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An Issue of the Heart

Ralph Henderson

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Recorded

  • March 1, 2003
    9:30 AM
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warning him life reads it again Dyer has with me as we seek the Lord just one more time before we open his work loving father in heaven we come before you this morning Lord again we ask for your presence Lord I pray that you will especially speak through me this morning let there be no self and the way this morning Lord but speak to me the things that I need to hear speak to us the things that we need to hear soften our hearts and our minds that we will be receptive for Lord we want to spend eternity with you and we know that you have a plan for our salvation and we ask these things in Jesus name and for his sake amen the great controversy this past week and a half we have been listening to Peter Gregory as he has shared and unveiled the great controversy as it is progress through time and I know that if I were to ask for a show of hands this morning that every hand would quickly go up if I said how many believe that we are in the midst of a great controversy I know that if I were to say how many of you believe that we live in the last days again those hands would go quickly but I don't want to raise your hands right now but I want to ask you one question very seriously how many of you live like you believe you live in the last hours of her sister the great controversy is taking place the great controversy is not taking place all around us the great controversy is taking place within each one of us we are living in the last days it's very obvious not just in the things taking place in God 's church in the things that are taking place in the world Jesus told us in Luke twenty one verse twenty six that in the last days men's hearts would be failing them for fear and further on down the verse thirty four he told us he warned us to be careful to be watchful lest we be overcome with serpentine drunkenness and the cares of this line and as we look all around us today my brothers and sisters I believe that we can see these things taking place we can see people who are being overcome by the cares of this line in Matthew twenty four Jesus said four times to be careful that we be not deceived and the fourth time he made that statement he said to be careful because if possible even the very would be deceived now I think that if we look at Bible prophecy and we follow it on down through time we believe that we the Seventh-day Adventist church are the remnants sure we believe that we are God 's elect people so I believe that we could say that this statement is speaking directly to us Jesus says be careful because if possible even the very lack will be deceived you see I believe that God 's church in these last days is truly the remnant church is truly his elect people I believe that God 's church in these last days has the truth but my brothers and sisters I believe there's big problems and I wanted to share with you how I believe those problems have taken place as we look back over the course of the history of this church when it first began we realized that this church was brought together from a culmination of people coming from all walks of life various denominations bringing God 's word and the truth all together in one place but as time progressed it seems that one very important factor began to be eliminated from a message that was the difference in the world and that factor was the factor of the decision of heart you see it seems that we went through a period of time where they got friends and the trailers that we had together seem to be so important that we forgot the very basic and most important issue of all and that was complete and total surrender and so we came into a group we came into a generation of the do 's and don'ts I generation of parents who raise their children telling them don't you just don't do that we don't do this we don't believe in that we don't do this and children growing up feeling as though they were being pounded with something that was missing and so they grow up and have children we are their children and when we grow up we grew up in our parents did not want us to live in that atmosphere our parents did not want us to feel that they are telling us don't do this don't do that and so now we've swung to the other end of the pendulum now we swung to the point where were over here on the far side and we don't want to tell anybody anything that needs to be done we don't want to point out any sand because we need to learn to be loving and accepting and so we live in this circumstance today work hot I remember a few years ago as I sat in the church office a very clean-cut gentleman with the beard came in to visit me and as he walked into the room I thought now look at this brother want today no one knows the church is open I just happen to be here for a minute what can he want with me and he walked in and he had an agenda that he wanted to share with me that day he wanted to let me know that I was on the way to being lost because I because all of God 's true man wore beards any will you know you look like a woman now I sat there and I didn't want to be offended about but I was kind of thinking myself isn't this interesting my salvation is dependent on whether or not happy here on my and I thought about how we come to a point where we have to opposite signs we have a group of people who are so hung up on doctrine and truth and giving him the way it should be that there is so far out there in left field that every time they come into a conversation with someone they can't help but try and correct that person 's line what's the problem with that aspect of the truth the problem with that aspect of the truth my friends is that the problem is as we go home to our homes and for living that way but you see the real truth the real influence of Jesus Christ is not penetrated into our hearts and then we go home behind closed doors where those people don't see us anymore we come into the realm of family and suddenly the real us begins to appear the one who is not gained the victory over their temper their and patients their appetite and on and on and then we have the other group the other group was so tired of having somebody tell them what to do all the time that they don't want any rules anymore they don't want any rules we just want to come together and praise God we want have a good time together and so we come together that's all were worried about us praise Jesus praise Jesus we want a savior but we don't want to bore many other things and I'm sharing with you today are very very basic and fundamental and in fact some of the things that I say today might step on your toes and I hope that I I prayed and then ask the Lord enough that as I say it I'm not offensive and as I say you don't feel like that I'm looking directly at you and and poignant out your sin you see I'm familiar with that I preached a sermon a few years ago that was broadcast on television it was a sermon that had to do with the health message I know how the message of God can penetrate our hearts when the truth really strikes home I made a statement in general I said that sometimes men when we stopped taking care of ourselves we have what I call the chest of drawers syndrome that's when arts just and are upper body mass slips down into our drawers now I want you to know that I received a few weeks after that sermon a very pointed letter from a man who somehow thought I knew who he was in where you have and my sermon was directed directly at him you see sometimes the truth it really sometimes the truth really hits home and sometimes we don't like it I remember sitting in the congregation a few years ago and that the pastor began to preach a sermon and he was a very loving man but his throat was very exciting and you know sometimes we go to church and were listening to the sermon and were thinking of someone so that we sure which was here today that so they could hear the answer or somebody else that this applies to but have you ever been in that moment in that time when you sat in that congregation and that sermon was preached and without ever pointing or looking in your direction you knew that sermon was directly I sat there that day and if that man spoke suddenly I started looking around to see people were noticing made because I was really beginning to feel that he was talking directly to me him and began wondering if everybody was noticing my response and how is beginning to shrink down in my chair the truth sometimes cuts like a knife but brothers and sisters sometimes we need the truth you see we've come to a point where we wonder what happens we go out and we present evangelistic series and we bring people into the church and six months later there gone out the back door what's happened could it be possibly that those people have been convinced yes yes you're right your doctrines are right in and work investment because of that we want to join your chart but no one's ever talk to how to have a real experience with Jesus Christ no one 's ever shared within the importance of how to surrender to God when we look at the great controversy we recognize that it began clear back in heaven with Lucifer and I want you to turn with me now in your Bibles as we look at that scene again Isaiah chapter fourteen versus twelve through fourteen it all began in heaven Peter has laid out for us and shown us through this past week where it began what happened but I want to show you one thing that I think is very interesting as the great controversy began Isaiah chapter fourteen beginning in verse twelve the Bible says how art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer son of the morning Howard felt cut down to the ground which didst weaken the nations for thou hast said in thine heart I will ascend into heaven I will exalt my throne above the stars of God I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north I will ascend above the heights of the clouds I will be like the most high I want to think of this we always say what was Lucifer 's problem and what's the word we always get fried exactly I want to take this a step further with you today I want you to notice that Lucifer said in his heart the great controversy began in the heart of a created being and his feet are pointed out earlier this week God did not create an imperfect being something took place in his heart and we can't describe it we can't really understand what happened but something took place in Lucifer 's heart and suddenly those feelings of pride began to rise but I want you to notice something in Lucifer 's heart because you see it in all the world around you and perhaps you might see it in your cell Lucifer had cried yes he did but Lucifer as we look down through these couple of verses we find that word I is continually there and we find that Lucifer had one thought one goal in mind and that was Lucifer wanted to do what he wanted to do this is no longer what would God have me to do today Lucifer says I want to do this this is what I want in my brothers and sisters from Lucifer on down to today we have a world of people who want to do what they want to do and so we have a world of Christianity where we see people claiming to be Christians but they have no power in their life there wondering why they cannot gain the victory over various aspects of their life and bringing that point reminds me of one of the we live in a world of people today who would rather sit and debate the issue of whether or not we can be parfait can overcome all San then to sit down and seek God 's word to know whether he really will give them victory over all sin you see the Bible is filled with promises of how God wants to deliver us from sin and Matthew one twenty one we are told that they would call his name Jesus because he would save them what from their sins the Bible plainly tells us that there will be none but holy beans in the kingdom of heaven I don't believe that Jesus is Google wave a magic wand and suddenly organ all changed that character I believe that Jesus came and lived alike to show us that through the power of God in we can overcome in our lines the book of Revelation is called the book of overcome do we believe it amazes me I sat in a Sabbath school class one day and I listen to people discussed this debate let me ask you a question the God of the universe created everything that you see around you the world the stars the sun the moon the beauty of nature all around us his son Jesus Christ came down to this Earth he resurrected man from the he caused the blind to see he made the lame to walk due you think that the God who led the power to do all of those things does not have the power to give you victory over some little sin in your life all my brothers and sisters today is not in the power of God let us recognize that it's all taking place right here in our hearts and so I want us to look at the definition of the word heart as we continue the Merriam-Webster dictionary collegiate dictionary gives us six definitions of heart the first two definitions deal with the physical aspects of the heart that hollow muscular organ that pumps blood through the body but the next four give us these definitions the third one says that the heart is the personality the disposition the intellect the fourth says that the heart is the emotional or moral nature the fifth says that the heart is one's innermost character feelings or inclinations does that sound familiar have we been talking about thoughts and feelings and character all of these things my brothers and sisters developed with in the heart and the last one says that the heart is the central inner most part the great controversy is not something that we come into a theater and watch up on the screen the great controversy is taking place in your heart and mind what is God looking for what is God looking for in his people I wanted to just a quick little study on the heart with you we can and it's already taken from the book of Deuteronomy so feel turn with me to Deuteronomy in order to begin a chapter four and verse thirty nine Deuteronomy chapter four verse thirty nine we're going to do just three or four taxpayer and let it what do I have seen from our hearts today Deuteronomy chapter four and verse thirty nine the Bible puts it this way know therefore this day and consider in thine heart that the Lord he is God in heaven above and upon the earth beneath there is none else God is asking us his created beings those that he loves so much that he gave his only son that we might have the opportunity to be rude he says recognize in your heart that I am gong and there is no one step number one recognize that God is gone over to Deuteronomy six and verse five Deuteronomy six and verse five lately heard this text the other night Deuteronomy six in verse five again the Bible says and outshot love the Lord thy God with all my heart with all my soul and with all thy might I got asked your question right here how much is all everything even reading your dictionaries you know it was a few months ago in my little church up in Northern California we're having prayer meeting and where reading through the book steps to Christ and as we got one paragraph it talked about surrendering all to Jesus one of my members a very educated man asked the question but how much is all now I thought to myself well enough at the simple removal of little three letter word and I thought it was pretty inclusive and pretty self-explanatory but I'll go home and I look at my dictionary to make sure that I really understand what it means and sure enough lo and behold I when I opened up the dictionary to that little three letter words and it said everything now those of you who may feel as then amended and you're not quite sure I got a perfect illustration for you this morning when I was in the eighth grade I had a friend 's name was Michael Minnick Fuji Nelson Michael medically he was a little bigger than me and we were the best of friends and every Sabbath afternoon either I be at his house for GB of mine one Sabbath he came over to my house for lunch now I discovered as I was friends with Mike that Mike could eat a lot more than I could as so that day my mommy kind of left us to the kitchen and so we made some sandwiches now we started without the butter jelly and cheese sandwiches we are making sandwiches in and writing about for sandwiches and some chips and has a Milken and I thought you know that's bringing lunch well medically Jihad finished office for sandwiches and he looked at me and he said anything else he has had well yeah like what he said well you know like cereal or something I said serial now I do not want to go over and opened the cabinet was serial because in that cabinet was my favorite cereal Cocoa puffs now I was afraid that if I went over there many good you would see those Cocoa class and you would want about mock but I had no other choice I walked over and I opened the cabinet was to try and keep it in a major plus and Cheerios for something he would notice what he followed me and as I hope it will say was that goes out okay the Cocoa puffs box hat so we took the Cocoa puffs over to the table we sat down I wasn't really that hungry but manic Ward who is the second bowl of Cocoa puffs and I began to realize if I did have a bowl of Cocoa puffs I may not have any and so I portable look and then I watched as minute to June toward all the Cocoa puffs on the book 's I watched the last cocoa puff come out of my box he said he ate all my cocoa when God says he wants us he wants everything down to the last scope how much is all always everything all is everything that you have all that ever all is everything you ever want to be everything you hoped to be he wants everything let's look at another couple of text go to Deuteronomy ten Deuteronomy ten verses twelve and sixteen listen now to what God says to us Deuteronomy ten verse twelve says and now Israel what doth the Lord require of the but to fear the Lord thy God to walk in his ways and to love him and to serve the Lord thy God with all my heart and with all lines now he's given a request here but you look at numbers sixteen and he says circumcised therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no Moore's is a God recognize that this was a week people and they needed to realize where the source of power came from and so he says left don't don't put on the front don't go out there and pretend that you've given me everything he says I want the innermost part of your heart one the very depths of your soul so don't pretend you don't give me this outward sign I wanted from the inside and look right over Chapter 11 verses thirteen and fourteen the Bible says and it shall come to pass if you shall hearken diligently under my commandments which I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all of your heart and with all your soul that I will give you the rain of your land in his preseason the first rain and the latter rain that they'll me us gather in thy corn buy wine and nine oil now we know that God is not just speaking of a little rain here these talking about a spiritual rainbow latter rain to fall upon his people in these last days but that latter rain my brothers and sisters cannot fall on you or me if we have not received Jesus Christ into our heart and if he does not totally rule on the throne of our hearts okay so we we recognize what God is asking we sense that God is asking for something for my so what's the problem was he is there a hang up why can't we seem to grasp and get through and accomplish this victory that were looking for because I know were all looking for you see I know that each one of us deals and battles with areas in their line that they want to overcome if we really recognize what we can be it bothers us when we are not living the way we know we could and so we want to know what we can do what is it that I can do to really get to that next level Lord show me Proverbs twenty three verse seven tells us that as a man think it in his heart so is he progress for twenty three says keep your art with all diligence for this are the issues of wine now I want you to turn with me to Jeremiah thirteen Jeremiah thirteen verse twenty three it seems that God is contradicting himself one minute he's telling us to keep our hearts with all diligence but now look what he says to us in Jeremiah chapter thirteen and verse twenty three he says any Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots then may he also do good that are accustomed to do evil no women aboard you get you just called me a few books back then on to keep my heart with all diligence how am I going to keep my heart with all diligence of your tell me I can't change myself who do I want to look again to Jeremiah seventeen nine and ten Jeremiah seventeen nine and ten now God tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who can know it I the Lord search the heart I try the reins even to give every man according to his ways and according to the fruit of his doing yes your question how many of you in this room think that you're really are I'm having you think that your discussion that seeing I know that every morning we don't get up in the air and we walked into that mirror and we look in the mirror and we go desperately wicked but you see God reminds us that we don't even know Warren Hartz my brothers and sisters listen carefully because this is where the practicality of the gospel begins I is earlier in our text to recognize that he is gone when we recognize who he is what he is where he is we begin to see ourselves as we really are you can look at Isaiah chapter six verses one through five and you can see Isaiah 's experience when he saw the Lord it says high and lifted up on the throne of the universe heavenly angels surrounding him and then he said while with me for I am a man undone a man of unclean lips and when he goes through that whole dissertation he comes to the enemy says why because I have seen the King of Kings you see when you and I really seek God where you and who units we begin to see ourselves as we really are up until that time were playing a game worth owning or pretending that we have something we don't and were not wanting to look at ourselves and examine ourselves but unfortunately the Bible tells us in second Corinthians to examine ourselves lest we be in the thing he was a good friend of mine he was a family man he was a pastor of his local church and all the time that I worked with him I saw nothing but a man who loved God a man who was loving to other people a man who was concerned about the needs and problems of others but then suddenly to my shock and to my surprise this man left his wife and his family for another woman it wasn't just the one time playing he was gone never to return again did he know his own heart did he recognize that within him was that potential do you know your own heart today you see we can't possibly know our own horn this is one thirty nine versus twenty three and twenty four the smallness says search me oh God and know my heart try me and know my phone and see if there be any wicked way in me and lead me in the way everlasting you see there is an answer my brothers and sisters we don't know our own hearts within our own hearts but we can submit our lives to the one who does the one who created us and we can come to him and we can say God you know me you know me better than I know myself give number the very hairs on my head oh God please search this hard point out what needs to be changed in my life and then as David said in Psalms fifty one ten create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me change my heart O God change me the Lord help me recognize that I am we help me recognize that without you in my life I am nothing more change this vile and wicked hard to disciples that I believe represent what we are looking at in the last days we had Peter and we had Judas brothers and sisters both of those men were sinners in my Bible says in Romans three twenty three that we've all sinned and fall short of the glory of God but I want you to recognize that in the lives of each one of those men that something drastic to place Judas was drawn to Jesus he saw the loveliness of Christ character Judas had very good attributes in himself but Judas had one one sin that he would not let go of it was green on the outside Judith looked like a perfect Christian he looked like and love all the disciples he looked like to be the one that could be a leader a true leader of the church because he had the care you're on the house Peter would be the last man that you would think could accomplish anything for God he was overzealous he was prideful he was arrogant he was always in an argument with somebody he was always striving for the best place to his was much more so than his approach much more deceptive but you see those two men when it came down to that final hour when they both betray Jesus and they did Peter fell on holidays and oh God forgive me he said forgive a guy who can you trust I've let you down I see myself now as I truly am arrested for miserable blind and naked save me from my cell was broken on the rock Jesus Christ he was converted as Jesus I pray for him and he went out and spread the gospel to the world juniors on the other hand felt the call of the Spirit upon his heart constantly drawing and seeking wanting his heart but yet he held back one person one tiny little area of his life and was lost you see my brothers and sisters it's not going to be the big and great events in our life that mark or character it's going to be the little day-to-day experiences the moments when we surrender when no one else is looking when no one else sees who we really are behind closed doors we can't change our own hearts but we can do the one thing that the Bible has commanded us to do James four four seven eight submit yourselves therefore to God resist the devil and he will flee from you draw nigh to God we must come the searcher of hearts we must allow the one who created are hard to work in our heart because he has promised brothers and sisters he has promised that he will knew enclosing look with me at one tax easy kill Ezekiel chapter thirty six Ezekiel chapter thirty six versus twenty six and twenty seven God himself gives us this ward the scum these words come from the lips of God in Ezekiel thirty six versus twenty six and twenty seven he says a new heart also will I give you any new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and will give you an heart of flash I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and ye shall keep my judgments and do them my brothers and sisters God wants to make the change within us but we have to submit and allow him to do the operation you see we need a heart transplant we don't need to fix this heart we need a new one and you know you need to look at it in the same realm as you would look at a physical heart transplants it would be ridiculous for your eyes to go into an operating room and lay down on a table ago okay I'm going to a heart transplant get the heart ready over there have all the instruments ready for me and I'm go to do the surgery gimme the scalpel and cellulite are you okay administer the anesthesia obviously we could not do our own work and so with the spiritual realm we cannot transplant our own spiritual heart of word yes and we don't know but God says I the Lord search the heart I know and I want to give you a new heart disease really the secret to overcoming in your life is not that big it's learning how to surrender to the one with all the power I want to submit my heart to Jesus Christ in Proverbs twenty three and verse twenty six God says my son give me thine heart as I close I just like to share a song with you I hope that you will listen carefully to the words of this song because I know that each one of us longs for victory in our lives but the only way that we are ever in a game total victory in our lives my friends is for total and complete surrender to Jesus Christ who will I wrote maybe you knew all along the road maybe you love and sometimes I even some will start losing your way maybe make the most day and suddenly everything from many don't understand how it all the last stimulus at all of the funds who he will not know you may see that race alone you can mind being in the media all on your own is a lesson that you will and him will I visit that is wrong and and venues my glutamate is an review will then know this phone is red and blue on blue of goal will thought it's getting cold who is the new way the things you once loved you don't care on saying you need I will feed your soul look it's time you submitted into this media Redskins that is only one way to being now move on me in the long movie a man in his love of vinyl you may see you can may soon home you can mind the end and be all on your own is the lesson that you learn from you applying the path that is wrong and that is variety of the crane is in reviewing them though only the red dudes who on one of your soul will train and stand to you when you have no tone is surrendered to move on as of so there lets far as we close loving father in heaven as we have recognized our need today as we have opened your word as we've seen you how you truly are as we have looked at ourselves and recognize Lord that our hearts are desperately wicked unless they are submitted and surrender to you and Lord Windows hearts are submitted and surrender to you you promised us that you will give us a new heart heart of flesh a heart that has feeling in compassion and love a heart that can be touched by your mercy Lord we ask for that part today I pray for each person in this room today Lord I don't know them individually but you do you know their needs you know their circumstances you know the trials that they face I pray this morning from the power of your spirit to work in their lives in their hearts oh God give us the victory may we be over comers and you called us to be in Jesus name amen

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