Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Issues of the Heart - A Merry Heart

 Temple Baptist Church - 7-25-2021

Proverbs 17:22




A.  My theme verse is Proverbs 4:23, which says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” 


1.  I continue to emphasize that we are made in the image of God: a trichotomy, body-world conscious, soul-self-conscious, and spirit, God conscious.


2.  If out of the heart (or the soul) are the “issues” of life, and the bible says that it is so, then that which proceeds from with the soul of each of us is what we allow to issue forth.  “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”


3.  If the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and it is, then the natural man is utterly depraved and nothing that proceeds from the natural can be good!  “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing.”


4.  Therefore, I can reasonably say that we, as God’s children, have the responsibility of controlling our “issues.”


5.  It all comes down to this: if you want to be sad and have a broken (downcast, disquieted, disappointed, discouraged) spirit that drieth the bones, you have that choice. 


Leviticus 17:11  For the life of the flesh is in the blood … (And the blood comes from the marrow of the bone.  Dried bones equal a lack of life giving blood.)


6.  Or you can choose to put a merriment in your soul and a smile on your face. 


7.  Problems neither go away through tears or laughter so choose the later.


B.  This morning, I want to deal with one of my favorite verses:  “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” 


1.  I love this verse!  I love to laugh, joke around, and have a great time.  You can ask my wife, I meet no strangers.  One of my sons said, “One day, Dad is going to get maced!”  That may be but, in a world full of trouble and worry, laughter is essential for survival.


2.  For the most part, I have found people to have a sense of humor and laughter is good for the soul.  I lady in the checkout line at Wal-Mart (I was picking at her) said, “Never lose your joy.  I lost mine a few months ago.”  She was referring to the death of her husband but what she said stuck with me.  People need to laugh.


3.  Remember the words: “Smile a while and give your face a rest.”  It takes a lot fewer muscles to smile than to frown and frowning will give you a headache!


C.  The word “merry” is found 28x in your King James Bible.  It is an outward thing whereas Joy is an inward thing.  Merry can but does not necessarily mean happy which relies upon our happenings.


D.  “Merry:” Cheerful in a lively sense, to cheer up; to be glad; to have joy; to brighten up.  There are three verses dealing with a “merry heart” that I want to look at for a few minutes:


1.  A Merry Heart Maketh A Cheerful Countenance – Proverbs 15:13  A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. 


a)  Most people today look like a mule that has been eating saw briers!  Everywhere you go in this world, you see sad faces, hear cursing and complaining! 


Men live lives of quiet desperation!


b)  People are dissatisfied and disgruntled.  This should not be the lot of the child of God.  We should be a satisfied, happy people.  We are someone going somewhere!


2.  A Merry Heart Maketh A Continual Feast – Proverbs 15:15  All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.


a)  Enjoyment of life!  We are so blessed and yet people are still not satisfied and often live lives of quiet desperation!  A feast is a merry event! 


I am not talking about vacations; I am talking about all day and every day!  The joy of the Lord is your strength!


b)  I remember the old family reunions back in the 50’s and 60’s when our family would come from all over and spend the day together eating, pitching horse shoes, and just sitting around catching up on family news.  It was a day looked for with great anticipation. 


c)  I sure miss those days.  We had a ball.


3.  A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like A Medicine – Proverbs 17:22  A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.


a)  A smiling face or “drieth the bones?”  A choice that we make.  I tell people that you can laugh about your problems, or you can cry about them.  Neither will change the problems, but laughter can lessen the pain. 


For to me to live is Christ!  When Christ, who is your life, shall appear.


b)  Laughter is a medicine with no ill side effects.  Can you imagine a medicine prescribed for you with all good and no bad side effects?  Today, they send you several pages of what may happen to you if you take the meds prescribed.




1.  A Merry Heart Comes Through Conversion – You will never be happy until you know Christ.


Luke 10:20  Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.


2.  A Merry Heart Comes Through Contentment – You will never be happy until you know contentment.  


1 Timothy 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.


Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


3.  A Merry Heart Comes Through Commitment – trusting the Lord in every part of your life.  (Whatever my lot thou hast TAUGHT me to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul!”)


2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheles I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.


Psalms 37:5  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.


4.  A Merry Heart Comes Through Consecration - Matthew 10:39  He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. lose life and find it – most people never find their lives because they never lose their lives!  “Let me lose my life and find it, Lord, in thee!”


Conclusion:  God wants you to be merry, happy, in this life even though it is full of troubles and sorrows. 


You will never be happy until you are converted!


You will never be happy until you are content!


You will never be happy until you are committed!


You will never be happy until you are consecrated!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

The Issues of Life - Part 2 - A Deceived Heart

Temple Baptist Church - 7-18-2021

Jeremiah 17:1-10




A.  A couple of weeks ago, I preached on the issues of life that proceed from the heart (the soul of man, the seat of man’s affections, where the things that he treasures are found).  So much is said in the Bible concerning the heart.


Proverbs 4:20-23  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.  (21)  Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  (22)  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.  (23)  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.


Jeremiah 17:9-10  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?  (10)  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.


Proverbs 23:7a  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:


Proverbs 23:26  My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.


B.  As we read these verses together this morning, we find:


1.  A Depraved Heart – Verse 1.  First Mention of Table in the Bible were the tables of stone upon which the Commandments were written.  “Adamant as stone”  Here we find the sin of Judah engraved WITH A PEN OF IRON AND A POINT OF DIAMOND.


2.  A Departing Heart – Verse 5.  Departing from the Lord.  “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.”


3.  A Deceitful Heart – Verse 9.  Deceitful above ALL things.  Who can know it?  Self-deception is the worst form of deception.


4.  A Defiled Heart – Verse 10.  God tries the reins and gives judgment according to the “fruit” produced by the heart.


1.  The Danger of our Heart. The heart is a source of “heartache” for each of us this morning.  Our “heart,” by its sinful nature is naturally depraved.  I will be so glad when eternity begins for me, and this sinful flesh is gone.  (1)  It matters not if you are male or female; (2) it matters not how much you love the Lord; (3) it matters not how godly a life that you try to live; your heart, my heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.  That is the total depravity of the flesh.


a.  The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.  I find it interesting that the Bible says “above all things.”  I have been deceived by others; I have been deceived by circumstances; but the greatest deception that you and I face is an i5

1)  You need to take heed to yourselves.  Deuteronomy 11:16  Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; (Heed – to hedge about or to pay strict attention to something.  Yourselves!  We spend more time worrying about others than self when the greatest enemy that we face is the one who faces us in the mirror.)


2)  Never trust your heart.  Proverbs 28:26  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.  (One of the times that God calls a man or woman a fool is when they place trust in their feelings and thoughts.  Right and wrong are dictated by God’s Word, not what we think of feel.)


3)  Never follow your heart.  Isaiah 44:20  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?  (The heart will lead you in the wrong direction.  “If I know my heart” is a deceptive phrase to follow.)


a)  Religion Can Deceive Your Heart - James 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.


b)  Promiscuity Can Deceive Your Heart - Job 31:9  If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, or if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door;


c)  Alcohol Can Deceive Your Heart - Proverbs 20:1  Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.


d)  Pride Can Deceive Your Heart - Jeremiah 49:16  Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.


e)  False Prophets Can Deceive Your Heart - Luke 21:8  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.


2 Timothy 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.


b.  The Heart Is Desperately Wicked.  Desperate – having urgent need; dangerous.  The desires of the heart of an individual drive them to do hideous, wicked, perverted things.


Matthew 15:19  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:


Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.


c.  The Heart Is Depraved.  Who can know it?  The answer is understood: no one.


2.  The Defense of our Heart.


a.  Our Heart’s Defense Takes Diligence. 


Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.  (Keep-protect with vigilance.  All-priority.  Diligence-Meticulously.)


b.  Our Heart’s Defense Takes Desire.


Deuteronomy 10:12  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,  (There are few in these last days who are willing to serve God with all their heart.  Most only follow their heart.  Desire dictates direction.)


c.  Our Heart’s Defense Takes Determination.


Acts 11:23  Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.  (I am in this thing for the “long run.”  Better men than I have fallen to the wayside over the years.  I am not speaking evil of them because they are my friends and I believe that they love the Lord but, for various reasons, they followed their heart instead of determining their hearts.)


Conclusion:  The importance of our heart is that, for out of out heart are the “issues” of life. 


a.  The Heart Dictates What We Do - Proverbs 4:23  Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.


b.  The Heart Declares What We Are - Proverbs 23:7  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: