Monday, November 25, 2013

The New Heart: My heart story: Section 2: Comparing My "physical" story with God's "Spiritual Story

Last time I  posted  section 1 of  a  Sermon  presented  Sunday morning November 17 2013 at  the Pinehill church Sault Ste Marie Ontario titled "The New Heart: My heart story".

 Section 1 told   God's "heart" story -- the old, old story of Jesus and His love.

The sermon was  prompted by  Bible verses describing  how God  "strengthens" and "cleans (makes new) our heart.

Psalm 73:26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,  and renew a right spirit within me.

This post is the continuation of that sermon.

I love explaining things using analogies and metaphors. I think they are a good way of using familiar things to help  us  understand unfamiliar things (Jesus did this with parables).  There are 2 dangers with this approach.

1) the point (or meaning) you are intending to make may not be understood (as was often the case with Jesus parables)  and

2) we may “reverse” the process and use something that is true about the “analog”  to show that the same thing must be true about the “real thing”  - and that isn’t always the case
In this sermon  lesson I am  using  something that happened to me in the “physical” world to  draw spiritual lessons – and, it is possible I may not  have  gotten it completely right.
I pray like the Bereans, you will search the scriptures to see that these things are so.

So here are some things I observed during  this "physical" journey that led to spiritual lessons.

1st comparison: No matter how healthy I was a year ago, 10 years ago or even at the moment of my birth – my body is subject to the ravages of time.
The fact is “I will  die sometime”.  (Hebrews 9:27 “appointed for man to die once”) , or   in words attributed to Benjamin Franklin “nothing in life  is certain but death and taxes”.
The same is true of our “spiritual heart” – as innocent and pure as we are when we are born – we all (eventually) die spiritually  –  “fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).   

In the case of our physical health there are things we can do (or refrain from doing) which tend to keep us healthy longer or tend to speed up the “decay”.  In fact, Linda has and continues to be “my conscience’ in that area - watching my diet and encouraging me to exercise and chiding me when I spend too much of my time “hunched over the computer”. But in the end  we all die.

Equally it is true the spiritual world;  nothing I can do will affect the process  of "dying" - it isn’t up to me.  In a very real sense, without Jesus, I am (already) dead - no matter how innocent I am, or how hard I try to be or do good.

2nd comparison: A year ago I didn’t know there was anything wrong.  I was blithely unaware of the problem – but that didn’t mean the problem wasn’t there.  (as an aside – Linda is more “intuitive” about these things and she sensed there was something wrong – but she thought it was just that I had been too tied up in teaching and  had gotten “out of shape” and her answer was to wait until January when I was done and march me off to the gym J) 

How many people in the world have “broken spirits” and don’t know it?  What of those who totally reject God?  -- they are dead – and don’t know it. Their lack of knowledge doesn’t change their situation.  They may have “no clue” or they may, as  Linda did, sense “something isn’t right” but  really not know what it is. 

I hope  there are none here today in this position but if you haven’t received a “new heart” from God  – please   let’s talk more..

In both cases (my heart problem and for those who reject God) ignorance is NOT bliss.
.. to be continued

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