A Spiritual Heart Examination
Topic: A Spiritual Heart Examination
Opening Song:“Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart”
Scripture Reading: Psalm 139: 1-24
Superintendents Remarks:A Spiritual Heart Examination
Question #1: What’s the condition of your heart?
Question #2: When was the last time you had a heart exam?
The heart is the most crucial organ in the body. It is the central pump and powerhouse that circulates the blood and provides oxygen and energy to all the cells. It is truly an amazing organ. Your heart beats about 100,000 times per day and about 35 million times per year. The human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times during an average lifetime! 17 million people around the world die from it each year. Strangely, much of it is preventable. What is it? It’s heart disease. From strokes and high blood pressure to heart attacks, the world is suffering immensely from something that is largely preventable with good habits like eating right and exercise. But most of us are not doing the things that prevent this disease from advancing.
Maybe you should all stand up and do some jumping jacks right now?! Okay, maybe not now.
But, let’s do something together.
- An Activity: Let’s take our pulse. It’s simple. Just place the tips of your index, second, and third fingers on the palm side of your other wrist, below the base of the thumb. Or, place the tips of your index and second fingers on your lower neck, on either side of your windpipe. Now press lightly with your fingers until you feel the blood pulsing beneath your fingers. You might need to move your fingers around slightly up or down until you feel the pulsing. Do you feel it? Good! You’re alive!
How’s the health of your heart today? In the medical world, a doctor uses a stethoscope to listen and see if the beat has any irregularities, and he uses an ECG or a CT scanner or a cardiac MRI machine to look inside determine our heart’s condition. Even though we’ve all just demonstrated that we’re alive physically, that’s not the pulse God takes of our lives. He takes our spiritual pulse. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, But the Lord says to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”As Pastor Rick Warren says, ‘the heart of the matter is a matter of the heart’. God doesn’t look at the outside, he looks at the inside. God actually has a 24-7 lock ontoour spiritual heart condition. Is that fascinating to you, or is it a bit scary? God’s spiritual stethoscope measures our spiritual condition; he takes our spiritual pulse. What do you think yours sounds like to him?
Let’s clarify what the Bible means when it uses the word, heart. In the Bible the heart is mentioned approximately 987 times and almost all of these refer to our spiritual heart.The heart is considered to be the center of our emotions, desires, passions and appetites. It represents who we are at the center, it’s the place around which our moral, spiritual and intellectual life revolves. The Bible tells us our heart can be hardened (Exodus 4:21), that it is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9), yet despite our sin nature the law of God is written there (Romans 2:15), and God’s cleansing grace happens there (Acts 15:9). Emotions like joy, love, courage, anger, sorrow are attributed to our hearts. So the Biblical concept of the heart essentially represents who we are.
Questions: Can you take a long hard look in the mirror? Can you allow God to search your heart and life? When was the last time you did some self-reflecting to see what’s really in your heart? When was the last time you had a spiritual heart exam? Had it looked at, put to the test, and examined by God?
Some of us are even walking around experiencing a Spiritual Heart Attack and we don’t even know it, we need a Spiritual Cardiology.
In the Physical context a heart attack occurs when there is a blockage. Many of us allow all sorts of things to become blockage e.g. Guilt, pain, unforgiveness, anger etc….
As important as it is to maintain a healthy heart physically, it is even more important for us to develop a healthy heart spiritually. The Bible clearly sets forth the disciplines and characteristics of a healthy spiritual heart. They include gratitude, hope, forgiveness and love. If we discipline ourselves to be grateful every day for what God has done, if we hope when things look hopeless, if we forgive those who injure us, if we love our enemies instead of just loving those who love us, we will have a healthy heart.
But, like our physical heart, having a spiritually healthy heart requires more than knowledge. We may know that we need to be grateful, hopeful, forgiving and loving. But how do you create heartfelt gratitude, hope, forgiveness and love?
In the spiritual realm, this requires a spiritual heart transplant. God has to create a new heart within us, something that He is more than willing to do. We are all born with spiritual heart disease. Jeremiah says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9).
But later he writes, “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God.” (Jer. 24:7). And in Ezekiel He says, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh.” (Ez. 36:26).
God sent His son Jesus so that He might create in us a healthy heart that is full of gratitude, hope, forgiveness and love. He changes the heart that has grown callous, bitter and resentful into one that overflows in gratitude. Someday our physical heart will beat its last beat and our bodies will die. But the spiritually healthy heart that God creates will live forever.
This morning let’s allow God to remove those blockage in our hearts.
- In a real sense, this is a life-altering question. As you prayerfully consider the state of your heart, know that God’s desire is for your heart to be strong and healthy. He has big plans for your life, but a bad heart will hijack and derail those plans.
Let us Read Psalm 139 together it is on the importance of having a daily spiritual heart exam. To help us surrender to the joy of having our heart and thoughts examined by God.