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CULTIVATING A HEART FOR GOD (4)

 

Heart Elements (3)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     In Proverbs 23:19, the wise man gave sound advice to his son.

 

Hear thou, my son, and be wise, guide thine heart in the way.

 

1.      This father understood that there is but one way:  the way of truth, holiness, righteousness, the right way, the way of God.

2.      This father told his son to guide his heart in this way.

a.      The word “guide” means “to go straight.”

b.      The heart cannot guide itself (Jer. 17:9).

 

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

 

c.      The heart must be governed by a higher, holier authority than itself.  Fortunately, God has given us such a guide, the Word of God (Ps. 43:3).

 

O send out thy light and thy truth:  let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles.

 

B.     In this series of lessons, we have been looking into God’s Word in an effort to find out what we must do to cultivate a heart for God.

 

C.     We have looked at six elements thus far.  Let’ continue our study this morning.

 

I.            THANKFULNESS

 

A   There is a song that stated:  “He (God) blesses and blesses again.”

 

 

B.   In fact, every good and perfect gift comes from our heavenly Father (James 1:17).

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

      C.   Has God blessed you?

 

 

            Physical Blessings                                                        Spiritual Blessings

 

          Citizens of the United States                                                        The forgiveness of our sins

            Job                                                                                           Knowledge of God’s Word

            House                                                                                       Prayer

            Plenty of food                                                                            Spiritual family

            Clothes                                                                                     Hope of heaven

 

 

     D.   We are to give thanks to God for His blessings.

                        1.         Psalm 110:4

 

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:  be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

 

 

      2.         Hebrews 13:15

 

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to name.

 

                 E..   Thanksgiving is more than words.  Thanksgiving is also expressed in thanks-living.

                        1.         In Romans 1:21-32, Paul shows us the devastating effects of an unthankful life (See vs. 21).

 

Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

 

2.          Example:  What if a child told his parents every morning how thankful he was for them, but did poorly at school, cause problems at school, and came home every day demanding and rebellious.  Would he be thought of as a “thankful” child?

      3.         Thanksgiving is shown in both our words and the way we live before God (I Tim. 1:12).

 

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.

 

a.      Paul gives thank in words here.

b.      Question:  How did he approach his ministry? (See I Cor. 15:10).

 

...but I labored more abundantly than they all…

 

II.          THIRTS FOR KNOWLEDGE

 

A.     Numerous passages exhort us to be people of knowledge.

1.      Proverbs 23:12

 

Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

 

2.      Hosea 4:6

 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:  because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me:  seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

 

3.      Colossians 1:10

 

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

 

4.      II Peter 1:5

 

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.

 

B.     Knowledge is attained through the introduction of information into one’s mind.

1.      Personal Bible study

a.      The devotion of time and energy every day in a study of God’s Word.

b.      This is the main way that all Christians should accumulate knowledge of God’s Word.

2.      Public Bible study

a.      This is the study offered by the church:  Bible classes, gospel meetings, workshops, VBS, etc.

b.      Those who do not involve themselves in public study:

1)      Miss important lessons found in the Word of God.

a)      Teachings of Jesus

b)      The Psalms

c)      The Life of Samson

d)      How to Study the Bible

e)      Islam

2)      Are not usually students of the Bible in a personal way

3)      Are not the active, productive members of the body of Christ

 

C.     I Peter 2:2

 

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

 

a.      Desire

1)      Strong (1971):  yearn, …intensely crave

2)      Thayer:  to long for, pursue with love, to long after

b.      As newborn babes

1)      All of us know how newborn babies long for their mother’s milk.  Every two or three hours they want more.  They cry until the need is satisfied.

2)      That is how our hearts are to long for the sincere milk of the Word of God.

 

III.        DESIRE FOR HOLINESS

 

A.     Two verses:

1.      I Peter 1:15-16

 

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 

2.      II Peter 3:11

 

Seeing then that all these tghings shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness.

 

B.     Definition of holy

1.      Strong (40):  an awful thing, that is a thing full of awe, sacred, morally blameless, consecrated

2.      Thayer:  most holy thing

3.      Vines:  separated…separated from sin and therefore consecrated to God, sacred

 

C.     There are two sides of holiness.

1.      Separation from sin

a.      Romans 12:2a

 

And be not conformed to this world…

 

b.      II Corinthians 6:17

 

Wherefore come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

 

c.      Ephesians 5:3

 

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.

 

d.      I John 2:15

 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him.

 

 

 

e.      This separation also includes the doctrines or teachings we embrace (I Thess. 5:19-21).

 

Quench not the Spirit.  Despise not prophesyings.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

 

2.      Consecrated to God

a.      I Corinthians 6:19-20

 

What!  Know ye not that yoru body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify god in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

b.      I Corinthians 10:31

 

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of god.

 

c.      Matthew 5:16

 

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     In this lesson, we have seen that in order to cultivate a heart for God, we must use our all in His service.

1.      Our lips to give thanks

2.      Our mind to acquire knowledge of His Word

3.      Our bodies as we refrain from sin and engage in His service

 

B.     Question:  Can others watch your life and see enough evidence to be able to say:  “This man or woman has a heart in tune with God?”