Untitled Sermon (2)
HEART OF THE MATTER
5 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength
23 Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.
November 9: Fear Not What’s Outside but Inside
1 Kings 11:9–12:33; Mark 7:14–8:10; Proverbs 3:6–3:12
How should we respond to a miraculous experience? Worshiping God for His goodness is the right place to start, but our ongoing response is every bit as important as our initial reaction. We see this play out in Solomon’s life.
“Yahweh was angry with Solomon, for he had turned his heart from Yahweh, the God of Israel who had appeared to him twice. And [Yahweh] commanded [Solomon] concerning this matter not to go after other gods, but he did not keep that which Yahweh commanded” (1 Kgs 11:9–10).
Despite Solomon’s experience with Yahweh, he chose to deny Him. This angered Yahweh—not just because of the general disobedience, but also because, after Solomon’s miraculous experience, he had more reason than anyone to stay devoted. Solomon’s refusal of the opportunity to turn back to Yahweh only aggravated the situation.
We don’t know exactly what led Solomon to disobey, although selfish desire, lust, and power seem to dominate his poor decisions. We can be certain that his inner thoughts drove him to act in the way he did. Solomon’s situation is reminiscent of Jesus’ remark about what defiles a person: “For from within, from the heart of people, come evil plans, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, acts of greed, malicious deeds, deceit, licentiousness, envy, abusive speech, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person” (Mark 7:21–23).
How many of us have at some point walked off God’s path and excused our actions in the name of grace? Solomon had ample opportunity to return to God, yet he continued to aggravate Him. How many of us react the same way to the goodness God has offered us?
What is happening “in” you that leads to the evil in your life? How can you allow the Spirit to resolve that?
JOHN D. BARRY