Saturday, September 1, 2018

Pentecost 15 - Proper 17

Pentecost 15-Proper 17
September 2, 2018
Mark 7:14-23
Having heart trouble?

We face a universal problem. How to make individuals good? To do good. And 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. Stricter punishment etc. Jesus puts His finger on the cause of all evil behavior.It’s 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,“All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.”’ V.23

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have given us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.[1]

I.                    Know that the hearts is the source of behavior.
A.    The way we usually try to identify other people's emotions is through their facial expressions—their eyes in particular. We are told that “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” and eye contact is certainly critical. What does the eye test reveal?  

1.      It reveals a heart blackened by sin. Solomon would remind us, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)  While the Savior reminds us, “from within the hearts of men come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,” v. 21

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. 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.” (Genesis 4:25)

B.     This heart reflects the nature of man.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 the 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 perform His work in you. – His greatest work is reserved for those He came to save.Understand this. Christ alone can make a good heart. He alone is the Great Physician. Who performs His work in you

II.                 We turn to Jesus

A.     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! Jesus.The Son of God. Descended from heaven above. He made the ultimate sacrifice by giving His life for yours.

He had no sin. But chose to take all your sins as His. To suffer and die in your place.Behold the cross! Who would do that? Your God! That's who! Jesus endured the fever of His Father's wrath. He hung suffocating. Nailed to wood. So you would go free. He did it willfully. Joyfully. This was His natural response. To a problem of sin. A predicament you could not solve. His cross is God's love for you.[2]

2.  Because He has given you a 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. And then. To be with you always for time and eternity.

2.         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 His good and perfect will.

3.         Your faith in the Gospel will naturally have a response. And especially on this Labor Day weekend. When we thank the Lord Jesus for the talents. Gifts. And abilities. Jesus has given His people. As you work and serve your neighbor. There are ways you can and do love others. It's what you do best. For those you love most. It’s not for me to dictate to you how. When. Where. And for whom. That's for you to find out.

It's faith in the Gospel. That allows you. To discover in joy. And delight. And surprise. What God has in store for you. As you share His good news. To those He has put in your life.

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!
Passive Sentences –5%
Reading Level-2.9
Image © Higher Things

[1] Collect for Steadfast faith Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
[2] Tim Daub Thanksgiving Homily delivered at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. November 23, 2017 · Hecla, SD ·

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