with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it
away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to
be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it