Proverbs 23:26 My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
Isn't it interesting how often we try to give God something other than what He asks for? We will give Him ceremonies. We will give Him religion or some meaningless sacrifice instead of the one thing that He is pleased with: Our heart, our obedience.
Whatever we give, if we have not given our heart first, will not be accepted. You see, if you give your heart then obedience follows.
Jesus said, "If you love me you will keep My Commandments."
We need to remember that God searches the heart and tries the mind. He is a discerner of thoughts and motives. Too many times we try to divide our heart between God and the world. We want to give God some part of our heart but not all of our heart.
You may say, "Dave, that's a tall order." Well, Deuteronomy 6:5 says, And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. That means spirit, mind and body. That is not a suggestion.
Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way.
Jeremiah 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD.
Now that doesn't mean we can't love anything else, because Jesus commanded that we love one another. But it means that our love for God is first place; that He has the throne of our heart; that our desire to obey and please Him is above our desire to please ourselves or each other.
The Lord says, "Give Me your heart." You see, whatever you give your heart to controls you.
Years ago I got into night hunting. I would work until midnight, come home after working all day, then go and hunt until daylight.
How many people would work until midnight then come to church until daylight?
Do you see what I mean? Hunting had my heart at that time.
The desires of our heart determine our direction in life. Does Jesus have your heart or just a portion?
God doesn't want good deeds. He wants your heart, but if you give Him your heart He'll use it to produce good deeds. If we will give God our heart He will replace it with a heart to know Him (Jeremiah 24:7).
Deuteronomy 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
De 30:18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish.
If thine heart turn away. I have turned on the TV to catch the weather report and sat down to watch it and something happened between the time I sat down and the time they gave the report. After a while someone would ask, "What did they say?" I had to answer, "I don't know. I didn't hear."
The voice was loud enough. I was in the same room. No one distracted me. What happened? My heart turned away and the very thing I came in to receive, I missed.
You can sit right in a church pew and turn your heart away from God.
I want to say today that as Christians we need to guard our hearts. Be watchful. Satan is out to distract us, to turn our heart away from God. Our enemy is subtle. He may not tempt you with some awful sin. He will consume all your time, overload your heart with the cares of life, and try to convince you that you don't have time for prayer, Bible study, or church.
Remember Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38? Mary had chosen that good part; to sit at Jesus' feet. But cares and worry caused Martha to be side-tracked. (We all know where a side track goes don't we?) Soon Martha was crying, "Lord, you don't care."
You see, Mary chose the good part, because hearing the Words of Jesus will cause you to overcome the cares of this world: Hearing, believing, and acting on Them.
Satan is using a lot of devices to turn people's hearts away from God today. He has been working to turn our worship that is to be offered to God into entertainment offered to each other. He is turning hearts to false religions filled with customs, ceremonies, and traditions of men.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Those who love God with all their heart begin to see Him in all things. But one of our Scriptures today said, If our heart turns away we perish.
I am going to ask each one today to take some time and think about the condition of our hearts.
Are the cares of this world choking off your spiritual growth?
Are we on fire for the Lord like we once were?
It's easy to slip away sometimes; not with some awful sin but we get caught up in activities and cluttered up with cares. Before we know it we have no time for Jesus, no time for His Word, no time to pray, no time for our brothers and sisters, no time to seek the lost and then one day we find out that we have no more time period.
I am going to be very blunt about this. Drop anything you can't spiritually afford. Don't make the mistake of trying to fit God into your schedule. Build your schedule around God.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I am going to close with an old poem I found that sort of asks the question we all must answer as Christians or sinners.
If Jesus came to your home today to spend a day or two
If He came unexpectedly, I wonder what you'd do?
I know you'd give your nicest room to such an honored Guest,
And all the food you'd serve to Him would be the very best.
And you'd keep assuring Him you're glad to have Him there,
That serving Him in your own home is joy beyond compare.
But when you saw Him standing there, could you go to the door
With outstretched to welcome Him, would your heart begin to soar?
Or would you have to change some things before you let Him in,
Or hide some sinful things and place the Bible where they'd been?
Would family conversation be continued at it's current pace,
I wonder what would have to change if you saw Him face to face?
Would you be glad to introduce Him to your closest friends,
Or would you wish they'd stay away until His visit ends?
Would it cause embarrassment, these crazy things you do,
If Jesus came to your own house, to spend some time with you?
In Jeremiah 3:10 God's Word came against Judah because Judah had not turned to God with their whole heart but had feigned their attention to God.
Does God have your heart today?
Have you surrendered all?
You can trust Him with your heart. Maybe it's been broken. He alone can fix it and make it new.