Friends

When is the last time you had a “heart checkup”?  I know what you are thinking; is he talking about physically or spiritual?  Well, maybe both, but for this message I am talking about our spiritual heart.  The question needs to be asked “Am I available for God to use me?”  You and I need to look deep in our heart and answer that question.

In my personal Bible study the other day I was reading the 36th chapter of Ezekiel, when I got to verse 26 it jumped off the page at me, “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”  (NLT) Jesus is in the business of changing hearts.  It is absolutely true!

How about your heart?  How does your heart look to God?  What does He see when He investigates you?  Are you moving in the right direction in these all-important heart areas?  Or do you need some spiritual surgery?

God wants you and I to be people after His own heart.  For this to happen, you must confess any sins and ask Him to soften us and change us on the inside.  We must spend time with the Lord each day no matter what.  We have to talk with Him openly and honestly from our heart.  We must share our burdens with Him.  We must seek His face and obey Him no matter what life throws at us.  Never forget, Jesus wants to be your closest friend.  His hands are extended to you right now.  The question you need to answer is will you take them?

When I think about the subject of the heart, my mind always goes to David.  1 Samuel 13:14 GWT “The Lord has searched for a man after His own heart.”  Are we searching after God’s heart?

There are 5 things we can learn from David about the heart issue.  God sees past the outward appearance.  He sees down into the heart.  The reason He chose David to lead His people was because of David’s heart.  What was His heart?

•He had a loving heart

David loved God sincerely and supremely.  He did not play at his worship.  He really had a desire in his heart to walk with God and please God.  His heart was completely His.  Please read Psalm 103.

•He had a modest heart

David never lost sight of the fact that he was nothing and God was everything.  He never started believing his own press clippings.  He knew all his success came for God.  Please read 2 Samuel 7:18.

•He had a dependent heart

David depended on God, not himself.  He sought God early and often throughout the day.  Please read Psalm 63.

•He had a thankful heart

David gave praise and thanks to God regardless of His circumstances.  He knew God was worthy of praise even if everything seemed to be falling apart around him.  Please read Psalm 34.

•He had a remorseful heart

When he sinned, he came to God with genuine repentance and sought the Lord’s forgiveness.  Please read Psalm 51.

Is your heart soft and tender and broken before the Lord...or is it like hard ground?  In the book of Hosea 10:12 NLT, “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.”

Every day we should look at the condition of our heart.  Is it soft or hard?  Think about this: Do the things that break God’s heart, break your heart?  God’s heart breaks over sin...does yours?  God’s heart breaks for those who are lost and on the highway to hell...does yours?  God’s heart breaks over injustice, indifference, abuse...does yours?

G.K. Chesterton said “We do not want, as the newspapers say, a church that will move with the world.  We want a church that will move the world.”

Do we care enough about people to do whatever it takes to tell them about Jesus?  Paul did. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 9 that he became “a servant to everyone [to] win them to Christ. … Whatever a person is like, I try to find common ground with him so that he will let me tell him about Christ and let Christ save him.”

God wants us to love people that much — enough to reach out to them with the gospel in a creative way.  We need to use every available method, at every available time, to reach every available person for Jesus Christ.

Are you available to God anytime?  Or are you in the driver’s seat? Or can He take the wheel without you becoming resentful?  As a servant, you don't get to pick and choose when or where you will serve.

Being a Christian means giving up the right to control your schedule and allow God to interrupt it whenever He wants to.

If you will remind yourself at the start of every day that you are God's servant, interruptions won't frustrate you as much, because your agenda will be whatever God wants to bring into your life.  Servants see interruptions as divine appointments for ministry and are happy for the opportunity to practice serving.

Nothing is more important to God than his Son, Jesus.  God wants everyone, everywhere to know that Jesus saves.  The worldwide communication and travel access we have today was not possible when Jesus first gave His command in Mark 16:15 above.  We are the first generation in human history that can go anywhere in the world within twenty-four hours.  God’s instruction regarding everyone and everywhere is not restricted to people having certain skills or abilities.  God is looking for our availability, not our ability.  And our availability for God must start with our heart: we must have a heart like Jesus.  

This coming Sunday morning we are going to look and see what practical steps we can take to develop a heart like Jesus.

Make Every Day Count!

Barry

Please come Sunday!  Don’t stay home!