Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pentecost 14 - Proper 17

Proper 17
30 August 2015
Mark 7:14-23

O God, the source of all that is just and good. Nourish in us every virtue and bring to completion every good intent that we may grow in grace and bring forth the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We face a universal problem. How to make individuals good. To do good. And to live righteously.  What is the answer to crime? Is it education? More laws. Better prisons. Capital punishment? Today an emphasis is placed on behavior modification - Through drugs. Rewards. And punishments etc.

Jesus puts his finger on the cause of all evil behavior - a dirty heart. A good life calls for a good heart. If so, the world is suffering from heart trouble! What to do about heart trouble? The Savior gives us the answer in verse 23 - All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ V.23

Know that the heart is the source of behavior.
Realize that Christ alone can make a good heart. He alone is the great physician who has performed His work in us.

I. Know that the hearts is the source of behavior.

A.     The heart is the window to the soul.
1.      It is a heart blackened by sin.
2.      It is a heart broken by the hurt, pain and the effects of sin.
3.      It is a deficient heart inherited by our parents.

B.     This heart reflects the mature of man.
1.            Who was created in the image of God. Created in righteousness and holiness.
2.            Yet, when Adam and Eve rebelled, falling headlong into sin. Man lost this image of God.

Now the will, desires, and the thoughts of man follow the self. “Thus when Adam was 99 years old he had a son after his own image and likeness and called him Seth.”

3.            Because the heart is darkened by sin, man now tries to hide himself from sin.  Anyone who has ever been around a toddler has witnessed what happens when that child might be doing something he knows he shouldn’t. When the parents enter the room. He shuts his eyes. And the problem goes away! That’s what the darkness and blindness of sin can do. It makes us close our eyes to anything, which would expose our sinful self.

Transition: Realizing that the heart is the source of human behavior what shall we do? We turn to Jesus our Great Physician who is able to reform His work in you – He greatest work is reserved for those He came to save.

II.                 We turn to Jesus

A.     We must come to realize that He alone can make a good heart.  
1. Sometimes a transplant is the only solution. This is what Christ has done for you. He has given you a new heart. When He went to the cross and stood at the mouth of an empty tomb. He took your poor weak heart and replaced it!
2.            Because He has given you new life – new life in Him.  He is the one who shapes and   molds your life. Your times are in His hands. Only He can direct your path. He has promised He will do this.

B.     As the Great Physician Jesus alone is able to perform His work in you.
1.            His work in you began at your baptism. When you were connected to Christ. He gave His word and promise to restore and forgive you. He promises to be with you always for time and eternity.
2.            Yet His hand is still upon you. Never will He let you go. He will mold and shape every circumstance of your life to bring it into conformity with Hid good and perfect will.
3.            You are redeemed by Christ. To train the third and fourth generation of your family in the ways of the Lord. You are a child of God. You are redeemed by Christ. What you do in your job might not always define who you are. But whose you are - defines what you do. As you impact those around you in the mission of Christ and His Kingdom.

Having heart trouble? Take the prescription, which is proven to work every single time it’s offered – given to you by that great Physician – Jesus Christ the righteous!
Words –728
Passive Sentences – 8%
Readability – 84.6

Reading Level -3.8

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