Purpose in Your Heart, Acts 11:22-24

In Acts 11:22-24, Barnabas exhorted the church at Antioch “that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.”  To purpose in your heart to do something is to become so resolved that nothing will change your mind.  For instance, in Is 14:24-27, the Lord purposed to break the Assyrian, and no one can disannul it, no one can turn him back.  When God purposes a thing, he gets it done.  

Likewise, there are some things that you can and should purpose to do for the Lord.  And when you do, don’t just purpose according to the flesh 2 Cor 1:15-18, but let your yea be yea.  Become so resolved that no one can keep you from doing it.  Purpose in your heart:

To cleave unto the Lord – Acts 11:22-24 – when you get with the Lord, make sure no one can get between you and him.  These days, self-love, worldly influences, carnal Christians, cumbersome circumstances, and fleshly lusts are causing Christians to distance themselves from the Lord.  You need to purpose in your heart that you will cleave to the Lord.  Don’t let anything come between you.

To build the Lord’s house – 1 Ki 5:5 – when Solomon came to the throne, he had the commission to build the house of the Lord.  David had made provision for him and the Lord had given the pattern.  Likewise, former generations have made provision for us to build the Lord’s house [Eph 2:19-22] and the Lord has the pattern.  Paul was the wise master builder who laid the foundation [1 Cor 3:9-13].  It is up to us to keep building on this building, which is not yet complete.  Purpose in your heart to do your part.  Take tracts and New Testaments with you everywhere you go and give them out.  Be always ready to testify for the Lord.  And don’t let anything stop you.

To not transgress with your mouth – Ps 17:3 – Christians can be too casual with their words.  Purpose in your heart that you are not going to: lie [Lev 19:11], profane the name of the Lord [Lev 19:12], or gossip [Lev 19:16], to name a few.  White lies are lies, nevertheless.  O my God, O my gosh, O Lord, and so forth are profane expressions using the name of the Lord.  Gossips are talebearers.  Purpose in your heart that your not going to use you lips this way.  See Prov 10:32.

To give bountifully and cheerfully to the Lord – 2 Cor 9:6-9 – with missions conference coming up, this is a great time to purpose in your heart that you are going to do whatever God wants you to do about giving.  A preacher friend said, “Giving is a matter of the heart.  I have seen that when saints get their hearts right with God, giving is easy.  Giving comes from a heart that is right with God.”  

To fulfill God’s purpose for your life – Acts 26:16 – when the Lord saved Paul, he knew what his purpose was.  God told him.  And Paul set about to fulfill his purpose.  He wouldn’t let anything stop him.  The great promise of Rom 8:28 is given to those who are “the called according to his purpose.”  Paul was so certain of his purpose that he said to Timothy “thou hast fully known my… purpose,” [2 Tim 3:10].  Pastor Harley Keck said at the mens meeting in a missions conference, “A burden can get you to the field but it won’t keep you there.  A call will get you to field, but it won’t keep you there.  Only commitment will keep you there.”  You must purpose in your heart that you will fulfill God’s purpose for your life.  That way you will take the adequate time to prepare and be thoroughly persuaded along the way to continue to do his will regardless of the temptations to quit or find something else to do.

Conclusion: Everyone here is in some way dealing the things we discussed tonight.  You know where the Lord has been dealing with you.  So, in that area, purpose in your heart that you are going to cleave to the Lord, build the Lord’s house, no longer transgress with your mouth, give bountifully and cheerfully, and fulfill God’s purpose in your life.  Take the instruction that you have received tonight and purpose in your heart to do it