Summary: A message to have a healthy, holy heart.

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"Heart Health"

Matthew 15:1-20

Matthew 15:15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? 17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 9 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Introduction: Several months ago I attended the Mid-South Bible Conference in Nauvoo, Alabama and it was probably one the best conferences that I have ever attended. It was a powerful spiritual experience for me personally and I took several things away from the conference that have blessed me ever since. The speakers were Bro. Jim McComas and Bro. Will Beauchamp and God used these men in an extraordinary way to speak to my heart. Bro. Jim was still grieving over the loss of his son and it was a very emotional time for everyone present. These two men laid bare their hearts and God met with us. One of the messages Bro. Beauchamp preached has stayed with me and still speaks to me today. It is simple yet profound message. I trust that the Holy Spirit will use this message to bless you.

Most of you know that I have been dealing with some health issues in recent days related to my lifestyle and so I'm been paying more attention to my diet and other things that were recommended to me by my family physician. I have also been trying to take better care of my heart health too. I have a history of heart issues on my dad's side of the family that makes this an important issue. Many of you in this audience are familiar with medical terms like cholesterol, triglycerides and other important factors that determine heart health. But my message this morning is not about the physical health of our hearts but the hearts spiritual health. As we read our text it is obvious that the scribes and the Pharisees were more concerned with the disciples hands than their hearts, but Jesus states that our hearts our infinitely more important. The Scripture supports the Lord's position for when God was selecting a man to replace Israel's first king: 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

I. Four Things that Hurt Us

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...

To be honest most of us do things that hurt our heart health. We don't get enough exercise and our diets don't promote heart health. This is also true spiritually speaking. We develop habits and behaviors that are not conducive to healthy hearts. I want to share just 4 of those unhealthy habits with this morning. The first one is:

a. Unresolved Guilt -- I owe you

Because I have hurt you, betrayed you, wronged you or sinned against you in some way; maybe through unfaithfulness or infidelity or gossip or lies. Guilt is a powerful taskmaster.

ILL - In Edgar Allan Poe's story, "The Tell-Tale Heart" the main character committed murder. Unable to escape the haunting guilt of his deed, he begins to hear the heartbeat of the victim he has buried in his basement. A cold sweat covers him as he hears the beat-beat-beat of a heart, that goes on relentlessly. Ultimately the heartbeat drives the man absolutely mad, not knowing that it was not coming from the body in the basement, but from the heart within his own chest. So it is with a guilt ridden, unforgiving conscience.

b. Anger -- You owe me

ILL - In the movie "Forrest Gump", toward the end, Jenny goes back to her old home place that she grew up. As she & Forrest walk toward the house, she goes further & picks up rocks & throws them at the house. Eventually after breaking a window, she falls to the ground & Forrest comes & sets down on the ground beside her & narration takes place with Forrest saying" Sometimes there aren't enough rocks". This is a great iilustration for a message to be preached on hidden wounds in our lives. Whether it's sexual, verbal, or whatever abuse has taken place, we always will want to throw rocks at those deep rooted hurts or people who have hurt us in our lives.

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