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1201. Proclamation that Addresses the Heart

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2022 7:00 pm

1201. Proclamation that Addresses the Heart

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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March 7, 2022 7:00 pm

Dr. Doug Garland begins a Seminary Chapel series entitled “Jeremiah pt. 1” with a message titled “Proclamation that Addresses the Heart,” from Jeremiah 17.

The post 1201. Proclamation that Addresses the Heart appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Today on The Daily Platform, we're beginning a series from Seminary Chapel on proclaiming the invincible word in a cancel culture.

Today's speaker is Dr. Doug Garland, Director of Assessment at Bob Jones University. I appreciate the opportunity afforded me by Dr. Cushman to be able to spend some time with you today in the Word of God. The topic that I've been given or chose was from Jeremiah 13. I would invite you to turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah 13.

I will be referring to it quite frequently as we talk together today. All right. Now, this is Seminary Chapel. This is not a morning worship service. So you can talk to me a little bit and you can respond once in a while. That all right.

Shake your head. Yes. Yes, it's really OK. Nothing bad is going to.

Nothing bad will come of it. I promise. I want you to think for a moment of how long you've been in college. From the time that you started as a freshman until the time that you finish your seminary degree. How many years is that going to be? How long have you been and will you have been in college by the time you finish your time at Bob Jones Seminary? I'll tell you what.

Let's have some fun with this if we could. I want you to communicate how many years that is to me. All right. Well, you can do this is with your fingers up against your up against your shoulders.

All right. So what I'd like you to do, I want you to tell me how many years have you been in school? Higher education. From the time you were a freshman to the time you were you would finish your degree. Now, some of you might have to take off your socks and shoes.

Show me your toes, because it's going to be a lot. Yeah, I think my my education time spanned like 10, 20, 30 years. OK, long time.

Very, very, very long time. So fast forward your life now. You've just finished seminary. You've taken your first ministry. Perhaps you're a pastor, perhaps you're a youth pastor, counselor. Perhaps you're working at a women's center. Perhaps you're working at a at a camp somewhere. So you're in your first ministry. Maybe you're married. Maybe you've welcomed your first child into your family. Maybe you're single and you're able to spend most of your time with the ministry that God has has called you to. What might be going through your mind at that point?

You know, fast forwarding a number of months or years ahead from where we're at now. What would be going through your mind? You're in your very, very first ministry. What will your emotions be like during those those early days in your ministry? I think if you're like most of us that, you know, you look back at those days, you wonder, what is God going to do through me in this place?

I expect that there would be a mix of excitement and anticipation and probably some fear. This is something new, something that that you've never done before. And let's say that in the course of these early days in your ministry that you do welcome a new child into your home.

Or perhaps if you're single, somebody in your church that you're very close to welcomes a new child into the to the home. And you're very you're very, very close to those people. And you look at this little boy and think, you know, of all the billions of children that have been born in the last thousand years, this no doubt is the very best one. He's good looking.

He's obviously intelligent. He seems to have a great disposition. He's just absolutely wonderful. You bring the baby home, takes you a few weeks to figure out feedings and sleepings and diapering and bathing and all those types of things. But you notice that once in a while this child just cries and you pick the baby up and immediately the child goes from huge distress.

To just being so very pleasant. He looks at you and coos and your little heart flutters. And after that happens two or three times, you begin to wonder, is this little kid manipulating me? Then you're in a family reunion. Your cousin is there and they have a little baby, too. And you're holding your baby and your cousin brings their baby and you're holding both of them.

Everybody's taking pictures of you. And your child looks at that other child. And all of a sudden your child screams and cries. The other child's taken away.

He looks back at you again and just coos. And he's so pleasant. You begin to think this child has a temper. This child is jealous.

How could this possibly be? He's the most perfect kid that's been born in the last thousand years. Here's another one. There's a young man that begins interacting with your ministry. He comes regularly. He appears to be attentive. He begins bringing a Bible with him. You engage with him and he says, you know, I'd like to spend some time with you.

I've got some things I'd like to talk about. You start counseling this young man over the course of weeks. And he's very faithful, does his homework, as you've asked him to do. But you begin to find out that he's not telling you the whole truth about his life. He's covering up a lot of things. He's deflecting things. And in fact, you begin to think that maybe this guy is not interested in a relationship with Jesus at all.

I think maybe all he wants is a veneer of religion for his sins. And you're dismayed by that. One more. A mirror in literature represents truth. So here you are in the morning. You're standing in front of your mirror at six o'clock in the morning or five thirty or whatever time it is you get up. If you're a guy, maybe you're shaving.

Maybe not. You're a lady. You're fixing your hair.

You're working on your makeup. You begin looking at yourself and you realize that down deep in your consciousness there's a pattern of wickedness. And you begin to think, how can this possibly be? I am a graduate of Bob Jones Seminary. I've been in school for 14 years studying the Bible. I was ordained. I was sent out by my church to this particular ministry.

People think that I'm just the best thing that has come along in years. And you look deeply into yourself and you see this pattern of wickedness that is just hard to comprehend. And you leave that thinking, this is terrible. Well, folks, those are the types of experiences that many of you are likely to encounter as you take your first ministry and you begin interacting with your family and with yourself and with people in your ministry. And it can be disheartening. It can be tough.

It can be very, very discouraging. And as we look into the Gospels, though, we see that Jesus, I think, perhaps experienced very, very similar things. Remember the story of Nicodemus? Nicodemus comes to him.

They begin talking. Jesus responds back to him. And eventually Jesus says, you know, are you the teacher of Israel? And yet you don't understand these things. Nicodemus, there's something wrong with your thinking.

There's something wrong with your heart. And in other passages of the Gospel, we see Jesus out doing miracles. He's preaching and teaching.

And his own relatives don't respond to him. And he looks at them and is amazed. The scripture says, and he marveled it because of their unbelief. All of these cases, the three cases on the screen, plus what we've mentioned from the life of Christ, just simply point to one awful reality that all of us are going to deal with. And that is the reality that's at the center of the passage of scripture that we're going to look at briefly.

The hardest to see, full above all things, and desperately sick. Now, the question that comes to mind very often, at least it comes to my mind, and I expect it could come to yours as well, is that if the heart is so deceitful and so desperately sick, and it's totally beyond understanding, how am I going to minister to people with that type of a heart? How am I going to minister to people with a deceitful and desperately sick heart? Now, what we're going to learn from Jeremiah 13, or 17, in the few minutes that we have here, is that this passage of scripture has a pattern that I believe gives us some insight, and perhaps not all the insight we need, but it certainly gives us some insight about how to deal with the human heart.

My thesis this morning is just very simply this. The proclamation that addresses the heart must follow God's pattern for addressing the heart. All right, three ideas. Three ideas from Jeremiah 17, and we're going to have to move through these quite quickly because the clock is against me, all right? So, first of all, how do we deal with, how do we proclaim to people whose heart is a mess? Well, first of all, I believe what this passage of scripture teaches us is that we must proclaim God's evaluation of the heart, okay? We must proclaim God's evaluation of the heart. Just by way of definition here, when we talk about heart, I went to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which I do fairly, fairly regularly, and this is what Merriam-Webster said. It said, the emotional or moral nature as distinguished from the intellectual nature, one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations. And so what this modern definition is doing is splitting apart the intellect and the emotions or the desires, okay? They're saying that that's the heart.

As a good student of Hebrew a long time ago, very, very rusty Hebrew, I went to a couple of Hebrew lexicons. One of them said, you know, the totality of man's inner being. Another one said the inner man, the mind, the will, or the art is the word that's in focus here. And it's the part of man that Christ tells us needs to love God supremely. No doubt you're familiar with the verse that Jesus proclaimed, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And it looks like what Jesus is doing here is combining all of these characteristics of the inner man and saying that the purpose of your heart is to love God supremely, okay? The purpose of your heart is to love God supremely.

Let's try again here. And that reminds me of a quote that I'm sure that many of you have seen from Augustine, the church father, when he said, you have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you. Our hearts were made for God. Our hearts are instruments of love for God.

But we get to our passage of scripture and we look at ourselves and we look at those that are in our ministries and we see something that is far, far different. Now that word deceitful, the heart is deceitful above all things. The deceitful is the same word that we get Jacob from. Now, was Jacob a nice, upstanding, honest kind of guy that you would want to be your neighbor? I don't think so.

I don't think so. He was a cheat. He was a thief.

He was a conniver. And that's the human heart, okay? It's deceitful. Desperately sixth, the idea that it is incurable. You know, back about, I guess it's been 11 years ago now, my first wife was dying of cancer. She was in the hospital in her last days and the last conversation I had with her oncologist, he said, Mr. Garland, I'm so sorry, but your wife's condition is not recoverable. She's not going to survive. And we all knew that from just all that was going on. But it was really hard to hear that, that my wife's condition was unrecoverable. That's the same idea with this word. The human heart is desperately sick.

It's unrecoverable. It's a mess. And looking at your scripture here, if you look at verse 10, we see here that the Lord searches the heart. He tests the mind so that we know what's in our heart.

God puts us through hard things in our lives so that we can see what's in our hearts. And then the rest of that verse says that he gives to every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds. And so the direction of our heart is going to determine how God judges us. Now, folks, that is a very, very different proclamation than what you hear on social media.

That is a very different proclamation than what you hear in the world today. That's not how humanity today looks at the human heart. Another piece of this pattern in Jeremiah 17, and this very much reflects the wisdom literature like Psalm 1 and the Proverbs where there is a contrast between good and evil, between right and wrong. In this case, there's a contrast between an evil heart and a righteous heart.

And we're not going to have time to really develop this very much at all. But if you look at verse 1 of Jeremiah 17, verses 1 through 4 are in prose. 5 through 13 are in poetry. And there's a description here of the unrighteous, evil heart. Verse 1, the sin of Judah is written with a pin of iron, with a point of diamond. It is engraved on the tablet of their hearts and on the horns of their altars. That means it's permanent. It's indelible.

It's not going away. Verse 2 talks about the fact that this leads to idolatry. Man's heart is an idol factory. And in verses 3 and 4 talk about the fact that the human heart is self-destructive. It leads to judgment.

That's not very pretty. If you look at verse 5, it says, The Lord cursed is the man who trusts in man. The evil heart puts man above God. And God says that that person is cursed.

He makes flesh his strength. Verse 6, he's like a bush out in the desert that's all dried up. If you look down at verse 11, Like the partridge that gathers a brood that she did not hatch, so is he who gets riches, but not by justice. The picture here is a bird that goes out and steals other little birds and tries to make them their own. And when those birds get a little bit bigger, they fly away. And the evil heart, in this case, goes out and seeks riches. And those riches in due time fly away. And notice what the last word of this verse is.

That person is a fool. And then in verse 13, Those that forsake you shall be put to shame. And on and on and on it goes. The characteristics of an evil heart. And all through history, there have been philosophers and others who said no to God and yes to their own thinking. Descartes would just be one example. There are many, many, many others. We don't have time to go through them this morning. I want to show you just some things that I've seen in the last week or ten days that modern examples of things that are flowing out of these unrighteous and wicked hearts.

Have you seen that before? It's my body. It's my choice.

It's putting humanity, a man, above God's ways. Here's another one. I'm a woman trapped in a man's body. The transgender movement.

There's a real cute commercial on TV right now by a certain grocery chain. And this is the slogan at the end. Family is what you make of it. Well, is it really, according to God? Well, that's an imagination of a man's heart.

Here's another one. This guy was saying that money is the sum total of everything to him and he's all stressed out over his death. All those are manifestations of an evil heart and those are the types of things that all of us will have to deal with in our ministries. But it doesn't stop there and just very quickly, there is a description here of a righteous heart. Verse 7 says, Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. This is a man that says, alright, God is above everything in my heart. Riches aren't as important. Other people aren't as important.

My ways are not important. What's important is God and I'm going to put my trust in Him. You'll notice in verse 8, he's planted by water.

He's permanent. He bears fruit and so on. He is in a good, good place. Then in verse 12, this righteous heart perceives things about God that others don't.

A glorious throne is set on high from the beginning. It's the place of our sanctuary. Oh Lord, the hope of Israel. This person with a righteous heart has hope. This person with a righteous heart is safe.

Now, very quickly, we went through a pattern here. How do you deal with the hardened, deceitful hearts of people? As a preacher or teacher or counselor, I think based upon this passage of Scripture, what we learn is that we need to talk to people, we need to preach to people and teach them God's evaluation of the heart. We need to proclaim the characteristics of an evil heart and then the characteristics of a righteous heart. Now, by way of application, say, what good is that going to do?

Well, from a lost person's perspective, when they hear you preaching and teaching these things from the Word of God, what's going to happen in their mind, if they listen to you, is that it's going to create what we call cognitive dissonance. All right? This is what I believe.

This is what I've heard all my life. You're talking about something totally different. I don't understand. And for some of those people, they're going to respond to you, and they're going to come to you and say, explain more of this to me.

I don't understand. And in time, as they continue to seek, they're going to realize that their ways and God's ways are much different, and it's going to become a great burden within their soul, just like the Christian in Pilgrim's Progress had a great burden on his back. These people will have a great burden on their back, and what they need at that point is for you to point them to Jesus Christ, and they'll come to Christ. But they have to hear God's evaluation of the heart.

They have to understand these things from God's perspective. But what about for us? How does this apply to us? You've been born again. You have a new heart that God has given to you.

Where does this leave us? Well, the proclaimer, in this case Jeremiah, just to point out three quick things to you. Jeremiah was prepared greatly by God for this ministry that he gave to him. And likewise, if you're going to work in a world that is set on evil, the way ours is, it's going to require significant preparation on your part.

You're going to have to know the word. You're going to have to know how people think and the world's thinking. You're going to have to confirm your calling, that this is what God wants me to do. Jeremiah's calling was very clear. It seems to me as well in Jeremiah that he grew a lot spiritually over the years. You're going to have to grow spiritually as well, so am I, and we're going to have to preach Jesus to them. But just as Jeremiah encountered all kinds of opposition, all kinds of suffering, he experienced a lot of tears in his ministry. We need to realize that when we proclaim the truth of God to a world with an unrighteous and evil heart, it's going to generate a lot of suffering, and it's going to generate a lot of opposition. And during these seminary years, I think you need to prepare for that.

In fact, I believe that's really the purpose behind this series in the chapel. But I would also say to you by way of encouragement that I believe that if we are faithful to this and we proclaim the word of God even though it's hard for people to hear, that the impact of that is far beyond what any of us could possibly imagine. Think about Jeremiah's impact on his generation, on those in the New Testament, and through church history, and even in the United States.

Jeremiah's impact is still reverberating through history because he stood and proclaimed these things that were very, very difficult. This is the same path that Jesus walked in. Read the Sermon on the Mount.

You can find those three characteristics, that pattern in the Sermon on the Mount. This is what Jesus did. And I'm convinced that if we faithfully proclaim the word of God, particularly aimed at the heart like this, that when it's all said and done and we stand before the Lord, the Lord's going to look at us and say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Look at these people that you brought with you. Look at these people that thought about me and considered the things of God because of your ministry. And that's a great opportunity that's before all of us.

All right, let's pray. Father, I thank you for these men and women that are here this day. I thank you for their desire to prepare, their desire to move ahead and serve you. And so give them grace as they face a world that is increasingly hostile to the things of your spirit. Might they be well prepared? Might they learn to proclaim the scriptures? Might they learn to stand for righteousness and use them wherever it is that you might send them for your glory. Now dismiss us with your blessing. Might we walk in fellowship with you this day in Jesus name. Amen. You've been listening to a message preached by Dr. Doug Garland, Director of Assessment at Bob Jones University. Join us again tomorrow as we continue this series proclaiming the invincible word in a cancel culture here on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-26 07:41:26 / 2023-05-26 07:51:00 / 10

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