Four Kinds of Hearts Mk 6:8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the Book of Mark we are going to study four kinds of hearts. A good look at these hearts will hopefully shed some light on the condition of our hearts. Once we know what’s wrong with our hearts it will be much easier to apply the scripture to change our hearts. The four kinds of hearts that we are studying today are:
The Conflicted Heart – Mk 6:20, 26 – the heart of Herod – Herod’s conflict is simple for us to see but it was hard for him to resolve – Herod feared John the Baptist and heard him gladly, even though John rebuked him by pointing out that it was not lawful for Herod to marry his brother’s wife – Herod’s wife, on the other hand, hated John the Baptist and wanted him dead – so the conflict for Herod was that he found himself divided between John and his wife – often we find people conflicted over their love for their spouse and their fear of God – you’ll see this in spouses from different church backgrounds – in marriages where one spouse is saved and the other is lost – in relationships where one person believes the Bible and the other doesn’t – and so forth. To resolve this the person who fears God must be faithful to God until the other person comes around – better yet, don’t ever marry a person with this significant difference between you or you may end up resolving your conflict by turning your back on the Lord – many do.
The Hardened Heart – Mk 6:52 – the heart of the disciples – see also Mk 8:4, 8:17 – the disciples had seen such a miracle in the feeding of the 5,000 that they should have never worried again about the Lord’s provisions and protections in their lives – and yet, because of the hardness of their hearts, they marveled when Jesus calmed a storm, they questioned the Lord’s ability to provide again when there were 4,000 and they misunderstood the Lord’s comparison of leaven to false doctrine – often we find people who seem to never be able to trust the Lord in difficult circumstances – listen, you see his testimony of faithfulness in the scriptures, and you have seen his faithfulness in your life – you might excuse the hardness of your heart by saying, “I just worry in situations like this” – but the truth is that your heart is hard – you need to admit that your heart is hard and you need to start believing what the Bible says and quit fretting against the Lord – let him change your heart.
The Hypocritical Heart – Mk 7:6 – the heart of the Pharisees – the Lord said about the hypocritical Pharisees, “This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” – oh, there are so many people who give God lip service – they try to say just the right thing to make you believe that they are close to the Lord – they do all the things they do for the Lord because that’s what men have taught them to do [in reality they are doing them to be seen of men] – they aren’t really what they look like by what they do and say – they are far from the Lord – the way to get over this kind of heart is to humble yourself and admit, first to God and then to yourself, that you aren’t nearly as good as you are pretending to be – start being real, even though others might not like what they find you to be – and then ask God to draw you close to him – in prayer and Bible reading and doing what the Bible says you will begin to change so that who you are, what you do and what you say will all be the same thing.
The Defiled Heart – Mk 7:20-23 – the heart of man – you must be aware that looking holy on the outside may impress men but God sees your heart – everyone of us, because of sin, has something evil in our heart – when you read this passage of scripture you can find yourself in the list of defiling sins in at least one or two places, if not more – you can pretend that those sins are not in your heart but you will never get them taken care of that way – the Lord purges iniquity with mercy and TRUTH not with mercy and LIES – you must admit that your old heart is defiled and then you must look to Jesus Christ and his word to keep the sins of that old heart in check – that stuff is in you and you combat it by living and walking in the Spirit of God.
Conclusion: which of these hearts do you have: a conflicted heart, a hardened heart, or a hypocritical heart? Or do you have more than one of these. Go to work on them so that you are not like conflicted Herod, the hard-hearted disciples, or the hypocritical Pharisees. Recognize that the heart of flesh is defiled and strengthen your heart in the things of God so that old defiling heart doesn’t keep dragging you away from God and into sin!!