Summary: Developing a heart that seeks God above everythign else.
Dare to Pursue
“The Matter of the Heart”
October 8, 2006
Me: We talked last week about spiritual gifts and how God has given each of us gifts to use to build up the church. We used the acrostic SHAPE to describe it. Today we are going to look at heart.
The heart is an important aspect of life. Not just your physical heart, but your emotional heart. Your inner desires and your inner passions are what we commonly refer to as heart. I love people who do things with heart. I love it when people go all out for something.
Have you ever noticed the physical effects of excitement on your kids? One thing we do around our house when our children are especially excited about something and we need them to calm down is we have them feel their heart. Sometimes Zach and I will be wrestling around the living room and he gets a little too wild and I have to remind him to calm down. I put my hand on his heart and have him feel how fast it is beating. It reminds him that he needs to get a grip on his emotions and his heart.
We: Maybe you have had similar experiences. What is it that really gets your heart going? What do you get excited about? One thing that the bible tells us is that we must is that our heart can really lead us astray.
When the bible talks about heart, it means the center of our being.
It refers to the aspect of our lives that leads us in decision making and guides our bodies to actions. But the bible gives us a warning about the heart of man.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV)
Solomon wrote about trying to find ways to please his heart and enjoy his life in Ecclesiastes 2. Today we want to look at the problems of understanding the heart.
“I thought in my heart, "Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good." But that also proved to be meaningless. "Laughter," I said, "is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?" I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives.” Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 (NIV)
Physical pleasure does not bring lasting fulfillment.
“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well--the delights of the heart of man. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:4-11 (NIV)
Possessions do not satisfy the heart.
“Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done? I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. The wise man has eyes in his head; while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both. Then I thought in my heart,” The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise? I said in my heart, "This too is meaningless." For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!
Ecclesiastes 2:12-16 (NLT)
Philosophies do not satisfy the questions of the heart.
“ So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.” Ecclesiastes 2:17-24 (NIV)