Reply All – Part 1 (The Heart)
Pastor Stephen Hayes
July 7, 2019
Main Idea– Your heart is a container. You will store in your heart the things that are important to you. Your heart’s condition determines the quality of your life, and is a barometer of your spiritual health. Therefore, you need to make sure you are storing the proper things in your heart.
The Bible has the answers
- The Bible has the answers to all of life’s questions and circumstances.
- God’s Word is a living word, and will speak to each of us.
- It is good to ask questions about life, and then to consult the Bible to see what is written.
- When you are tempted, use God’s Word – repeat and quote what is written – as the answer to that temptation.
- Trust what is written as the truth. 2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we walk by faith, not by sight.
Four ways to love God
- When questioned by a lawyer about eternal life, Jesus used Scripture to answer the question. Luke 10: 25-28 – And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
- This passage identifies four ways to love God: with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind.
- If you become fatigued in any of those ways, the Holy Spirit will heal your broken condition if you focus – and rely – on Him.
Proper priorities for a divided heart
- Matthew 6: 19-21 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Your heart is a container. You will put into your heart things you believe are important.
- If you store earthly things in your heart, then you will be subject to the limitations of those earthly things.
- If you put Heavenly things in your heart, then there are no limitations to the benefits of those things.
- A person with a divided heart has stored too many earthly things: s/he has placed too great an emphasis on the value of earthly things.
- What variety of things is stored in your heart? Have you gathered according to your passions or according to eternal principles?
- Don’t expect eternal rewards from bad investments.
Perspective for a hardened heart
- Mark 8: 14-19 – Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, and they did not have more than one loaf with them in the boat.Then He charged them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have no bread.” But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments did you take up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.”
- Forgetting the source of your provision is a sign of a hardened heart.
- Do not look to the world’s resources for your sustenance and provision. God is the source of everything you need to survive and thrive.
- Your heart will gradually harden to the things of God if you focus on earthly sources of provision (other humans, a job, earthly institutions, etc.)
- A reliance on earthly sources of provision is a misdirected perspective.
Healing for a heavy heart
- Don’t simply follow your own wants and desires. Follow God’s leading as you make decisions.
- It is possible to be a saved Christian, but still be a person who is hurting.
- If you have a damaged heart because of bad decisions or events, God has promised to heal it. Healing your heavy heart is part of what Jesus came to do for you.
- Luke 4: 18-19 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
- Regardless of your body’s condition, there is healing for your heart. God wants you to have a whole heart.
- Put your heart in God’s hands.
- Confess your shortcomings to God and to another trusted believer. Go to God together in prayer. Receive the healing in your heart that God will give you.
Reflective Questions for Reply All – Part 1
- Pastor Stephen identified three possible conditions of an unhealthy heart: a divided heart, a hardened heart, and a heavy heart. Have you recently encountered someone with one of those conditions? Is there a Bible passage from this sermon message that could have helped that person?
- If a person is suffering from a divided heart, how might you counsel him or her to establish the correct priorities?
- If a person is suffering from a hardened heart, how might you help him or her realize their overdependence on earthly sources of provision?
- If a person is suffering from a heavy heart how might you lead him or her to seek God for guidance in making good decisions and for healing?