TXT:MT 15:1-10, 15-20
INTRO: Brain-eating amoeba found in water supply of New Orleans suburb
Foxnews September 16, 2013. Scientists have found a rare and deadly amoeba in the water supply of a Louisiana parish where a child died last month from a brain infection caused by the microscopic organism, according to state health officials. Test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the Naegleria fowleri amoeba was found in four locations of the St. Bernard Parish water system, the state Department of Health and Hospitals announced Thursday. State health officials say the water is safe to drink but can pose a risk of infection if the amoeba enters a person's nose. St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans, started flushing its water lines with additional chlorine last week as a precaution after the state linked the amoeba to the encephalitis death of the child, a 4-year-old boy from Mississippi who was visiting a home in the parish. The state says residents also can protect themselves by chlorinating their pools and avoiding getting water in their nose. Earlier tests had confirmed the amoeba was present at the home. Dr. Raoult Ratard, the state epidemiologist, said investigators suspect the boy became infected while playing on a "slip-and-slide."
"It was the only time where he was in contact with some water that could have penetrated all the way up into his nose," Ratard said. The process of flushing the parish's water system with chlorine is expected to continue for several weeks. Ratard said the test results aren't cause for residents to panic. "You just have to be a little more careful," he said.
I. THAT WHICH CORRUPTS
v. 15 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
Q: how did that get there?
1. Subtleness of sin
• We are born with sin nature, which is why we need to be made new
• We feed the sin nature when we take in things that are sinful
Illus. – boy playing in water on a slip – n- slide – microscopic organism in water. No warning, no sign it was there
2. As Christians we should not just stand against/be against things.
• We should be known more for what we are for.
• We should be for Jesus. We should be for living in such a way that pleases Him.
3. We should live a consecrated life, not a questionable life.
• This is not easy, but it is possible
• We have to guard ourselves. Filter what we take in
II. CHALLENGE OF CONSECRATION
Illus Child’s song: Be careful: .. little eyes what you see… little ears what you hear…little hands what you touch…little feet where you go
MT 6:22-23 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
1. Issue is not rules & regs. Jesus addressed this very thing
v.3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?
v.5-9 Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
• It is more than a matter of looking good outwardly. Pharisees majored on that. They looked good externally but inside their heart told a different story
Mt 23:25-26 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
• Being cleans outwardly is right, but if the inside is filthy it is all for show. Both inside & outside should match
• it is a matter of vigilance & preservation
2. What you see & hear go through the mind & heart – deposited there
• Something happens when there – when you allow things that ought not be there to take up residence – become part of you
• When allowed long enough you defile yourself and those things can become a beach head from which Satan attacks you. Can’t blame the devil for what you did to yourself.
• Eye gate – what you see. [movies, TV, video games]
• Ear gate what you hear [music, words in movies & other media. Words mean things!]
Music is powerful & can usher in a mood & mode of thought - sets atmosphere
Ex. Worship svc. If it can be used to draw us closer to God, it can be used to draw someone away from God to the worship & acceptance of false things
Ex. Soundtracks to films: imagine an action movie or horror movie with no sound track – less exciting or memorable. This is why film producers will recruit composers and whole orchestras & choirs for one film’s sound track.
• Satan knows this and capitalizes on it – uses it to capture the mind, imagination, emotion & inject his values.
3. What you expose self to will affect your heart.
• If you find yourself disagreeing with godly principles – things clearly evident in the Bible: find self opposing what God has said to where you constantly excuse the questionable need to ask yourself where did you get that idea from?
• Not from God – He is not going to contradict Himself!
Ex. Arsenic – in crystallized form looks like powdered sugar, when added in small amounts over time can kill you – don’t build up an immunity… it slowly poisons you & saps life out of you
• Same w/ things of the world that you willingly allow to permeate & reside in your life
• not talking re: things you are exposed to & resist, but those things you chose to allow in
• danger = no discernible instant harm/death, the subtle, imperceptible affect over time
1 Cor 5 & Gal 5. a little leaven leavens the whole lump
4. Holy Spirit’s job is to guide us & convict us:
Jn 16:8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment
Jn 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
• But He doesn’t slap our hands or cover our ears/eyes.
• He doesn’t make us do anything, but He may admonish & warn us:
• He may use scripture or simply say to you: “You should not be watching/hearing this.”
• Might use a sermon/bible study or use a brother/sister to speak to you (we hate this!)
-This is where people misuse the only verse besides Jn 3:16 they have memorized
– in the KJV no less! “Judge not lest ye be judged”
III. GUARDING YOUR HEART
Be careful little heart who you trust…
1. If you trust your heart to the things of the world, to people in the world it will be affected
V 19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
Prov 4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Prov 4:23-27 (MSG BIBLE) Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.
2. Have you been guarding your heart or are the gates of your heart open to the world?
Maybe you are selective in what filth you allow in – convinced yourself you can “handle it”
3. What is the condition of your heart? You words reveal it, just like an x-ray
4. Our hearts were not made to be able to deal with sin & corruption
• We can’t handle sin, nor do we hide it well.
• Your heart is touched by what your hands – your actions touch,
your heart goes the places your feet take you.
5. It is possible to have a pure heart that trusts Jesus & the people of God.
Illus – Stylites: Pillar-Saints are a type of Christian ascetic who in the early days of the Byzantine Empire stood on pillars preaching, fasting and praying. They believed that the mortification of their bodies would help ensure the salvation of their souls. UK Dailymail story: Maxime Qavtaradze, a 59-year-old monk, has lived a life of virtual solitude on top of a pillar high above his Georgian monastery for 20 yrs. When he wants to leave Katskhi Pillar, he spends 20 min. getting down a 131ft ladder. Supplies are winched up to him by his followers and he only comes down 2x /wk to pray with his followers. After making it to the top, Maxime told reporter that he became a monk after a stretch in prison and decided he wanted to make a change. The monk slept in a fridge when he first moved to the top of the pillar, but now has a bed inside a cottage. The Katskhi Pillar was used by stylites, Christians who lived on top of pillars to avoid worldly temptation.
• Answer ≠ follow a monastic life – physically hide away from world b/c temptation
• Answer is to be in the world but not live after the way the world lives
-don’t let the world get inside you
-don’t expose heart to that which is harmful
How do I know what is harmful?
Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
This is a good guide to use to filter what you see & hear. That and godly examples of headship – pastors, proven leaders, godly examples.
You may say: “Oh, pastor you are jumping to conclusions, you are being too cautious”
From News story: The boy's death is the third linked to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba in Louisiana since 2011, when a 51-year-old DeSoto Parish woman and a 20-year-old St. Bernard Parish man both died after becoming infected. A total of 32 infections were reported in the U.S. between 2001 and 2010.
This is not an isolated occurrence, 32 dead is still 32 dead – these are the reported incidents, how many go unreported?
How many poison a once strong faith & walk with God by not being careful of touching the unholy thing, taking in ungodly things w/ eyes & ears for sake of entertainment.
Key is to guard our hearts carefully. Holy Spirit desires to and can help if we listen to Him, obey Him.