Summary: The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart.

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The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. That means that the heart of my problem is the problem of my heart. And the heart of your problem is the problem of your heart. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked…”

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)

Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

Are you diligently watching over your heart? Are you guarding your heart above all else?

Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Maybe you aren’t aware that your spiritual heart needs help.

One of our own staff members and elders, Gary Nave, is having a heart cath tomorrow. He was having a stress test and the test showed some blockage in his heart. The 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th lines are Gary’s heart under stress. The 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th lines are Gary’s heart at rest. Notice the amount of yellow when he’s at rest and the absence of yellow when he’s stressed. As I understand it, that means that his heart is low on oxygen when he’s stressed. That’s got to be fixed. So, tomorrow, Gary’s visiting a Cath Lab.

As important as it is to have a physically healthy heart, it’s even more important to have a spiritually healthy heart. Heaven and hell hangs in the balance. It’s when your spiritual heart is under stress that you can tell about the health of your heart. When things aren’t gong well, do you still love and serve and give? I wonder, what would your spiritual heart look like if Jesus took a picture of it?

Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:21 (NASB)

For your heart will always be where your riches are.

Matthew 6:21 (TEV)

In recent weeks, we’ve been reminded that how we invest our money – how we give to build the kingdom of God – is an indication of our spiritual health. Remember? Our hearts will follow our treasure. Money leads; hearts follow. Your heart moves toward what you cherish, and God wants your heart to move toward Him.

A pastor who lived in another generation, James Broadus, knew this. Dr. Broadus would, on occasion during the time of the offering, walk down from the pulpit and walk among the people. He would watch what the people would give to God. Then he would come back to the front of the church and smile. And he would say, “If it has bothered you that your pastor has walked among you to watch your giving, you need to remember that your Lord watches you every week.”

…where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

In one of Jesus’ most famous stories, we can learn about the heart. It’s sometimes called the parable of the Sower or the parable of the seed, or the parable of the soils. In the process, we’re going to see why some people don’t give and why some do. It’s a heart issue.

4 When a large crowd was coming together, and those from the various cities were journeying to Him, He spoke by way of a parable: 5 "The sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell beside the road, and it was trampled under foot and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Other seed fell on rocky soil, and as soon as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among the thorns; and the thorns grew up with it and choked it out. 8 Other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great." As He said these things, He would call out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Luke 8:4-8 (NASB)

"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." That means it’s not enough to have ears on the side of your head. Everybody has those. But there is another kind of ear that only some people have. There is a spiritual ear, or a heart-ear. There is an ear that hears more than mere words.

The sower represents God. The seed represents God’s Word. The four soils represent people’s hearts. What God wants you to do today is to identify which soil represents your heart. Once you’ve identified which kind of heart you have, there is a specific way for you to pray about your heart.

1. Lord Jesus, soften my hard heart. v. 12

Some people don’t give because their heart is hard. Now, be honest. Do you really want to give? Or do you wish the pastor would just talk about something else today?

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