This is a continuation of the series on “Attitudes of the heart” given at church by Bishop Anatoly Belonozhko. This message is entitled: “Do I have the right heart?
Bishop began his sermon by saying that this has not been an easy time for the nation of Ukraine. We have used our history of patriotism and nationalism in a negative way and in turn neglected truth. Why is this happening? The answer can be found in the state of our heart”. Proverbs 4:20-23 reads:
“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
In our lives, we keep a lot of things, but God warns us to guard the condition of our hearts above all else. Our life, our mood, and future all depend on the state our hearts is in. It shapes our lives, bringing us blessing and joy, or depression. God does not evaluate us by our deeds, but by our heart. So the relevant question is not what we do but how we do it.
The heart is the control center of man. It’s like a remote control hidden from all men, which controls one entire life. It’s the essence of a person, because it is impossible to determine who a man simply by his appearance. For example, an unfamiliar person can smile at you, creating a friendly human experience. But the fact is you may not know that by his very nature – he is an evil man.
How do you determine if your heart is right or not? Bishop Anatoly gave the following signs of a right heart:
1. A person with the right heart makes mistakes, but he does so rarely, occasionally. Offence or wrongdoing is not the norm for such a person, but rather an exception.
“And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit within you: and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).
In the course of life, we need to work on ourselves in order to put away pride, resentment, anger, etc.
2. A person with the right heart has a conscience, which is his indicator and signals when something is going wrong.
“Having faith and a good conscience, which some rejecting have made shipwreck in the faith” (1 Tim 1:19).
If you do not know what to do, then, act according to your conscience. A man with a pure heart has a clean conscience that will lead him to make right decisions.
“I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. (2 Tim 1: 3).
3. A person with the right heart seeks reconciliation and repentance. He repents of his misdeeds. Repentance is medicine that maintains purity of heart and returns and restores broken relationships. An example of this is the prodigal son who returned to his father in repentance.
4. A person with the right heart always aims to correct himself and not others. On the contrary, people with impure hearts have permanent criticism of others.
Dear brothers and sisters, let us always keep our heart, work on ourselves, and listen to our conscience, praying to God with the words of Psalm 51: “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…”
From Central Church
June 29, 2014, Kiev
Press center of the church “Embassy of God”