Serving God From The Heart

SERVING GOD FROM THE HEART I. Jesus Christ knows men's hearts. JOH 2:25 c/w MAT 9:4; HEB 4:12. A. He routinely searches and proves His people's hearts. REV 2:23; DEU 8:2. B. Outward appearances do not carry much weight with God. 1SAM 16:7; JOH 7:24. C. He is at least as interested in inward devotion and motivation as He is in outward obedience. MAR 12:32-34. D. Obedience should come from the heart. EPH 6:5-6; ROM 6:17. 1. From one's heart: “Out of the depths of one's soul, with the sincerest or deepest feeling.” 2. With all one's heart: “With great sincerity, earnestness, or devotion....with the utmost goodwill or pleasure.” 3. The first commandment is to love the Lord with all of the heart. MAT 22:37. 4. We are to trust the Lord with all of our heart. PRO 3:5. 5. We are to believe in our heart unto righteousness. ROM 10:9-10. 6. We are to from our hearts forgive our brethren. MAT 18:35. II. Periodic examination of our lives is a necessary part of Christian experience. LAM 3:40-41; 2CO 13:5. A. Regular check-ups can be profitable in assuring good spiritual health. 1JO 3:18-19. B. We ought to be willing to invite God's scrutiny of our heart. PSA 26:2; 139:23-24. III. God is not looking for part-time devotion or restricted service. Half-hearted service misses the whole point. PSA 119:2, 10 ct/w JER 3:10. A. God is not interested in divided allegiances. MAT 6:24; EZE 20:39. 1. Our service should be with singleness of heart (sincerity, straightforwardness, honesty, integrity, freedom from deceit, duplicity or guile ) or our efforts for the kingdom of God will never amount to much. ACT 2:46 ct/w JAM 1:8 c/w JAM 4:8. 2. The church's corporate strength is directly relative to the spiritual unity of the body, striving together to serve God to the utmost of their ability. ACT 4:32; 1CH 12:33. B. Feigned service and devotion which is only done for appearance's sake is the stuff of Pharisaism: hypocrisy! MAT 23:5, 25-28. C. Outward appearances can be deceiving. True service to God does not place qualifications and restrictions on itself or “go through the motions” for appearance's sake. 2CO 5:12 c/w 2TI 3:5. 1. There is a tendency to only take the parts of the religion of God which we like but disregard the areas which conflict with personal interests. ISA 58:1-3; AMO 8:4-5. a. If we could get away with it, our flesh would take the benefits of Christianity without the attached stigma, duty and trouble. GAL 6:12. b. But whole-hearted faith claims cross as well as crown. PHIL 1:29; 2TI 3:12. 2. Talk is cheap. ISA 29:13-14; PSA 78:36-37; EZE 33:30-31. 3. Pious appeals for the will of God are not always sincere. JER 42:1-6; 20. 4. Outward beauty without inward dedication and sanctification is as a jewel of gold in a pig's snout. 1PE 3:3-4; REV 3:17. Serving God From The Heart 5-30-10 Page 1 of 2 5. Not all repentance is because of godly sorrow. JER 2:26; MAT 27:3. 6. Displays of pious emotion aren't necessarily born from a sincere heart. EZE 8:14; MAT 6:16. 7. God prefers inward humility to outward displays of devotion. JOEL 2:12-13; PSA 51:17. 8. “Table scraps” service does not glorify God. MAL 1:13. IV. The measure of our heart's dedication is according to our priorities. LUK 12:34. A. How much do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? MAT 22:37 ct/w REV 2:4. 1. Do you count all things loss for Him? PHIL 3:7. 2. The love of Christ should constrain (force, compel, oblige) us. 2CO 5:14. B. How much do you love God's word? PSA 119:10-11, 72, 97, 128, 162. C. How much do you love God's house? PSA 137:6; 84:1-2, 10. D. How highly do you esteem the overseer of that house? 1TH 5:12-13 ct/w ISA 29:20-21. E. Does the fellowship of like-minded brethren mean much to you? MAL 3:16; PSA 133:1-3; 1TH 2:17. F. Are you 100% convinced of the reality of Jesus Christ being the Son of God? If not, you should have never been baptized. ACT 8:37. G. Is heaven really all that important to you? MAT 6:20; COL 3:1-2. H. Is your service to God performed out of drudgery or out of joyful willingness? PSA 122:1; 1CH 29:9; 2CO 9:7. I. How much do you desire the Lord's table? LUK 22:15. J. Which grieves you more: personal loss or sin and the abominations done in God's name? PSA 119:53, 136, 158; JER 23:9; EZE 9:4. V. Perhaps this study has pricked your heart ( ACT 2:37). A. God's word to such is, “Repent.” ACT 2:38. B. Get your priorities straight so your heart will be in the right place. LUK 12:34. C. Guide your heart (PRO 23:19) and incline it to the Lord. JOS 24:23. D. He will be found of them that seek Him with all their heart. JER 29:13. E. 1JO 3:20-21. VI. It is your pastor's hope that you have come through this heart check-up with flying colors. If not, consider your ways and HEB 3:12-15.

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