Bible Lesson 229

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, and 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 condition of our hearts to find out whether their focus is upon God and what God made our hearts to see and focus upon. In the fifteenth chapter of Matthew we find the Scribes and the Pharisee, coming to Jesus and questioning Him about His followers not keeping the traditions of the elders.

They had Followed the party line of the religious leaders of that day all their lives and they couldn’t understand this worship of Christ. They had been wrong for so long that they rejected the way that was right. Since we are going to look into our hearts, perhaps we need to begin at the beginning.

We are born with a heart, and that is the most critical organ that we have. If our heart beats (or pumps) we live. If it does not beat or pump we die. So, our heart is indispensable to our lives. That is a proven fact; however, we dare not stop there, because in Biblical terms our hearts are the spring of the direction of our lives. What kind of heart does God require from His Children?

Well, we are told in this same book of Matthew, that we are to have pure hearts (Matthew 5:8). Purity of heart point to our hearts after the rebirth that always precedes salvation. Prior to God’s handiwork in the New Birth, all hearts are impure, evil and sinful. God changes the hearts of man to know and trust and depend upon God.

The heart becomes the source of our walk in this sinful world, and it must have a work of the Almighty before it can think and direct the steps of the one in whom it exists. In Biblical terms we can compare our hearts as the compass of our lives. The pure heart exists only in the person who has been to God in Christ.

It is not unusual for us to say things like, I believe with all my heart, or it’s my hearts desire to do this or that, or it breaks my heart to know so and so. The point of this short message is to prove to us all that our hearts can believe one thing and our mouths can say another. That’s what God was saying when He inspired Matthew to write, “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.”

God knows everything even before it happens, and so He knew that the Jewish religion with it’s classes of worshipers, that included the elders, Priests, High Priest, and such would eventually devolve into self-worship and worship of the creature, rather than worship of the Creator. The Jews had adopted a business rather than Worship of God. God did not have much place in their Worship although they did parrot His name, even though their hearts were far from Him. They and their hearts were so far from God that we know that they were responsible for the death of God in the flesh, on the cross. Aren’t we in the visible churches often on that same tract’ Don’t we worship many things, as we say that we are worshiping God. Aren’t our hearts involved other wise when we should be on our faces before God’.

Don’t get me wrong’ we really believe that we are worshiping God, just because we show up on time for church services, or whenever we tithe our wages, or pray or say religious things. God knows that pump that He refers to often in His Inerrant Word the Bible. He knows that the perfume of adultery is still on your clothes when you say you worship. God knows nothing of our go along to get along kind of worship. We care many times about how it appears, as we stand with others who may or may not know God and whose minds are a thousand miles away from where they stand on any Sunday morning.

When Moses led the people out of bondage in Egypt and arrived in the promised land he said to them “take heed to yourselves, and diligently keep yourselves, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart, all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and grandchildren.” We who have truly been saved and are new creatures must heed that same instruction, we must teach our children the truths of the Bible and we should not allow a public school or any other school to teach them the precepts of the world.

A pure heart, a heart that know God and God knows it, will always abide in the Word of God. That is where Faith comes from according to Romans 10:17, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” So, ask yourself, is my faith based on what I know the Bible says, or what someone said that the Bible says. You must know what the Bible says, and when you know it, your heart begins to focus correctly on the Lord.

As lost and undone sinners (dead in trespass and sin) our hearts are hearts of stone, and only God can change that. In salvation God removes that heart of stone and replaces it with a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26). What do you think that means’ What does it mean to you’ I would hope that you have been instructed by the Holy Spirit that abides in every truly saved person, that your center of being is focused upon God and what He did in you; because of what Christ had done for you. A heart of flesh is a heart that knows God and knows for certain that God would have them to walk the walk that the Bible lays out for everyone who has been granted the Grace and Mercy of God in Salvation. Does your heart seek God in every situation’ Does your heart then set out to obey God in every situation’ You cannot do that unless and until you are reborn from above and have that new heart and a mind that is stayed upon God and your obedience to His commands, precepts, and statutes. If your heart is flesh and your mind set on God, your hands will naturally be clean before God. (Psalms 24:3-5).

The Bible points to the fact that a connection exists between a person’s heart, mind, tongue and soul. The heart originates a person’s actions and it then affects what we do and what we say. “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34-37). That points to a proverb or phrase that is often used in our society today and that is, that we can’t simply talk the talk, we must walk the walk. In other words, if we profess that we are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, we will both talk (say what He has said, and we will walk or live that way).

Remember to always examine your heart, mind, and soul to make sure that what you say is what God has said. (2nd Corinthians 13;5).

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob