The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 28:21-28 To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. 22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him. 23 He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue. 24 He who robs his father or his mother And says, “It is not a transgression,” Is the companion of a man who destroys. 25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. 26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered. 27 He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. 28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.
This is the Word of the LORD.
Follow your heart.
The heart wants what it wants. “I’m here to spread a message of hope. Follow your heart. Don’t follow what you’ve been told you’re supposed to do.”
We’ve all heard these trite little quotes before. In a world currently dominated by the fruit of humanism run amok, the notion that someone ought to simply “follow their heart” has led to very real, destructive consequences for western culture all around the world. Nations once dominated by Christian philosophy, that of law, reason, and rational thought, all built upon a foundation of the truths of scripture coupled with faith in the triune God, watch as the foundations are eroded by people who have rejected God, codified their rebellion into law, and are encouraged to do what is right in their own eyes.
The scriptures tell us that “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered.” This notion that we are to trust in our hearts is utter foolishness. In case you missed the case study done in 2020 on the ramifications of a people succumbing to the desires of their hearts, listen to what scripture says of this heart we are frequently told we ought to follow and trust: Apart from the grace of God we have
an “unbelieving heart” Hebrews 3:12
A “hard heart” Hebrews 3:8
A “heart of stone” Ezekiel 36:26
Genesis 6:5 says “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
Jesus said in Matthew 15 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man;”
For the believer, these verses ought to sound as the death knell in the notion that our hearts can be trusted to guide us, tell us right from wrong, or give us a clear picture of our true standing before God.
As reformed, evangelical Christians, who in many cases subscribe to the doctrine of total depravity, we know all too well that what we see around us in the world today results directly from people following after the desires of their hearts, rather than trusting in the LORD.
So, how have we succumbed to this vain philosophy?
How might you be trusting in your heart this morning, rather than in God?
This very day as a Church we will be presented with a proposal to change our meeting place from one location to another. As with any decision, there are pros, and cons. The downside of staying here at Carr township is abundantly clear every time we walk in the building. When contrasted with the alternate location, it seems like a no brainer. In this decision, whatever is decided upon by the heads of household, one thing is certain: this decision must be one in which we are trusting in the LORD with all our hearts, going where the facts may lead us, and cannot be a decision which is driven merely by the desires of our hearts.
As brothers and sisters, when we sit down to debate, question, and attempt to determine a course of action in a time such as this, with our Church outgrowing our meeting place, we need to remember that we all subscribe to one faith, one baptism, and one Lord. In the discussion of budgets, meeting places, and growth, let us remember that we are merely stewards of God’s house, that the Church belongs to Christ because He purchased her with His blood. Let us have faith, trusting in the Lord rather than our hearts, knowing that as we do so, He will use even our wrong turns for His glory.
If you came today with any notions of promoting the desires of your heart, apart from filtering those desires through God’s Word, let us repent and trust in Him instead.
If you are able, please join me in kneeling as we confess our sins to God Who is Holy, Holy, Holy.
Apart from Your grace we are as unreasoning animals biting and devouring one another. Apart from the truths of Your Word, we go astray, and in our straying we sin against You.
Father, please help us to delight in Your Word this morning, to keep is as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Please help us to apply Your Word to every area of our lives, decisions both big and small. Please forgive us for when we stray from Your narrow path and wind up led solely by our hearts, which are deceitful and wicked. Forgive us for not loving our brethren as we ought. Please be merciful towards us sinners. In Jesus’s Name we pray, amen.
Please join me in standing and listen to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to his church:
Psalm 37:1-6 Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday.
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!