Jesus makes it clear, who we are and what we do determines our reward in heaven.
Jesus’ analysis of the heart includes: intent, motive and inclinations.
- God sees every intention of the thoughts of our hearts.
Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
- The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination and becomes even worse when presented with evil intent.
Proverbs 21:27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with evil.
- Intent is an active sin in the heart.
Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
- The intent of our hearts is forgiven by repentance and prayer.
Acts 8:22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
- The Spirit led reading, studying, meditating, hearing, and memorization of the Bible discerns your heart’s intentions.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The intentions of your heart impact and influence your reward in heaven.
God loves us. His Son, Jesus guides us into avoiding a great personal fall and crash by ending the Sermon on the Mount with urgent pleading for us to “found” our hearts and lives upon the rock solid truth of the Sermon.
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Today, we seek God’s grace to make Jesus’ beatitudes the intentions of our hearts.
- May my heart be poor in spirit.
- May my heart mourn.
- May meekness be in my heart.
- May my heart hunger and thirst for righteousness.
- May my heart be merciful.
- May my heart be pure.
- May my heart be filled with God’s peace and may I live out God’s peace as a peacemaker.
- May my heart be content even in times of persecution, mocking, and being falsely accused.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
By faith in Jesus, we ask God to generate within us hearts that please him.
- We believe God exists.
- We believe that he rewards those who seek
MCA LIFE GROUPS
Listen – My Story
- Introduce yourself to your group and mention your favorite summer memory.
- What are you looking forward to God doing in you through this Life Group season?
- Do you have any apprehension as we begin the process of helping each other grow in God?
Learn – Digging Deeper
- Read Genesis 16-7-16.
- Do you take any comfort in the wording for God in verse 13? “You are a God of seeing.”
- “I have seen him who looks after me.” Do you find joy in God looking after you?
- Read 1 Samuel 16:7.
- What thoughts do you have about God looking on your heart rather than your outward appearance?
- Is there anything in your heart you wish God couldn’t see?
- Rather than run and hide your heart from Him, run to Him with openness and honesty.
Life – Taking it Home
- What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this lesson?
- Will you identify one heart issue and work with God to purify that segment of your heart?
- How can your Life Group help you apply this weeks’ teaching?
Lift – Prayer
- Pray for those who are back in school. Ask God for grace to excel for Him in the educational setting.
- Pray for “The Bridge” our upcoming training on building bridges to our Muslim neighbors for the cause of Christ.
- Pray for “BAM” our upcoming Business as Mission training. We are asking God to help us launch five businesses in the next five years for the cause of global evangelization.
Will you invite three people to join your Life Group? They may be forever thankful, because humans “do best in small groups.”