Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Not only can God remove our hard hearts of stone and give us new ones, he can construct pure hearts within us.

1. Johnny and the Duck (1)

A young boy who had just rec'd a slingshot for his birthday. He'd spend hours shooting rocks at various target/but he never seemed to be able to hit his target. One day he was in his Grandmother's house and he watched as her pet duck waddled by. On impulse he took aim with his slingshot and let fly. And he hit it... and the duck died.

"The boy panicked and hid the bird in the woodpile, only to look up and see his sister Sally watching.

After lunch that day, the Grandmother told Sally to help with the dishes. Sally responded, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn't you Johnny?"

And then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So, Johnny did the dishes. For the next several weeks he was often at the kitchen sink, sometimes for his duty, sometimes for his sin. And whenever he was tempted to object, his sister reminded him "Remember the duck."

What else could he do? His grandmother had loved him. But now he'd done a terrible thing and if grandma ever found out... she'd never forgive him. He DIDN'T DESERVE her love. And so... he did the only thing he could think to do... (pause...) He hid his sin. He buried the duck in the wood pile hoping that no one would ever find out

2. Our Tendency to Hide sin Adam and Eve; David's Sin and Cover-up -- 2 Samuel 11

a. Steals Bathsheba

b. Commits Adultery

c. Murders Uriah

3. The Exposure -- 2 Samuel 12

a. Nathan's Courage (12.7)

b. David's Responses -- 12.5-6; 13

4. Psalm 51 -- from this incident

a. His Prayer

b. His Penitence

c. His Possibilities

I. God is the Creator of Clean Hearts

[Last week we spoke from Ezekiel 36 and how God removes stone hearts and replaces with hearts of flesh; this week he CREATES clean hearts

A. CREATION, Not Remodeling

Did you hear the story about a group of scientists who got together one day and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God? So they picked one scientist to go and tell God that they were done with Him.

The scientist walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man and after the scientist was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this, let's say we have a 'man-making' contest." To which the scientist replied, "OK, great!"

God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam." The scientist said, "Sure, no problem" and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

Then, God looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"

The point is that, even if man can get to the point where he thinks he can be on the level of God, he hasn't even come close. Only God has the power to speak and bring this world into existence. Only God can create.

2. David chose to use the same word as in the Creation account in Genesis 1 -- "Bara"

B. We are Incapable of Creating a Clean Heart on Our Own

1. 2 Bachelors (2)

I heard about two bachelors (they may even have been ASU students) who were talking one day, and their conversation drifted from politics to sports to cooking.

One of them said, "I got a cookbook once, but I could never do anything with it."

The other one said, "Too much fancy work in it, huh?"

You first one said, "Yeah, it sure was. Every one of the recipes began the same way - 'Take a clean dish.'"

The problem with our relationship with God is much the same. God says, "Take a clean life", and we go, "Wait a minute, that's a problem. Because, as Paul said in Romans 3:23, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." And because we have all sinned, we're all in need of forgiveness.

2. Proverbs 20.9

Who can say, "I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin"?

C. Pure in Heart -- Matthew 5.8

1. Blessed to see God

2. Have Encountered God

II. Man Cooperates with the Creator of Clean Hearts

A. With a Spirit of Contrition (Remorse/Repentance)

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart -- These, O God, you will not despise." (Psalm 51:17).

1. I read once about a man who wrote a letter to the Internal Revenue Service saying, "I haven't been able to sleep lately because last year, when I filled out my income tax forms, I deliberately misrepresented my income. I am enclosing a check for $150.00, and if I still can't sleep, I'll send you the rest." That's not at all an attitude of contrition.

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