Thursday, September 30, 2010

Conditions of The Heart

Matthew 6:16-24
Most of this section deals with money if we look at it from just the surface. Going deeper it really is dealing with matters of our heart. Pastoring a church I know there really is not a church that ever has too much money, yet the issue is usually not about money it is about the heart of the people. We give our hearts, make commitments, to many different things. We can see what those commitments are in terms of where we spent our time, talents and our treasures. Looking at these three reveal the condition of our heart. The ways we spend our money whether we have little or great amounts, shows the condition of our hearts. When we hoard it, we are saying we trust money more than God. This is not to say we should have zero savings, what I am saying is are we going beyond savings into hoarding what God is calling us to release, this is not just a money issue, it is the condition of our heart.

Acts 9:1-19
During the formative years of the church it could be argued no one had a harder heart toward the Way of Jesus than Saul. On his way to arrest followers of the Way, Saul has a dramatic encounter with Jesus. More than a physical blindness is the result, there is a change in heart. His heart of stone is exchanged for a heart of flesh (see Ezekiel). After the divine heart surgery Saul becomes Paul and goes on to be the most effect church planter in all of history. Like with heart surgery on our physical bodies careful follow up is required. From time to time we need to have a check up on the condition of our hearts, is the stone coming back? What's the condition of your heart?

Psalms 15
What is required for worship? That is the opening question of the Psalm. Notice the answer, it has nothing to do with the appropriate clothing, nothing to do with financial status, in fact it has very little to do with outward appearance, it is about the heart. Worship is not about style of music, what the preacher says or does not say, what is included in the service etc... Worship is a matter of the heart. We can say and do all the "right" things yet never have our hearts meet with the heart of God. The requirement for worship, willing heart.

Genesis 34-35
If you have been following along our soap opera now turns to additional generations. Dinah, Jacobs daughter, is taken and raped by the people in the land where they live. As you might guess this becomes problematic. Before long there are brothers oozing testosterone plotting and killing all the men of the city. First however, they tricked all the men into circumcising themselves. Tragically, the only mention of Dinah is the violation of her. Not attention is paid by the Scripture writer as to what was happening in Dinah's world. Yet we have revealed the heart of her brothers. Rather than allowing God to avenge the violation, they take matters into their own hands. The reveal they are ready for killing at a moments notice. Jacob who had been down a similar road has his heart broken by what has happened to his daughter and what his sons have done. It seems he had learned from the past and his heart was in a different condition.

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