Good morning everyone. I pray you had a weekend that you will remember for a long time to come and that all of those memories are good ones.
Today, I want to talk about the heart. What do you think of when you hear that word? Maybe you think of a shape we use to cut out of construction paper. Maybe you think of the place love comes from. Maybe you think of the actual blood pumping muscle it is.
In the New King James Version Bible, the word heart, is used over 775 times. Do you think it is mentioned so many times because of it's importance? I do. Have you ever heard someone say, "my heart just isn't in it"? Or have you heard someone say, "I just don't have the heart to do this or that"? Have you ever been around someone at a function and you could just tell that person would rather be anywhere, but there? Has someone ask you to go somewhere or do something and you did, but you really didn't want to and the whole time you were with them, you really were somewhere else? We have all done that before. Today, we should see what God has to say about this subject and how He looks at us.
Proverbs 27:19 says, "As in water face reflects face, So a man's heart reveals the man". When David was chosen above all his brothers to lead, the Lord said in 1 Samuel 16:7 "But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." Psalm 111:1 says, "Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation". Mark 12:33 says, "And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." Colossians 3:23 says, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men". Jeremiah 24:7 says, "Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart".
You maybe saying, "What does all this scripture mean?". I'm glad you want to know. God is reminding us that the heart, the real you and I, is completely open to Him. We can put on a show for all to see, but God sees and knows the real us. We are to love, honor, serve and live our lives totally sold out to Him. Anything we do, whether it be working, helping a friend, listening to someone who needs to talk, church service, opening a door for someone we don't even know, cleaning a house, school work and the list is without end, we are to do it "heartily, as to the Lord and not to men". And finally, if we are not where we should be, to be able to accomplish these things, we are to "return to Him with our whole heart".
You see, the next time someone needs a ride and you really don't want to take them, or someone calls and wants to talk, but you really don't feel like listening, or you go to church and you really don't want to be there, these scriptures should come to mind and remind us that in all we do, we need to put our whole heart into it and God will bless us for doing so. Half-hearted = you - genuine love, caring devotion and compassion. You + God = whole hearted service in all of life. I challenge each of you to seek out at least one opportunity of service this week with your whole heart.
Until next time, pray for each other and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,
Bethel Baptist Church