Stillmeadow Church of the Nazarene 400 Stillmeadow Lane York, PA 717.764.4888
God's Big Idea
Session #16 - The Religion of the Heart
Sunday January 16th
Series: God’s Big Idea: Love God . . . love others. Reminder: Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. And the second is like the first: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
The apostle Paul agrees . . . this is God’s Big Idea: “The one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)
Now, there are those who don’t believe this is possible . . . to love God with everything you’ve got and love the person right in front of you. It’s a command from God but God won’t hold us to it . . . not really.
And I agree. It’s not possible . . . unless God change your heart. And this is the message of the Church of the Nazarene: it is possible, by the grace of God, in this moment, to love God and the person right in front of you. But only, and we mean only after God has changed your heart. You can’t love God or your neighbor with all your heart until all but love has been removed from your heart. Christianity if it is anything, in a religion of the heart.
1. Illustration (p.15 of Jesus Loves Me)
“When I was a pastor, a somewhat distraught mother in my church called me. Her little boy, she said, had quarreled all day long with his sister. They had not played well together and had come to slaps and blows over the various issues of their childish disagreements. Their fighting, she said, was evidence that, in spite of all her attempts to get them to be loving and kind, they were capable of instant cruelty. But her worst trial came at the timeof their bedtime prayers when Christopher, her son, prayed, “God, please send a big dog to eat up Mandy.” Fortunately for his sister, the boy’s prayer carried little clout in heaven.
Where do little boys—beautiful, pure little boys—come up with such
Two or three things the scripture teaches us about the heart.
I. The Heart Is The Center of A Human Being, It Is The Core of Who We
2. Now, here’s what Jesus said about the heart. (Matthew 15:1-20)
3. Now Paul chimes in about the heart. He too teaches that the heart is a metaphor for the center of a human being, the core of who we are. (Romans 10:1-13)
4. See? When a person is born, they come into this world with a heart condition: sin. That’s why all kinds of nasty stuff comes out of a person’s life, because at the core there is sin. (READ Matthew 15:15-20 from The Message!)
5. Good News: We preach a religion of the heart around here. Yes. The heart is evil left to itself. But God can change the heart!
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