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Assess and Act

September 23, 2018 Speaker: Dan Davis Series: Engage

Topic: Sunday Message Verse: 2 Chronicles 5:17, 2 Chronicles 5:14–5:15, Jeremiah 17:9, Ezekiel 36:25–36:27, Mark 7:6–7:7, Luke 10:40–10:42, Matthew 6:24, Psalm 86:11,

A three-week message series to challenge us to engage wholeheartedly with the Lord and the mission of His church, rather than just sit passively on the sidelines watching life go by.

Our Mission at Hopevale Church

We are a community of grace and truth inviting people to know and follow Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NIV
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

A Changed Life is an Engaged Life

(1) Engage with God.
(2) Engage with His Church.
(3) Engage with His Mission.

The Power of Honest Assessment

While we want to live a fully-engaged life, we know we're not there yet. So how can we change? How can we grow? A key is the power of honest assessment before God and with ourselves. Why? Because we can’t get to where we want to go unless we first know where we're starting.

The Challenge of the Heart

The heart is that special, sacred, and spiritual place within you that is the source of your love. The heart determines who or what we engage with. Our culture understands the importance of the heart because we're told that the way to make decisions and find direction for life is to "follow your heart." But while the heart is special, sacred, and spiritual, Scripture also tells us it is sick, sinister, and selfish.

Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,and desperately sick;who can understand it?

Hope for the Heart

There is a cure to the sick, sinister, and selfish condition of the heart, and that cure is found in Jesus Christ--the One who makes us new creations in Him. The transformation of a new heart is truly incredible and yet the outworking of this in us isn't quite complete.

Ezekiel 36:25-27 NIV
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

1. A Detached Heart

This is the religious person who seems to do all the right, dutiful things on the outside, but on the inside, their hearts are still self-absorbed. This is brier patch where the weeds of hypocrisy grow. The more your outer self and your inner self diverges, the harder your heart will grow.

Mark 7:6-7 NIV
6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’

2. A Distracted Heart

This is the well-intended person who is pulled in a hundred different directions. They love God and they’re trying to live an engaged life, but there’s so much else going on with them that they wind up giving God their leftovers and squeeze Him in if it works out.

Luke 10:40-42 NIV
40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

3. A Divided Heart

A divided heart has two rivals for that one sacred place in your heart, where one strong, singular attraction is trying to take God’s place in your life. The term that you often see in the Bible is the word “idol.” An idol is when "a good thing become your God thing.” Idols are those things that we are most hopeful of gaining and most fearful of losing. There is a person, a possession, a position, a profile in life that you think will meet your deepest needs for things like safety, security, significance, and status. You spend all your energies trying to get it, but it divides your heart.

Matthew 6:24 NIV
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

4. A Devoted Heart

While it’s impossible to serve two masters, you can be devoted to one. The devoted heart is the one that worship God and puts Him first, and by the grace of God it keeps Him first as well. For those who have been made brand new in Christ, this is what we need to keep chasing after for the rest of our lives. Even we miss the mark and our hearts begin to go astray (and we will), we need to honestly, humbly, and courageously own up to it. A devoted heart is an undivided heart.

Psalm 86:11 NIV
11 Teach me your way, Lord,that I may rely on your faithfulness;give me an undivided heart,that I may fear your name.

The Gospel Frees Us to be Honest & Confident Before God

It can sound real scary to be completely honest and totally transparent with God. How can we come before a holy, righteousness, and perfect God with all our faults, failures, sins, and shortcomings? On our own we can’t, but the good news is that we're not alone. We come before God with Jesus--our Savior, our Redeemer, and our Advocate. As new creations in Christ, we come clothed in the moral perfection of Jesus, where our spotted, moral track record is replaced by His spotless righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). This is the good news of the Gospel. This is where our confidence before God comes from. That’s why there is power in honest assessment to help live more fully engaged.

Lyrics to "You Say"

I keep fighting voices in my mind
That say I'm not enough
Ev'ry single lie that tells me
I will never measure up

Am I more than just the sum of
Ev'ry high and ev'ry low
Remind me once again just who I am
Because I need to know oo oh

Chorus
You say I am loved when I can't feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don't belong oh You say I am Yours
And I believe oh I believe
What You say of me I believe

The only thing that matters now
Is ev'rything You think of me
In You I find my worth
In You I find my identity

Taking all I have and now I'm laying it at Your feet
You'll have ev'ry failure God
You'll have ev'ry victory

Oh I believe yes I believe
What You say of me I believe

Connections Questions

The love that Jesus Christ has for us is so compelling that it shouldn’t just touch our lives. Rather it should take over our lives—our attitudes and actions, our beliefs and behaviors, our character and conduct, everything. Pastor Dan

1. We say things like, “I had to do this, but my heart wasn’t in it.” What do we mean by that? How is it different when our heart IS in it? Give an example from your life.

2. What does God tell us about our hearts in these verses? How does all this work out in our everyday lives?

· Proverbs 4:23

· Matthew 6:19-21

· Luke 6:43-45

3. Colossians 3:23-24 connects our heart to all of life, not just our church life or spiritual life. What does this say about God’s involvement in—and the eternal value of—every part of our lives—work, home, hobbies, habits?

4. Of the four heart conditions that Pastor Dan talked about in his message, which type would you say characterizes you right now?

* Detached—I’m doing all the right things on the outside but self-absorbed on the inside (Mark 7:6-7).

* Distracted—I’m pulled in a hundred different directions—away from the best things (Luke 10:40-42).

* Divided—I’m dealing with one strong attraction trying to take God’s place in my life (Matthew 6:24).

* Devoted—I make it my priority to worship God and honor Him first in everything (Matthew 6:33).

5. What “cardio care” changes would help you have more of a devoted heart? What do you need to stop, start, or keep on doing?

More in Engage

September 30, 2018

Try and Trust

September 16, 2018

Engage and Enjoy