Summary: This sermon deals with the self inflicted damage we do to our spiritual hearts and God's prescription for healing.
Hearts On Fire, Luke 24:32
Luke 24:32 “And they said to one another, did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while he opened the scriptures to us.”
Did you know that the word “heart” appears in the King James Bible 830 times? Only the words Lord, God, and Father appear more often.
With this much of the old and new testament dedicated to the heart, God must have thought it very important for us to understand.
Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us, “above all else guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.”
Psalms 51:10 says, “create in me a pure heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
Indeed, our hearts, not the pump that circulates our blood, but the core of our souls, is of great importance to God.
The heart that scripture speaks of is just as important to our souls as the physical heart is to our bodies.
If the physical heart stops, our physical life ends. Without life in our spiritual heart, there is no life in our soul.
A few months ago, I had to be re-certified in CPR and the use of an AED. Just out of curiosity, how many of you know how to perform CPR? Do any of you know how to use an AED?
AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. It’s the device that shocks the heart and causes it to resume a normal rhythm after or during a heart attack.
In preparing this sermon, it occurred to me that we really need to have one of those here at the church, but that’s a matter for the next business meeting.
When I read Luke 24:32 it makes me long to experience Jesus in the same way these disciples did, they said, “did not our hearts burn within us.”
The more I thought about this verse, the more I asked myself, what would it take for our hearts to burn within us?
Even a casual study of scripture reveals that the spiritual heart is just as important, if not more so, as our physical heart.
Each of us, when we are born into God’s kingdom are given a vibrant strong beating heart that is at once on fire for the things of God.
Similarly, when we are conceived in the womb, within six weeks our new heart starts beating. I believe it became a slogan of the pro-life movement, “every abortion stops a beating heart,” and it is true.
Unless there is a congenital defect, the baby’s new heart will grow stronger as it grows to maturity.
So, I began to ask myself, what exactly causes our hearts to go from growing stronger to growing weaker and ultimately stopping?
Well, there are several factors that contribute to heart disease. But for the purpose of my message today, I want to focus on the ones that are self-inflicted.
I guess the number one contributing factor that we are responsible for is poor habits.
For instance, we don’t eat healthy. Several years ago it became a trendy advertising campaign to label certain foods as “heart smart.”
If the food you were buying had the heart smart logo, then it was a safe assumption that it would be good for you.
It is a known scientific fact that some foods will contribute to heart disease. What amazes me is that we can recognize this reality for our physical heart, but not for our spiritual heart.
So, what are some of the things we consume that give us spiritual heart disease?
a. Well, in today’s data rich society, I would say that concentrated doses of bad news don’t do us much good.
I quit watching the evening news years ago because I just couldn’t take it. Whether it was local or national, 30 minutes to an hour of murder, robbery, rape, and scandal can be overwhelming.
I don’t believe that God designed us to consume a steady diet of concentrated evil reports night after night. I believe that doing so causes a hardening of the heart.
With our 24 hour news cycle, CNN, FOX, MSNBC, it has gotten to the point where nothing shocks us anymore
Lucky for us, God’s word has a treatment for this problem and it can be found in Philippians 4:8, “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Let me challenge you, if you are inclined to watch the local and national news EVERY night, print this verse out in large letters and hang it next to your TV…