Sermons

Summary: Matters of the heart.

THE SYMPTOMS OF A DEFECTIVE HEART

LUKE 16:15

THE HEART IS A HARD-WORKING MUSCULAR PUMP WHOSE STEADY ACTION SUSTAINS LIFE. WITH EACH BEAT, THE HEART SENDS BLOOD THROUGHOUT THE BODY TO CARRY OXYGEN AND FOOD TO ALL THE BODY’S CELLS. THE RHYTHMIC BEATING OF THE HEART BEGINS ABOUT SEVEN MONTHS BEFORE BIRTH.

THE HEART IS A LARGE, HOLLOW, MUSCULAR ORGAN DIVIDED INTO LEFT AND RIGHT SIDES THAT PUMP AT THE SAME TIME. VEINS COLLECT BLOOD FROM THROUGHOUT THE BODY AND CARRY IT TO THE RIGHT-SIDE PUMP. THAT PUMP THEN SENDS BLOOD TO THE LUNGS, WHERE IT PICKS UP OXYGEN. THE OXYGENATED (OXYGEN-RICH) BLOOD THEN FLOWS TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE HEART, WHICH PUMPS IT THROUGH ARTERIES TO THE REST OF THE BODY. VALVES CONTROL THE FLOW OF BLOOD THROUGH THE HEART. THE LEFT-SIDE PUMP, WHICH SENDS BLOOD THROUGHOUT THE BODY, IS LARGER AND STRONGER THAN THE RIGHT PUMP.

THE MOST COMMON HEART DISORDER IS CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE (CAD). THE HEART NEEDS A CONSTANT OXYGEN SUPPLY BECAUSE IT IS ONE OF THE BODY’S HARDEST-WORKING MUSCLES. THIS OXYGEN IS DELIVERED BY THE CORONARY ARTERIES, WHICH CARRY ABOUT 5 PERCENT OF THE BLOOD PUMPED FROM THE HEART DIRECTLY TO THE HEART MUSCLE. IN CAD, THESE ARTERIES BECOME NARROWED, WHICH REDUCES—OR MAY EVEN STOP—THEIR ABILITY TO CARRY OXYGEN. INSUFFICIENT OXYGEN MAY REDUCE THE HEART’S ABILITY TO PUMP AND CAUSE PAIN OR DAMAGE TO THE HEART MUSCLE.

ALMOST ALL HEART ATTACKS OCCUR WHEN A BLOOD CLOT SUDDENLY AND COMPLETELY BLOCKS A CORONARY ARTERY. THIS CONDITION IS CALLED A CORONARY THROMBOSIS, OR SIMPLY A CORONARY. THE PART OF THE HEART MUSCLE NOURISHED BY THE BLOCKED ARTERY BECOMES DAMAGED BY LACK OF OXYGEN. UNLESS BLOOD FLOW RETURNS WITHIN MINUTES, MUSCLE DAMAGE INCREASES. HEART CELLS BEGIN TO DIE AFTER FOUR TO SIX HOURS WITHOUT BLOOD. THE DAMAGE CAN AFFECT THE HEART’S ABILITY TO PUMP AND MAY CAUSE THE PATIENT’S DEATH. IF THE CLOT CAN BE DISSOLVED WITHIN FOUR TO SIX HOURS, DAMAGE TO THE HEART CAN BE REDUCED.

THE WORD HEART OCCURS 830 TIMES IN 762 VERSES.

THE HEART CAN BE PRETENTIOUS, SEEKING THE SUPERFICIAL APPROVAL OF MEN. THE APPROVAL OF MAN IS OFTEN A VERY HOLLOW AND ALWAYS A TRANSIENT THING; CHANGE THE COMPANY, AND YOU CHANGE THE VERDICT.

ONLY GOD “KNOWS US ALTOGETHER;” FOR IT IS HE ALONE THAT “LOOKETH UPON THE HEART,” THAT IS “A DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.” HIS GLANCE PENETRATES TO THE INNERMOST CHAMBERS OF OUR SOUL. HE SEES AND KNOWS:

1. THE MOTIVES BY WHICH WE ARE ACTUATED IN OUR DEEDS; SEEING OFTEN THAT APPARENTLY GOOD DEEDS ARE INSPIRED BY LOW OR EVEN BAD MOTIVES, AND THAT DEEDS WHICH SOCIETY CONDEMNS ARE RELIEVED BY UNSELFISH PROMPTINGS.

2. THE FEELING THAT ACCOMPANIES OUR EXPRESSION; WHETHER IT IS SLIGHT OR WHETHER IT IS DEEP; OFTEN PERCEIVING THAT IT IS MORE OR THAT IT IS LESS THAN WE IMAGINE IT TO BE.

3. THE PURPOSE OF OUR HEART TOWARD HIMSELF; DETERMINING WHETHER, IN THE PRESENCE OF MUCH PROFESSION, THERE IS GENUINE DEVOTEDNESS; WHETHER, IN THE ABSENCE OF PROFESSION AND EVEN OF ASSURANCE, THERE IS NOT TRUE GODLINESS IN THE SOUL.

OUT OF THE HEART COMES SELF-SEEKING PHILANTHROPY — THE SHOW OF DOING GOOD TO OTHERS WHICH IS NOTHING MORE THAN A PROFITABLE PRETENCE, A COURSE OF CONDUCT WHICH HAS A BENEVOLENT ASPECT BUT WHICH IS SECRETLY AIMING AT ITS OWN ENRICHMENT.

IRREVERENT ACTIVITY. MEN OFTEN YIELD GREAT ADMIRATION TO THOSE WHOSE LIVES ARE FULL OF SUCCESSFUL LABOUR, WHO BUILD UP LARGE FORTUNES OR RISE TO GREAT EMINENCE AND POWER BY MUCH ENERGY AND UNREMITTING TOIL.

BUT IF THOSE MEN ARE LIVING GODLESS LIVES, AND EXCLUDING FROM THE SPHERE OF THEIR THOUGHT AND EFFORT THAT DIVINE ONE, “WITH WHOM THEY HAVE [EVERYTHING] TO DO,” AND WHOSE CREATIVE, PRESERVING, AND PROVIDING LOVE HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THEIR CAPACITY, WE MUST CONFESS THAT THE LIVES OF THESE MEN ARE SO SERIOUSLY DEFECTIVE AS TO BE EVEN “ABOMINATION IN THE SIGHT OF GOD.

GOD SEES US AS WE ARE, 1 SAM. 16:7, “FOR THE LORD SEETH NOT AS MAN SEETH; FOR MAN LOOKETH ON THE OUTWARD APPEARANCE, BUT THE LORD LOOKETH ON THE HEART.”

MATT. 12:34, “O GENERATION OF VIPERS, HOW CAN YE, BEING EVIL, SPEAK GOOD THINGS? FOR OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART THE MOUTH SPEAKETH.”

MATT. 15:8, “THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME.”

MATT. 15:18, “BUT THOSE THINGS WHICH PROCEED OUT OF THE MOUTH COME FORTH FROM THE HEART; AND THEY DEFILE THE MAN.”

PS. 14:1, “THE FOOL HATH SAID IN HIS HEART, THERE IS NO GOD.”

MATTERS OF THE HEART.

JER. 17:9, “THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS, AND DESPERATELY WICKED: WHO CAN KNOW IT?”

WE OUGHT TO SAY LIKE DAVID PS.9:1-2, “I WILL PRAISE THEE, O LORD, WITH MY WHOLE HEART; I WILL SHOW FORTH ALL THY MARVELLOUS WORKS. I WILL BE GLAD AND REJOICE IN THEE: I WILL SING PRAISE TO THY NAME, O THOU MOST HIGH.” PS. 51:10, “CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD; AND RENEW A RIGHT SPIRIT WITHIN ME.”

MATT. 5:8, “BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART: FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD.”

THIS SERMON OUGHT TO CASUE US TO EXAMINE OURSELVES.

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