Your heart is more important than you could ever imagine. We can so easily give our hearts over to things that are the wrong things, this week, Kent encourages you to give your heart over to Jesus. Jump in with us in Sections 200 of the Gospel Harmonies @ https://www.harmonychurch.cc/tracking-jesus-timeline/. IT’S EASY TO GIVE at Harmony, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give ).
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Years ago I had started working out and honestly was just trying to build up muscles. I was a young buck and wanted to be strong. I’m not sure it worked, lol. I was overweight and was really hoping working out would help me. I struck up this conversation with this guy while we were sitting there. When you are overweight, there are always people in a gym who want to help you, and this guy was one of those guys. He asked me what I was doing and so I proceeded to tell him what my workouts were. He asked me if I was doing any cardio and I told him I did a little bit and he said something that has stuck with me for probably 20 years or more at this point. He said,
“You know, I’ve never heard of someone dying from having too small of a bicep, but I’ve heard of lots of people dying from having a weak heart…”
I don’t know who the guy was, all I know is he was a lawyer…
But that statement has stuck with me…
I was thinking lately about this statement again and how it’s not just true physically, but spiritually it’s true as well..
I know lots of people who morally look good on the outside, but their hearts are weak and corrupt.
Today, I want us to take a look at our hearts and evaluate if we’ve bitten off on ideas the world says matter more than the ideas Jesus says matter.
Turn your bibles to Luke 20 (SECTION 200)
Let me set up where we are entering into Jesus’ life as we track Him..
-He is in the last week of His life.
-This is the whole enchilada, the whole game
-He has been confronting leaders and teachers all week
-He’s being tested by them
-Word has spread that He has raised Lazarus from the dead
-Some people are believing in Him, others are not – but many are threatened by Him…
Jesus has swept over the people of Israel like Pokemon over a 3rd-grade class…
I want to read this passage to you in a second, but I want to show you how it’s tied to the passage that follows – but we almost always miss it because of how the chapter breaks from the guy who put the chapters in… But originally there would have been no break.
45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
There is this guy that I see clips of on Facebook all the time, he’s the whispering arm wrestler. He cracks me up because he will be wrestling someone and they will be going with all their might against him. He’ll just quietly whisper to them what they need to do to try and beat him, “bring your left shoulder forward…” “lean with your body…” and then at some point, he will just come out of nowhere and cream them…
Jesus has been doing this all day to the religious leaders of His day. They have been asking Him question after question…the Sadducees about the Resurrection of the dead and the Pharisees about the greatest commandment. Jesus just comes out of nowhere and creams them every time.
Here’s what I want you to get, what Jesus just said about these religious leaders was within their earshot…
Did you hear what He said about these teachers of the law?
For a moment, pretend He’s talking about you…
Beware of the teachers of the law…
-They like people to see them (flowing robes, greeted with respect, and most important seats)
-They don’t care about people – image is everything (they devour widows’ houses, make lengthy prayers)
Did you hear how He finishes that statement?
These men will be punished most severely.”
Do you get the picture?
These people cared more about their image, position, and prestige than they cared about the people…
Here’s the part we almost always miss, that Luke & Jesus intentionally contrast this section with…
Got the picture? Jesus has just finished talking about how these people everyone looks up to have it all and then He’s going to point out the very person these people are taking advantage of and say, “she’s the one…”
Check it out…
These are literally the next words in Luke…
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
This helps us place Jesus… He would have been inside the temple in what is called the “court of women.” When you are in Israel with us, you will stand on the temple mount, you will go up a few stairs towards the Dome of the Rock and you will be standing where the temple was. There were 3 sections people could go into, the court of gentiles – anyone could go in that section, the court of women – Jewish women could go. The last section was the court of men, where only men could go. Jesus is in the court of women because this is where the temple treasury was. 13 boxes with bronze trumpets on top that you could put your money in as you gave. Jesus is in this section and He’s now watching the people put their money in… Not intimidating at all, I’m thinking about doing this for offerings… lol
He sees this woman put in her last two pennies…
And He points her out and says this woman is the superstar, not the religious leaders…
They were willing to take her to the cleaners to gain prestige & satisfy their greed
She gave herself away in faith…
It reminds me of years before this when one of Jesus’ ancestors was going to be chosen as King. Samuel, the prophet went to the family of Jesse, all he knew was God had a young man in that family He wanted to be king. Sam got there and saw all of Jesse’s sons, Eliab came in front of him and Sam thought, “this has to be it, he’s the guy – he looks like a King…”
But listen to God’s reply
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
A while back, I had a conversation with one of my kids about how the world uses power and manipulation to get what it wants, but that’s not the way of Jesus. He doesn’t care about status, He doesn’t care about wealth, He cares about your heart.
My kid, pretty shrewdly said, “yeah, but dad, it works…”
That’s the problem for most of us, right, the power, prestige, and greed work to get us what we think we want…
It’s vital that you get and understand this, the way of Jesus is not about getting you what you want, it’s about getting you what you need.
You are in desperate need of a relationship with God… You can have all the prestige, money, power, and position in this world and still go to hell (be separated for ETERNITY from God)
Jesus is after your heart.
That’s why this lady ends up being the hero and the religious people end up being the zeros
God doesn’t look at the outward appearance but at the heart
That’s why the proverbs say
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
It is time to turn your heart back to Jesus… This is the simplest call I could have….
It’s time to learn the heart of Jesus…
It’s a different way than what the world offers, and you can’t live without it.