Many people think the first step in growing closer to God is reading the Bible or Prayer
The Bible shows us David. His separation was a matter of the heart.
We must be willing to allow God to change our hearts
- Jeremiah 17:9-10 NIV The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
- Zechariah 7:12 NIV They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.
One or more signs of heart problems
- Living in fear
- Absence of joy
- Angry or resentful
- Always blaming others
Reflection: Looking at our pool this morning…
It’s not the water that is the issue,. It is the pollutants that need to be addressed.
Psalms 51:1-13 NIVHave mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassionblot out my transgressions.
Too often we are like the Pharisee
- Luke 18:11-13 NIV The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.
- Leviticus 11:32 NIV When one of them dies and falls on something, that article, whatever its use, will be unclean, whether it is made of wood, cloth, hide or sackcloth. Put it in water; it will be unclean till evening, and then it will be clean.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
We need the heart of the Prodigal
- Luke 15:18, 20 NIV I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
6 Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
- Psalms 139:13-14, 16 NIV For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
- Isaiah 1:18-19 NIV “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;
- Psalms 32:7-8 NIVYou are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NIV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
The Preventative Maintenance
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
- Psalms 34:1-4 NIV I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
- Psalms 119:11, 14-16 NIV I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.