Bible Lesson 223

THE HEART OF MANKIND (MATTHEW 15:8-9)

“These people draw near to Me with their mouth. And honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

“The eyes see what the heart loves. If the heart loves God is single in this devotion, then the eyes will see God whether others see Him or not.” Warren Wiersbe.

This month we will look at the pump that sustains the lives of mankind. It is an object that God has much to say about, in His Inspired Word, the Bible. What we want to do this month is learn about our very own heart. What is it, where is it, what does it do and why God is concerned about it and why too many today do not worry about its condition.

We speak about our hearts, and heart being broken, heart attacks and heart operations, and I personally know about heart operations, since I had open heart surgery in 2003, when a valve was replaced in this heart of mine.

I had a new heart that God had given me years before but it was a fleshly heart, one that was like the one that we found in Matthew chapter 15, verses 8 and 9.

It was one that would occasionally make me honor God but it worshiped what I wanted to do rather than what God had commanded. Thank the Almighty God, He loved me enough to give me a new heart that would desire Him above all others.

Normally, when we speak of the heart we are referring to the pump that delivers blood to all the organs of our body. When God inspired the Holy Men of old who wrote down exactly what He wanted us to know, the heart has a much more important job to do.

It will ultimately be the organ that will determine everyone’s eternal reward. The Bibles heart or the what is referred to as ‘heart’ is not the pump but the spiritual center of a person.

It is what controls how we understand and walk according to the Word and Will of God, who created us all. Man, when He is born into this world is a marred being, marred by his nature which has no means to communicate with the Creator. We know that because God tells us that, in Ephesians Chapter two and verses one through Three. We see there that we are born ‘dead in trespass and sin’.

Our nature was such that we were born in darkness and we had no hope or help unless God intervened in our lives. We find in the next verses of Ephesians chapter two that God has made the way for hopeless man, because God is gracious and forgiving and loving. The creature that was born dead in trespass and sin, is put to death, and a New creature is raised up and this creature has a new heart and is a creature of light (Romans 6:1-14). This new creature is enabled by the indwelling of The Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13).

This encounter with our Creator is not something that we schedule or that we can complete, unless and until God places an effectual call on the heart of the person to be saved. God is sovereign and Salvation belongs to God, (Psalms 3:8; Romans 8:30). God calls and the call is effectual and anyone who is called will come to God. God does not make mistakes. Those who God calls are saved as a result of that call and the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. (John 3:16-21).

There is now no condemnation to those who walk in the Spirit and those who have been saved all are sealed by the spirit. (Romans 8:1-11). We are told over and over in the Bible that the heart is an important thing to God and remember as we said before just as the heart (pump)is required for physical life, a new heart is required for spiritual life. The heart, we are told by Proverbs 16:9, plans a man’s ways, but God directs his steps. That reminds us that God is involved in the lives of mankind, man may plan but God determines.

That does not mean that man becomes a robot, but he does cooperate with God in his salvation. What that means is that once God recreates his creature, that man will follow God’s plan that is found only in the Bible, for the direction and produce of his life (Philippians 2:12-13).

We find that the heart of man is a real factor in our relationship with God because God tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”. How can any man have a pure heart’ Only by the healing hand of God who does not simply apply an ‘as is’ sign to the people he saves, but instead puts the old creature to death and raises up a new creature, “In Christ”. (Romans 6:1-14).

As a general rule, we find people who have a modicum of interest in spending eternity in heaven, and these play around with lifted scriptures; and even join some church group, but they never really ‘go in at that strait gate or walk that narrow way’. That equates to a lost person, who will spend their eternity in hell with all of hells torments. Our society; and our visible churches in many cases, have taught this way and have confused many. There is no hospital class, no short cut, no easy way to salvation.

It is God’s way and if you miss that way, you are on that broad way that descends into hell. The Word of God, the Bible is clear and no one will have any excuse on Judgment day. Judgment day will be a day when every mouth will be stopped, every knee locked and the die has been cast, no room for a second chance, or a do-over. When your eyes close in death, your decision will have been decided. Knowing that, why wait, because today is the day of salvation, and you may never have another chance to reach out to God.

I have no formula for salvation, because it all belongs to God, so what you must do is to learn something about God. Read your Bible, or get someone that can be trusted to teach you what it says. Die to self, and that means that you give up your plans for life and submit to God through Christ, to lead you on His path. Be ready to carry your cross. It is not easy to walk like Christ, in a world that has lost it moral center and cares about nothing, except the things of this world, (Hebrews 3:7-8).

Our hearts always seeks its own desire, and the writer of Proverbs tells us that, ‘A fool has no delight in understanding, except expressing his own heart.’ All of us are born fools to the extent that we always seek our own worldly lusts. (Proverbs 18:1-2). Solomon, who was the writer of most of the Proverbs, instructs us that a merry heart (a heart that has been changed by God), does good, like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22). The new heart and God’s salvation is a hard item to find in our selfish society. We have even muted words that describe the Saints. Saints is one of them, obedience, pure, perfect and others have been silenced by church members, who demand their desires to be observed, rather than Gods commandments.

When was the last time that you examined your heart to make sure that Jesus was there and guiding you to walk as He did while He was on the earth. Never be satisfied until you know what God commands of His people and that you are lining up with His commands. Jeremiah, the Prophet, tells us that the heart that we are born with is deceitful and desperately wicked, and He ask who can know it. (Jeremiah 17:9-10).

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob