Summary: Our hearts are what direct us in life. They are our compass. If we fumble and our hearts go bad, then our behavior will follow suit, but if our heart is pure, then only positive behavior will follow. Learn how to recover a fumble and prevent a fumble.
Today, we are going to begin, the first part of a four part series, titled, “Full-Time Christianity.” Another way of saying it is Lifestyle-Worship. Imagine with me, you get your dream job. You start off with a high salary, full benefits, a retirement plan, and investment package. You get it all and today is your first day of work. You go in, get to it and have a blast. You stop and say to yourself. I am getting paid to do what I always wanted to do in life. But for some reason, you change your mind, and decide not to go into work that following day and then the next day you miss also, but then you come in that third day for a couple hours and then this becomes a pattern all the while you are collecting your fulltime pay and benefits, when you are only putting in part time hours, sooner or later, if you didn’t shape up, you will get fired. The way you handle a fulltime job is a lot like the way we are to handle our relationship with God. We are always on the clock. In this lifetime, we will not get any paid vacations, but that is alright, because God has one planned for all his children who live their life to worship Him. Worship is a lifestyle, not just a part of a church service. Yes, we are to worship God with our words, but we are also to worship God with every aspect of our lives.
4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
These verses are considered to be the most famous Jewish Prayer. They are called the SHEMA, which in Hebrew; means to both listen and obey. When the Hebrews heard the commands of God, they acted on them.
Next, Leviticus 19:18 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
These verses look real familiar, don’t they? They are found in both Matthew and Mark coming out of the mouth of Jesus. Jesus says these are the greatest commandments out of all 400 or so in the Torah. The bottom line is that we are to love God with our whole being. Every part of you has the ability to worship God.
1. First, we are to love God with all our heart. What this means is that the way we handle our emotions, decisions, mind, and character are all part of our worship.
2. Second, we are to love God with all our soul. What this means is that the way we handle our life, personality and individuality are all part of our worship.
3. Third, we are to love God with all our strength. What this means is that the way we handle our body, resources and power are all part of our worship.
4. Last, we are to love God by loving our neighbor. What this means is that the way we treat our family, neighbors, friends and people in need are all part of our worship.
When you put these all together, you are worshipping God with your whole being. When we worship God, he is not really concerned with our bodies, as He is concerned with our hearts. Today, I want to focus on the heart. The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart when talking about worshipping God. If we can get our hearts right before God, then everything else will fall into place, our attitudes and behaviors, but if our hearts are bad, we will continually fall short in life and fail.
I want to share a story with you about a man named, Bob Pierce. In 1950, he founded World Vision. World vision is the world’s largest Christian relief and development agency. Today the organization serves more than fifty million people a year in 103 countries.
Passionate for Jesus and for a world without hunger or disease, Bob Pierce began helping children orphaned by the Korean War. Every outreach he organized grew in size and scope. Whatever he put his mind to was successful. Books and magazines were written about him. His friends said, “He is a man restless to win souls.”
Bob often prayed, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” His zeal drove him to the ends of the earth. The unfortunate piece of this story was the degree in which he neglected to meet the needs of his own family. A friend of the family said, Bob’s wife, Lorraine, “knew deprivation of a different kind than those to whom her husband was ministering.”
Emotionally, he abandoned his own family. He consistently put his family on the back burner. When asked by his daughter to come home after she attempted suicide. He let the urgency and demands of so many people in need around him make the decision for him, and instead of returning home, he booked a flight to Vietnam. His daughter said, “I knew he wouldn’t come.” And what do you know, but a couple years later, she successfully took her own life.