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Simmering Volcano

Simmering Volcano

Mar 10, 2019

Passage: Matthew 15:10-20

Preacher: Michael Grigsby

Series: Enemies of the Heart

Category: Heart issues

Detail:

Title:Simmering Volcano

Text:Matthew 15:10-20 NLT

 

            Good morning! I am excited that you are with us this morning, because we are starting a new series called Enemies of the Heart.This series is directed at how we can better protect ourselves from the attacks of the enemy, and our own sinful nature.

 

OPENING PRAYER

 

            Our tendency is to monitor our behavior while pretty much ignoring our hearts. After all, how do you monitor your heart? I can’t get too far off base in my behavior without somebody drawing it to my attention, but my heart? That seems a bit more complicated. When was the last time someone close to you noticed that your heart was out of alignment?

 

            The heart is such a mystery. In fact, one prophet asked of the heart, Jeremiah 17:9, “9“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” NLT.

            Good question. The implication is that nobody knows, and I would absolutely agree with Jeremiah. Even if we do begin to understand it, we certainly can’t control it—which is all the more reason we need to learn to monitor it. Like the seismic activity of a dormant volcano, what you don’t know can and willhurt you.

 

            Andy Stanley, “The heart seeps into every conversation. It dictates every relationship. Our very lives emanate from the heart. We live, parent, lead, relate, romance, confront, react, respond, instruct, manage, problem solve, and love from the heart. Our hearts impact the intensity of our communication. Our hearts have the potential to exaggerate our sensitivities and insensitivities. Every arena of life intersects with what’s going on in our hearts. Everything passes through on its way to wherever it’s going. Everything!”

 

            What Andy Stanley is talking about and what we are going to look at this morning is what defiles the man or woman. What does this look like in the scriptures? Why would we need to know this? Easy, it is through the word of God that we can be transformed.

 

            Jesus taught us what defiles a man in Matthew 15:10-11, “10Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand.  11It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.” NLT.

 

            The Pharisees stressed the letter of the law, but Jesus was more concerned with the spirit of our words than kosher meats and hand washing. Why? How do our words defile us? Our words reveal what’s in our hearts.

 

            Lets look at the next verse Matthew 15:12, “12Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” NLT.

 

            Jesus offended religious leaders without apology. Did He set Himself above kosher law from the Old Testament? No. Jesus came to fulfill the law not to destroy it or render it useless. The Pharisees kept it “by the letter”, but did not understand the spiritual intent of the law. Are we afraid of sharing the Gospel because it may offend some people?

 

            If you are a Christian and you have been offended there is a book that you NEEDto read. It is called “The Bait of Satan”, and it brings a light into the nature of being offended. In the book John Bevere said, “Offended people still may experience miracles, words of utterance, strong preaching, and healing in their lives. But these are gifts of the Spirit, not fruits. We will be judged according to fruit, not gifting. A gift is given. Fruit is cultivated.” 

 

            The crazy thing about the heart is that when it is not in alignment with God it will ALWAYS lead you the wrong way; Matthew 15:13-14, “13Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.” NLT.

 

            What is Jesus talking about here? Every man-made doctrine, every man-made tradition, and every church ministry, that God did not plant, will eventually disappear, so dismiss them from your thoughts. Do not focus on what man has said is important. Instead, focus on what God has said is important; Matthew 22:37-40, “37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” NLT.

 

            Look at Matthew 15:15-18, “15Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.” 16“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. 17“Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.” NLT.

 

            Our words tell what’s in our hearts. It’s our hearts that defile us, and outward washing rituals and kosher dietary regulations cannot make us clean inside. The heart is the corrupt source of this defilement. Sinful words come from there, and by pretending that our hearts are clean and righteous we only defile others as well.

 

            Why is this so important? I mean is it really that big of a deal that we are aware of our hearts, because God says that He will make us new. Right? Francis Chan, “The world says love yourself, grab all you can, follow your heart. Jesus says deny yourself, grab your cross and follow me.”

 

            What does Jesus say about your heart when it is out of alignment with God? Matthew 15:19, “19For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” NLT.

 

            Did you catch where all of these evil things begin? Thoughts. Did you notice that Jesus just laid out the Ten Commandments? Jesus said that breaking the Ten Commandments is done in the heart, not just in the flesh.

 

            Blind believers place human traditions ahead of matters of the heart. Blind believers find excuses to sidestep the instructions of God. Blind believers preach “inclusion,” meaning accommodation to the sins of the world. Blind believers preach “unconditional love,” often preached as “come as you are,” without the mention of change.

 

            When, in reality, real love preaches repentance, and rescuing sinners from hell; Jude 1:23, “23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.” NLT.

 

            How can we avoid misleading others? Lets look at Acts 17:11, “11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” NLT.

 

            Being a believer means that we are good listeners. Being a good listener means we don’t naively swallow everything we hear, but analyze it. For Christians that also means we compare it to the Scriptures. Don’t just believe any preacher. Follow along in your Bibles. If we don’t study our Bibles daily, we become blind believers.

           

            We often focus on the physical side of religion, our buildings, our rituals, but not our changed hearts, yet that’s the very definition of repentance. Look at what the Apostle Matthew had to say about those who’s heart is in alignment with God; Matthew 13:16-17, “16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.” NLT.

 

            What do your recent thoughts, words, and actions reveal about what’s going on in your heart? Ask someone close to you for his or her opinion about this as well.In the next four weeks of this series we will be looking at four enemies of the heart that everyone faces. These are not the only enemies of the heart, but I think they are the four that we struggle with the most: Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy.

 

CLOSING PRAYER