Summary: In this sermon, we explore the importance of the spiritual heart, diseases of the heart, how to have a wholly devoted heart.
A. The story is told of a mechanic who was working on a car motor when he spotted a world-famous heart surgeon enter his shop.
1. The heart surgeon stood at the counter waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his car.
2. The mechanic shouted across the garage, “Hello Doctor, could you please come on over here for a minute.”
3. The famous surgeon, was a bit surprised, but walked over to the mechanic.
4. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, “So doctor, look at this here. I also open hearts, take valves out and put in new parts. When I finish, this will work just like a new one. So how come you get the really big money, when you and I are doing basically the same work?"
5. The doctor smiled and said to the mechanic, “Try doing it with the engine running!”
6. No doubt, what mechanics do with car engines is fantastic, and what doctors do with physical hearts is incredible, but what God does with the spiritual heart is miraculous.
B. Last week, we began a new sermon series called “Wholly Devoted – Serving God with All We Are and Have.”
1. The Scriptural launching point for the series is Jesus’ statement that the greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)
2. To be pleasing to God we must learn to be devoted to God with all we are and have.
3. So, we began the series last week by exploring what it means to be wholly devoted to God with our minds.
a. We talked about the importance of having a wholly devoted mind and suggested that it is so important because what we think is basically what we are and what we become.
b. We talked about the fact that the spiritual war we are in basically takes place in the mind.
c. The second thing we addressed was the process of having a wholly devoted mind and we explored the fact that it begins with a decision and commitment and then continues with the ongoing renewing of our minds.
d. The key to the renewing of the mind is the Holy Spirit working in us and through the Word of God.
C. Today, we want to build on last week by addressing the subject of a wholly devoted heart.
1. In all honesty, I struggle to decipher the difference between the mind and the heart.
2. Often times in Scripture they are used interchangeably or they are used side by side.
3. Last week I included a passage from Deuteronomy where God gave this command to the Israelites: Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (Dt. 11:18)
D. So what is the difference between the heart and the mind?
1. We know what the difference is between the physical heart and mind, that’s easy, but what about the spiritual heart and spiritual mind? What is the difference between them?
2. As you know, the Bible talks about the importance of the spiritual mind, but for the sake of comparison, it is interesting to note that the mind is discussed less than one hundred times.
3. The heart, on the other hand, is talked about over eight hundred times in the Bible.
4. If we have to make a distinction between the heart and mind, then I would say that the mind is the part of us that learns and knows, and the heart is the part of us that feels and wills.
5. As you know, each of our brains have a right and left hemisphere.
a. Scientists have observed that the left side of the brain focuses on logical thinking, analysis, and accuracy.
b. In contrast, the right side of the brain focuses on aesthetics, feeling, and creativity.
6. To be a balanced person, we need to use both sides of the brain. If we use only the left side, then we are Spock-like – logical and unemotional, if we use only the right side, then we are Captain Kirk-like, passionate and creative.
7. So perhaps the mind and heart are two ways of talking about the two sides of the brain.
8. The left side of the brain is the spiritual mind and has to do with learning and knowing, and the right side of the brain is the spiritual heart and has to do with feelings, intuition, motivation and will.
9. What we do know for sure is that the words “heart” and “mind” are metaphors for aspects of a single individual – they are meant to emphasize the whole person.