5 Reasons Why I Need My Heart Challenged

1. The Strength Of My Marriage Is Dependent On The Health Of My Heart!
He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh — no longer two bodies but one.”…They shot back in rebuttal, “If that’s so, why did Moses give instructions for divorce papers and divorce procedures?” Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hardheartedness, but it is not part of God’s original     plan. I’m holding you to the original plan.”…Jesus’ disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck. Why get married?” But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life. It requires a certain aptitude and grace. Marriage isn’t for everyone…But if you’re capable of growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”  -Matthew 19:4-12(MSG)

2. God Desires For Me To Stay Sexually Pure And Maintain A Heart For Holiness!
God wants you to be holy and to stay away from sexual sins. He wants each of you to learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. Don’t use your body for sexual sin like the people who do not know God. -1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 (NCV)

Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever — the kind of sex that can never “become one.” There is a sense in which sexual sins are different from all others. In sexual sin we violate the sacredness of our own bodies, these bodies that were made for God-given and God-modeled love, for “becoming one” with another. Or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place, the place of the Holy Spirit? -1 Corinthians 6:17-20 (MSG)

3. The Favor Of God Is Restricted By The Unforgiveness In My Heart!
“Listen to Me! You can pray for anything, and if you believe, you will have it. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” -Mark 11:24-25 (NLT)

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” -Matthew 6:14-15 (MSG)

4. My Heart Cannot Deny What It Treasures!
“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…No one can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money.” -Matthew 6:20-21, 24

Your heart’s been in the right place all along. You’ve got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands.  -2 Corinthians 8:11-13

5. My Evangelistic Impact Is Determined By The Purity Of My Heart!
“He will even deliver one who is not innocent; Yes, he will be delivered by the purity of your hands.” -Job 22:30

Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.  -Matthew 5:8

“The Size Of My Heart Determines The Size Of My Harvest!”

Why challenge my heart?

1 Corinthians2:9
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,  nor the heart of man imagined what God has  prepared for those who love him”

We live out of our hearts, always doing that which we most want. When Jesus Christ redeemed us by his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave, our greatest desires were purchased by his blood. The life and work of Jesus reforms all the desires of our hearts so that we most want a salvation that belongs to the Lord. Only Jesus can change our hearts so that all we say, think and do is for the glory of his kingdom, so we will live for him and the good of others and not ourselves.

WHY CHALLENGE MY HEART!


● The Quality Of My Heart Qualifies Me To Be Greatly Used By God!

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical 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.” 1 Samuel 16:7

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

“If my heart is the source of my problem, then lasting change must always travel through the pathway of my heart. It is not enough to alter my behavior or to change my circumstances. Christ transforms people by radically changing their hearts.” -Paul David Trip, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand

Characteristics of the Heart:
·    It is a man’s inner life
·    It is the very throne which our life sits.
·    It controls our thoughts.
·    It controls our passions.
·    It controls our desires.
·    It controls our appetites.
·    It controls our affections.
·    It controls our purposes.
·    It is who we are as people.

It takes courage

The Early Church

The early church began with 120 fearful, timid disciples in a room praying. Soon, after Peter’s first sermon, 3,000 more joined the church. As we read through Acts, we find these once fearful disciples facing death for Jesus’ sake and the spreading of the gospel (Stephen, Acts 7; James, Acts 12:1-2).Through the preaching of the gospel by word and life, the church grew How do we find courage? Bold preaching of the gospel in the book of Acts is empowered by two things: the Holy Spirit (compare Peter in the gospels to his first sermon in Acts 2) and a conviction about the truth of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Courage comes from a changed heart—the work of the Spirit in our lives convicting us of the gospel and overcoming our fear.

Missional Analysis

o    People with no faith will speak loudly about what they are for, but what they are for does not line up with the Bible – premarital sex, abortion, getting drunk, etc. and see Christianity as moralistic.
o    People with damaged faith will speak loudly about what they are against, using arguments from the Bible. They also see Christianity as moralistic.
o    People with active faith will speak loudly about what they are for and against, informed by the Bible. Their proclamations will be full of grace, truth, and love.

TAKE AWAY

o    What is it that you always talk about doing but never do? (We all have something)
o    Does what you say and what you do match up?

Questions to probe the heart

Questions to probe the heart

How do you make the message of freedom in your life stand out against the negative stereotypes?

What does it mean to be defined by only what you’re for? Is it really living in freedom, or is it enslavement?

How do the negative stereotypes effect the gospel as you proclaim it? Do you just give people a list of things they can’t do anymore, or do you show them Jesus?

How can you take something you state in the negative, and turn it into a positive?

Fallen Condition Focus

It is human nature to critique and tear down. One of the ways we do this is by being very vocal about what we are against. We judge others by saying things such as “how could you do (fill in the blank)?” or “I can’t believe you like such-and-such!” Instead of building-up, edifying, being positive and proactive by stating what we’re for, we instead constantly tear down, judge, belittle, and remain reactive by always stating what we’re against.

Gospel Response

God has no problem telling us what he is against. He didn’t stop there, however, for if he did there would be no chance of anyone escaping Hell. The Bible is not just what God is against, but it is the story of what he is for. He is for the world he created, he is for his own glory, he is for justice, he is for peace, and he is for us. All of these things come together at the cross, where God put his plan into motion to redeem us and the world, all for his glory, by meeting the demands of his own justice so that there can be peace. God is radically for his own glory, and he is radically for us.

Who’s your mentor

Proverbs 27:6
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

All of the following verses are “for us” passages. They illustrate how God is for us and in what ways. To know what we are for, we need to be empowered by what God is for – he’s for us, he’s on our side. Knowing this can help us understand what is (reality – against our fears and  doubts), and what we are for (God and his vision for the world)

Joshua 4:23 (ESV)
For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over.

Nehemiah 4:20 (ESV)“In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.”Psalm 62:8 (ESV)“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.”

Psalm 126:3 (ESV)The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.Isaiah 62:12 (ESV)”O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for you have indeed done for us all our works.”

Mark 16:3 (ESV)And they were saying to one another, “who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

Luke 1:68-69 (ESV)
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people 69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David”Romans 5:8 (ESV)but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:26 (ESV)Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8:31-34 (ESV)What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Galatians 3:13 (ESV)Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”