Enemies of the Heart - Podcast

Friday, April 5, 2013

I have been so blessed by listening to Andy Stanley's message: Enemies of the Heart. I was struggling with anger/ hurt at that moment and was reminded that I need to forgive and forgive and forgive again and again and again as Jesus told Peter in Matthew 18 . 

I got chance to share the lesson with my Sunday School Highschoolers a few weeks ago. Below are the note to read along if you want to listen to the message here. The underline words are those that I have the kids to fill in the blank that way they won't fall asleep while listening. 

Enemies of the Heart
By Andy Stanley

"The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

We are often better at monitoring our behavior than we are monitoring our heart. If  we continue to do so, we will eventually become two different people and this drove Jesus crazy. 

The day will come when what's in the inside will be reflected on the outside.

Matthew 15 (NIV)
15 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your traditionFor God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’” 10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” 12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?” 13 He replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. 14 Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” 15 Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.” 16 “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. 17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not make them unclean.”

Eventually what in our heart will be manifest in our behavior
Four heart problems:

1. Guilt says, "I owe you." The solution: confession. 

2. Anger says, "You owe me." Angry people are hurt people. The solution: forgiveness. Basically the statement, "debt canceled." 

3. Greed says, "I owe me." The solution: give!

4. Jealousy says, "God owe me." Celebrate the success of the people you are most jealous at

"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45

How’s your heart? Jesus said that the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. Life is hard on the heart. It is affected by outside influences that have the power to disrupt its rhythm. The inevitable pain and disappointments of life may have caused you to set up walls around your heart.  

Over time, you may develop habits that slowly erode your heart’s sensitivity so we are warned that we need to:
1. Monitor our hearts. If there are destructive things in our hearts, they’re going to make their way into our life and ultimately affect others. 
God has not completed in us what he has begun. We are still a work in progress. Below is a list of personal reflection questions to help you identify which enemies are affecting you:
1. What is the condition of my heart today?
2. What’s currently going on in my life that I hope nobody discovers?
3. What’s the one question I hope nobody asks me?
4. Am I angry with anybody?
5. Have I secretly celebrated someone’s failure in the past several days?
6. When is the last time I publicly celebrated someone’s success?
7. When is the last time I gave generously to something or someone,
with no thought of what I would get in return?

2. Identify what is lodged in your heart and take action to remove it is exceedingly. 

3. Make a habit to confess, forgivegive generously, and celebrate the successes of others. These are the habits that keep a heart free from painful clutter. These are the habits that change everything.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." 
Proverbs 4:23

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