IT’S A MATTER OF THE HEART
PROVERBS 4:20-23 20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life
The Bible tells us that the heart is the seat of all actions of life.
The Heart is used in Scripture as the most comprehensive term for the real person. It is the part of our being where we desire, deliberate, and decide. It has been described as "the place of conscious and decisive spiritual activity," "the term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thoughts, understanding and will," and "the center of a person.
Lets examine our heart as we consider that salvation, sanctification, and service are all a matter of the heart.
1st of all Salvation is a matter of the heart.
A. The Heart of Man is the source of man’s lost ness.
1. Jeremiah 17:9 “"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; who can know it?”
2. Proverbs 23:7 7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
3. Psalm 51:10 10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
4. Scientists say that a snowflake at times have been found to have a tiny piece of dust at its core. They say some of them, so to speak has a "dirty heart"
B. It’s the Heart of Faith not the Head that is the vehicle of Salvation.
1. Romans 10:9-10 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation
2. Jeremiah 29:13 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
3. Mark 7:6 6He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
4. True Christianity is far more than head knowledge of Jesus. True Christianity is an unsaved human being saved from the source and penalty of sin forever.
Many people who think they are saved are not. Why? Because they have never receive Jesus into their hearts by faith.
They believe in their heads, but not in their hearts. They are missing heaven by 18 inches (the distance from one’s heart to one’s brain).
II. Sanctification is a matter of the heart.
A. Outward separation is not sanctification but contamination
1. Matthew 23: 25Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. 27Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness
3. Isaiah 29:13 13Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me,
Adolph Hitler was a master of outward religiosity—with no inward reality!
4. He made free use of Christian vocabulary. He talked about the blessing of the Almighty and the Christian confessions, which would become the pillars of the new government.
He appeared to possess the earnestness of a man weighed down by historic responsibility. He handed out pious stories to the press, especially to the church papers.
He showed his tattered Bible and declared that he drew the strength for his great work from it, as scores of people welcomed him as a man sent from God.
And that is also the way the Antichrist will seem & appear.
B. True sanctification begins inside.
1. Daniel 1:8 8But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself
2. 1 Peter 3:15 15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
3. We grieve the Holy Spirit by failing to keep our hearts clean.
Eph. 4: 30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
A new heart is not necessarily a clean heart, David committed a great transgression, and was pardoned, and he prayed, in PS. 51: 10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
12Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
A new heart is not necessarily a clean heart, Listen, 1st John 1 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us
This illustration helps to shed some understanding on that thought,
A mother who puts a clean dress on her child in the morning, and tells her to keep it unspotted all day long. But when night comes, the child’s dress is so dirty that it is hard to tell whether it is white or black but the mother cleanses it.
Listen; the child had the will to keep it clean, but the nature of the child made her get it soiled.
The same thing takes place every day with the little child, but if that mother could only impart some of her own spirit to that child, so that the child would not only have the will but the ability to keep clean, then it would be possible for the little child to stay clean.
That is exactly what God wishes to do for us and will do. This is the secret of victory over sin.
III. Also service is a matter of the heart.
A. Its not the “What” but the “Why” in service.
1. Matthew 23:5a 5But all their works they do for to be seen of men:
2. Matthew 6:5 5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward
3. There’s a story about a man who had a mouse in his house and his wife wanted him to catch it. His problem was that he didn’t have any cheese.
So he cut a picture of cheese out of a magazine and placed it in the trap. He thought, "I’ll just fool the mouse."
When he went to check the trap the next morning to see if he had caught the mouse he found a beautiful mouse in the trap. There was only one problem. It was a picture of a mouse. Counterfeit people who use counterfeit tactics will always produce counterfeit results!
B. Serving from the heart is the only service God recognizes.
1. Colossians 3:23 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ
2. Hudson Taylor, a missionary to China, believed that Christians should do all things wholeheartedly, not just those actions that can be seen. He reasoned, “As our Father makes many a flower to bloom unseen in the lonely desert, [let us] do all that we can do, as under His eye, though no other eye ever take note of it.”
3. Deuteronomy 10:12 12And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
Christ-focused service doesn’t distinguish between small and large. It indiscriminately welcomes all opportunities to serve.
5. Ephesians 6:6 5Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free