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CULTIVATING A HEART FOR GOD (5)

 

Heart Elements (5)

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.     When Peter and John came to Samaria to impart spiritual gifts to the new converts of that city, Simon the sorcerer, a new Christian, was tempted and sinned by offering the apostles money for the power that they had.

 

B.     Peter diagnosed Simon’s problem in Acts 8:21.

 

Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:  for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

 

1.      Simon had a heart problem.

2.      His heart was infected with sinful desires.

3.      As long as the problem continued, Simon would continue to be separated from God.  In fact, he would drift farther and farther away.

4.      Thus, he was counseled to repent and to pray to God for forgiveness (Acts 8:22).

 

Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

 

C.     It is imperative that all of us pay close attention to our hearts.

1.      For this cause, we have been developing this series of lessons entitled:  “Cultivating A Heart for God.”

2.      After an introductory lesson, we began to look at specific things we can do to cultivate a heart for God within each of us.

3.      We will continue this study in this lesson.

 

I.            A DEPENDENCY UPON GOD

 

A.     Definition

1.      To rely upon another for support, maintenance, and help

2.      To realize that one cannot do things by himself

 

B.     Man perceives himself to be very independent as long as certain factors exists.

1.      Good health

2.      A good mind

3.      Talents and skills

4.      Willing to apply himself over time

 

C.     In his independence, man can become very haughty and arrogant (Ex., Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4:29-30).

 

At the end of twelve months, he walked in the palace of the kingdom of Babylon.  The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

 

1.      Nebuchadnezzar gave not honor to God.

2.      We might not be as bold as Nebuchadnezzar, but it is easy for us to take pride in our wealth, knowledge, accomplishments, assets, and power.

 

D.    Three verses that show our dependence on God.

1.      Acts 17:28

 

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

2.      Hebrews 1:3a

 

Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…

 

3.      John 15:5

 

I am the vine, ye are the branches:  He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit:  for without me ye can do nothing.

 

E.     How does a person develop a dependency upon God?

1.      Remember

a.      We are dependent upon three basic things:  air, water, and food.

1)      We can live up to 8 weeks without food.

2)      We can live up to 12 days without water.

3)      We can live only 3 to 5 minutes without air.

b.      We get sick.

c.      We get old.

d.      We all die.

2.      Pray often.

a.      Give thanks to God for what you have and can do.

b.      Give glory to God for all your accomplishments.

3.      Continue in the will of God.

a.      Jeremiah 6:16

 

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

 

b.      God can see the way when we cannot (Prov. 3:5-8).

 

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes:  fear the Lord, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

 

4.      Look to Jesus.

a.      He acknowledged his dependence upon God (John 5:30).

b.      He prayed to His Father often (Mark 1:35).

c.      He completely resigned His will to the will of God (Luke 22:42).

 

F.      Song:  I Need Thee Every Hour

 

II.          TOTAL COMMITMENT TO GOD

 

A.     In the late 70s and early 80s, the words, “total commitment,” were made taboo by the Crossroad and Boston Movement in the church.

 

B.     The words, however, are not evil and we are to be totally committed to God.

1.      Definition

a.      To bind or obligate fully

b.      To entrust completely

c.      To do and perform all

2.      When we say, we are to be totally committed, we are saying that every aspect of our life is to be governed by the will of God.

1.      Choices

2.      Relationships

3.      Vocation

4.      Behaviors

5.      Finances

6.      Recreation

7.      Time

3.      As far as God is concerned, it is an “All-or-Nothing” proposition.  Either God has our all, or, He has nothing.

 

C.     Verses that teach total commitment.

1.      We are the bondservants, that is, slaves of Jesus Christ.

a.      Romans 6:22

 

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

 

b.      As a slave, our will is totally consumed in the will of the one we serve (II Cor. 5:15).

 

And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him that died for them, and rose again.

 

2.      Matthew 4:10

 

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan:  for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

 

3.      Exodus 20:3

 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 

4.      Matthew 22:37

 

Jesus saith unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with all they mind.

 

5.      Romans 12:1

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

 

6.      I Corinthians 6:20

 

For ye are bought with a price:  therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 

D.    Song:  None of Self and All of Thee

 

III.        COMMUNION WITH GOD

 

A.     When we think of communion, we often think of the Lord’s Supper.

1.      I Corinthians 10:16

 

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

 

2.      In the Lord’s Supper, we communion with our Lord in His death upon the cross of Calvary.

 

B.     The word “communion” is a combination of two words:  “com” meaning “with” and “unus” meaning “oneness” or “union.”

1.      Communion is being in union or at one with God.

2.      We can have communion with God in many ways:

a.      It is a daily oneness as we live our lives for God.

1)      It can be destroyed by sin (Isa. 59:1-2).

2)      When Adam sinned, God called out unto Adam, and asked, “Where art thou?” (Gen. 3:9).

b.      It is a sharing together with God in prayer and in the study of His Word.

c.      God is present in His people as we associate one with another.

d.      We communion with God every time we worship the God of heaven.

 

C.     A heart that is one with God is one that longs to be with him.

1.      Psalm 42:1-3

 

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God, when shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

 

2.      Psalm 63:1

 

O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee:  my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

 

D.    Song;  I Am Thine, Oh Lord

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.     Cultivating a heart for God involves a rich relationship with Him.

1.      Dependency upon Him

2.      Totally committed to Him

3.      Communion with Him at all times

 

B.     Fellowship with God comes by obedience to His will (II John 9).

 

Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God.  He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.