Sunday, December 4, 2016

Heart Healthy for the Holidays

Today's message continued the series "Christmas at the Movies" and featured clips from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

The shriveled heart condition exists not only in the world at large but within the church as well.

What causes a heart to be so small?
The causes of a shriveled heart are often our hurts, our habits, and our hangups.
1.  Words have the power to hurt and the hurt is magnified when those words come from someone we love.
2.  Habits can be destructive both to the self and to others.  Are we going to fix the bad habits or allow them to continue the destruction?  We may think too highly or too lowly of ourselves.
3.  Hangups are those external forces that play a role in who we are but over which we have no control.  Good behaviors build, bad behaviors tear down.  What has been modeled for us determine our hangups.

     The good news is that no matter the hurts, the habits, or the hangups 
God can redeem our hearts. 

Freedom from hurts, habits, and hangups = redemption.

Life in Christ should be joyful.  God provides joy.

In the scripture lesson from Acts chapter nine we see the conversion of Saul, a Hebrew of Hebrews, a Pharisee on his way to Damascus to rout out the followers of Christ.  Saul, or Paul as we now know him, was shaped by the teachings in which he was trained (hangups) and in his lights he was doing what was right.  But God intervened, Paul was converted and became the greatest planter of Christian churches the world has known.

(A footnote:  Ananias when directed by God to go to Paul was reluctant to go because of the past hurts in his life.)

If you claim your heart has been changed but your actions have not changed, it is time to reassess your claim.  Even for the Grinch, the change in his heart changed his actions.

Through Jesus God turned our
     hurts into hope
     habits into health and healing
    hangups into joy! 
Only God can change our hearts, but we have a part in the process, too.  We must open the door and tear down the walls we have built up.  God does the cleanup.
Notes on the message  of
Pastor Josh Delph
Sunday morning

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