Blog Post from Pastor Clark - sermon - September 2nd, 2018

My grandmother had some great sayings, as grandmothers are wont to do.

Don’t live your life like you have one foot in the grave and one on a banana peel
— Grandmother Chilton
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
They say the clothes make the man. Naked people are little use to society

Okay, to be candid: those last two are attributed to Mark Twain. But the first one IS my grandmother's quote! 

Here’s another one: “Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you have to say it!“

Jesus says that it is out of the heart that evil thoughts come (Mark 7). The “heart” (Greek-kardia), as its translated in English, is better translated as the seat, source, center or foundation of one’s being. The heart is used as a metaphor for the seat of our most basic orientation, our deepest commitments — what we trust the most (Proverbs 3:5; 23:26);

The “heart” to English speakers means the emotions, and yet the Bible also says our thinking comes from the heart (Genesis 6:5; Proverbs 23:7; Daniel 2:30) as well as our willing, our plans and decisions (Proverbs 16:1,9; Matthew 12:33-34). This may sound confusing until we realize the Bible’s view of human nature is revolutionary, different than what you find in other human systems of thought.  

Pastor Tim Keller says it well:

"To the Greeks and Romans, the great human struggle was between the mind and the passions. If you wanted to achieve strength, courage, self-control, and wisdom, you learned to submit the emotions to the dictates of reason. During the Enlightenment period, there was a resurgence of this thought as well. 

For modern people, the great struggle is almost the reverse. We believe our deepest feelings are "who we really are" and we must not repress or deny them. The great human struggle is between the emotions and a seemingly repressive society that so often stands in the way of self-expression and realization.

The Bible teaches neither of the above. It says the human struggle happens within a single entity — the human heart. The main human struggle is not between the heart and something else, but between forces that tear it in different directions. The great battle is deciding to whom your heart’s greatest love, hope, and trust will be directed."

If evil can proceed from the heart, as Jesus teaches, how can we have a clean heart? How can we direct our heart's toward Jesus, whom we KNOW is supposed to our greatest love? Is it possible to grow in grace and holiness without being a pharisaical maniac? Of course, the answer to all of these questions is yes. 

Join us this Sunday as we hear this idea:

How you feel is how you feel, but what you then do with those feelings is your responsibility.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at all three of our worship services and Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Christ in Us,

Pastor Clark