Summary: This message examines the heart and the play on words...do you have a "whole-heart" or a "hole-heart" - Using scripture the difference becomes obvious...especially when we talk about money and stewardship of our possessions.
The Test of Two Hearts…Whole or Hole?
Matthew 6:19-21 - ©Dr. Larry L. Thompson (2006)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt. 6:19-21
The Bible tells us that money is both wonderful and deadly. It is one way God blesses people, and, what may surprise you, it can actually enhance our relationship with God. However, equating prosperity with godliness is a biblical blunder that must be avoided. Money or possession can also destroy you according to the Bible. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LIFE AND DEATH RELATED TO THE BIBLICAL INSTRUCTION ON MONEY AS TO DO WITH THE HEART. It is actually a test of the heart. The test reveals what kind of heart you have within you. The question of this day is for you to decide: “Do I have a whole-heart” or a “hole-heart?”
You don’t have to go very deep into Scripture to discover that God loves to lavishly provide for His creation. The Garden of Eden was a place of abundance according to the word: "the gold of that land is good" (Gen. 2:11). And consider the description given at the end of the Bible of our eternal Heavenly home: "The great street of the city was of pure gold, like transparent glass" (Rev. 21:21).
God wants us to trust Him in every part of our lives, not just the spiritual parts. What we must determine on this last Sunday of our “Whole-Heart” series is this: “Will I trust God will my whole-heart” or will I respond to Him with a “Hole in my Heart?”
Catherine Marshall writes:
"If we are to believe Jesus, His Father and our Father is the God of all life and His caring and provision include a sheepherder’s lost lamb, a falling sparrow, a sick child, the hunger pangs of a crowd of four thousand, the need for wine at a wedding feast, and the plight of professional fishermen who toiled all night and caught nothing. These vignettes, scattered through the Gospels like little patches of gold dust, say to us, ’No creaturely need is outside the scope or range of prayer."
I. THE POTENTIAL OF A WHOLE-HEART
Back in the day when I first came to Jesus there seemed to be many very serious believers. Some of the ones I refer to where called, “Jesus Freaks.” However, when you listened to them you realized that they talked only about surrender, sacrifice, and giving up their lives for the cause of Christ—the talked often about the deeper life. I remember one discussion as a sophomore in college where I listened to a group of “Jesus Freaks” sit around and discuss how cool it would be to actually die for their faith, like the apostles of old.
As a young Christian we never thought much about praying for God to provide for us. We thought faith was about surrendering control to Jesus Christ—if He provides, great; if not, we die smiling. It appeared to be a die-to-self, enjoy the suffering type of crowd.
The Whole-Heart Conflict
Difficulty, disaster and death seemed to become a badge of spirituality for that group of committed Christians. Honestly, many walked around looking as though we were baptized in lemon juice. They were big on the deeper life, but things got so deep that it became harder and harder to breathe and somewhere in the process the joy of “Whole-Heart” Christianity was lost. What many failed to realize was that those who were willing to follow Christ with their “WHOLE-HEARTS” had ever right to expect Him to care for the daily needs in our life.
One of the first times I remember Cynthia and I hearing that God wanted to answer specific prayers about material things, it was a bit of a stretch for us. It seemed so selfish and wrong; it seemed so worldly. But it was hard to ignore and deny the promises we were being taught…they were everywhere in the Bible. Verses like:
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). And though I tried to spiritualize this to mean "spiritual needs," our small group teacher in our young married department had us read the verse in context…it is obviously related to the financial issues of life. After some study it became clear to me: If you have given your whole-heart to the Lord then you will come to the place you realize that God cares about the money and physical provisions of your life.