Adult SS Lesson – The Heart

               IV. The Heart –  Proverbs 6:18  

      These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, & hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, & he that soweth discord among brethren.       Prov 6:16

      “6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations”

Interesting Statement: The heart is the engine of human existence – the most important organ of the body. Without the heart, man cannot survive as the heart pumps blood carrying oxygen to all parts of the body for strength & circulation. Heart disease kills millions every year. We only have one heart (unless transplanted); there is no back up plan for heart failure.

 

      Introduction: The Bible speaks of the human heart almost 300 times – not as a blood pumping muscle but for the spiritual side of humanity. The Bible tells us the heart is connected to the mind, will, & understanding & should be guarded against evil. Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9)

      Sin has permanently affected our hearts. However, God knows the secrets of the heart (Psa 44:21), searches the heart (Jer 17:10), gives a proper solution (Jesus Christ) for the sinful heart, & demands we turn from ourselves to serving God with a whole heart & willing mind (1 Chron 28:9).

    Lets think about two questions…

 

#1: Is My Heart “Beating” Against the Lord?

      The Hebrew word “heart” speaks of the inner man, his mind & thoughts. The sinful heart (that one without Christ) purposely “devises” wicked plans as all six things in Prov. 6 that God hates come from this heart. A heart that devises wicked plans is set on (1) fulfilling its own path, (2) pleasing itself & (3) fulfilling its own desires.

      Proverbs 19 says this kind of heart rages against the Lord & leads to ruin (Prov. 19:3), as God hates evil in the heart against another. (Zech. 8:17)

 

      Illustration: OT examples of how this played out…

• Rebecca (Gen. 27:5-29) – Used deception against Esau so that Jacob would get the blessing (stuff).

• Jezebel (1 Kings 21:1-16) –Naboth had field next to King Ahab. Ahab tried to buy the land from Naboth who couldn’t sell as God’s law had forbidden it. Jezebel plotted Naboth’s death to get the land for Ahab.

• Jonadab & Ammon (2 Sam. 13:1-15) – Amnon was in love with Tamar (half sister) & devised wicked plans with Jonadab, so he could have her.

• Haman (Esther 7:3-6) – Plotted to kill the Jews.                   

• All of these things (& many more) started in the divisive heart & God HATED it!

 

      • Application: The consequence of a heart that plots wicked plans is worth considering…

      • A Life of Sadness – Those that devise (plot) evil are dishonest. There is no peace. Only those in line with the Lord have true joy. (Pro 12:20)  

      *A Life of Brokenness – Proverbs says that a man with a heart that plots evil is one who will have “calamity come suddenly… he will be broken with no healing.” (Pro 6:14-15)

      • A Life Apart from Christ – Luke 1:51 tells us God has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart….Rom 1:24 “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:”

      • Examples: Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-6); Wheat & the Tares (Matt. 13:24-30)

 

      Transition: We are to not be this way! Paul says “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought (there’s the heart!) to the obedience of Christ;…” 2 Cor 5:10  In other words, we are to have a heart that beats for the Lord!

 

 

#2: Is My Heart “Beating” for the Lord?

      • Explanation: When we confess & receive Jesus, we turn our sinful hearts over to His control. Paul says, “Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”                                  2 Cor 3:16-18

      A heart against the Lord cannot see or reflect the Lord. When a heart (all our mind & thoughts) is given to the Lord, the veil (sin) is removed & we can see God’s love for us & know how to love Him in return. While most have us have done this, our question is how do we keep our heart beating for the Lord?

 

      David’s Advice – David said, “But I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.  Thus I was as a man that heareth not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. For in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God.”       Psa 38:13-15

      David refused to do evil & trust in the Lord (in all times). He knew God was in control. He refused to repay evil for evil & ignored it! Do we do that?

 

      Nehemiah’s Advice – Nehemiah did two things…

      • He Prayed – “Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity: (Neh. 4:4)

      • He Kept on Doing God’s Work – “So built we the wall; …: for the people had a mind to work.” (Neh. 4:6)

      Nehemiah refused to compromise to those with an evil heart & remained working for the Lord! (Neh. 6:2 3) • Do you do that?

      • Illustration: Whose influence are we following? The worlds or the Word’s? A heart that beats for the Lord refuses to repay evil (for evil), refuses to delight in evil, & refuses to scheme evil things in his (or her) heart.

      • Application: A heart that keeps beating for the Lord is a heart that does a few things…

     It Forgives Offenses – “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”           Lev 19:18

Lack of forgiving only hardens the heart more…

· “I can forgive, but I cannot forget,’ is only another way of saying, ‘I will not forgive.” Henry Ward Beecher

 

      It Trusts God Will Fix – “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Rom 12:19

      An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind… Christians don’t have to plan revenge (evil), when we have a Protector who always does what is right!

 

      It Looks & Rises Above – “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint..” Isa 40:30-31 Taking the high road is a Godly road…

 

      Conclusion: Others don’t know the true status of your heart, only God does. Psalm 94.11 says, “The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity…”

      While we may have others fooled, we can never fool the Lord! Be honest! What is the status of your heart? Is it beating against or for the Lord? Is it set on pleasing only yourself & what you desire to accomplish or is it set on pleasing the Lord for all He has accomplished through you?


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