Songs:How Great Is Our God / How Great Thou Art - CeCe Winans
Sing to the King - Umobile Worship
Heart of Worship - Michael W. Smith
Scripture:- Acts 28:17-31
Song: My Heart Is Yours - Passion
Sermon: “Heart of the Matter”
Closing Song: Open The Eyes Of My Heart - Michael W. Smith
Benediction: Hebrews 10:19 “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Today we want to get to the heart of the matter? This can be described as “the basic, central or critical point of an issue, topic or problem. The issue here is this simple question, who has your heart? Deuteronomy makes this clear for us. Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? 14 To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his affection on your ancestors and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations—as it is today. 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. 21 He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes. 22 Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.” John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”
From the very beginning of scripture we are commanded to obey and the option of disobeying. We have choice to love God. Deuteronomy 30:16 “For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 20 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” 32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.” John 3:3 “Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
If we go back to Genesis we see God creating man and giving them a command to obey. We also see satan questioning that command and the fall of man happen. Adam and Eve had a choice; obey or disobey just as we have that choice. As we read that choice involves loving God with all our heart souls mind and strength. If we do not do that then we are loving satan with all our heart soul mind and strength. Choosing wrong has eternal consequences. We see all through scripture choosing wisely and choosing the way of the fool. Every decision costs, not only us but those who follow us. Adam and Eve’s choice brought death. Later the choice of the kings brought the Kings of Babylon and our choice is either eternal life or eternal damnation. Deuteronomy 32:20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” 2 Corinthians 11:13 “For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.” Jesus came so that we would have life and not death yet even today people reject His way His life and His truth. Remember we are talking about the church. Hebrews 10:26 “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” We are not to take this lightly as many do as there is no fear of God. Most go their own way and do their own thing. They have a false sense of security because someone told them they were secure and they are oblivious to the wrath that is coming because they have rejected God’s word and followed their own.
Realizing the error of our ways is a gift from God. Seeing that those who went before us have not acted according to God’s word and turning from that way is amazing grace. No it is not the cheap grace so many christians live their lives believing that they can love God a little bit. James 4:4 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” But no one really seems to care. God’s amazing grace isn’t about living the way we want to live but living as God has commanded us to live. If we choose to humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways, that is where grace come in. We see this amazing grace all through scripture but mostly we see it with Jesus. Peter said Acts 2:36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah. 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do? 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.” What about all the rest you heard and turned away?
Obviously God is very forgiving God since we are still here talking about it but there was great cost as death entered the world. Romans 5:12 “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people.” For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Because of this Paul said 1 Corinthians 15:54 “death where is your sting. “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” The other choice is to follow the devil to the eternal fire prepared for him and his angels. There is no luke warm. You either follow God or you don’t.
So from the beginning there is a decision to make. Follow God or follow satan. What does your heart look like? 1 Samuel 16:7 “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” So today there are many going to church looking sharp or not or full of good deeds but their hearts are far form God the Spirit of God. Matthew 13:15 “For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” This is not where we want to be. Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” Unfortunately that is what we have been brought up with, traditions, experience and reason. So we had a choice to choose hot or lukewarm, we chose hot. But many will choose to settle into the tepid temperatures. 2 Kings 17 describes these people as those who would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who did not trust in the Lord their God.” Yes when told this they would be offended yet where is the power. If God Jesus and the Holy Spirit was truly present the church would look totally different so we continue to wait to be clothed with power but that is not what we are seeing. Many have chosen to follow the ways of satan. John 13:27 “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” We see this all the way through scripture until at the end. There is always a decision to obey or disobey and there still is but the good news is Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.”
We need the power of the Holy Spirit to win this war, otherwise we loose. We must choose life and prosperity as Moses said. John 12:37 “Even after Jesus had performed so many signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from God.” Does this sound familiar? The church today has done the same just as we read with Paul and the Jews, the Gentiles have done the same and have rejected the truth and now have calloused hearts. Nehemiah describes it perfectly Nehemiah 9:16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.” There are false prophets and teachers everywhere and people are following them into oblivion. How many have turned the miracles, signs and wonders of Jesus into a nice story because those are the old, old stories we love to hear about but no one believes them to be true for our day.
So now, not only is there calloused hearts and stiff necks, there is delusion brought on by God Himself. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” We also have this happening. Jeremiah 14:14 “Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.” Jeremiah 23:26 “How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?” Psalm 4:2 “How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?”
This is the battle all through scripture. Read Isaiah and you see a back and forth between obedience and disobedience. Read about the kings and you see the same. Nothing has changed for today. As scripture tells us, there are only two choices; live for Jesus or don’t. Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 39 Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. 40 Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.”
So you are either going to have a calloused heart and a stiff neck, unable to hear or see or you will have a new heart and have the mind of Christ. There is no middle ground. Why do you think satan has deceived so many by making the lukewarm really, really comfortable. He knows he’s got you if he can keep you lukewarm. I believe that Revelation tells us that God would rather have you reject Him to his face and be cold than to pretend to love him by being lukewarm. Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” It is really easy for satan when he gets you to believe God doesn't do what scripture says anymore. Does that sound a lot like, “Did God really say that?” The good news as Paul said Romans 7:24 “Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Nehemiah 9:17 “But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, 18 even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies. 19 “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.” You may recall at the first census they feared the enemies and died in the desert. Just as we they were told do not be afraid we do not need to be afraid either. God said we would take the land. So we believe we will. We believe or we don’t. John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” We have been given a choice to obey and follow His commands. God loves us that much he gave us a choice to grab hold of that peace. But like the Jews said that's not the peace they were looking for. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Jesus also said. John 14:23 “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.” 1 Kings 6:11 The word of the Lord came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. 13 And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
Now think about that for a moment. God, Jesus, Holy Spirit in us. So just like at the temple, 2 Chronicles 7:1 “When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.” Just like at Pentecost Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” So now you have power, vision, hearing, discernment, language and the list could go on. We then go out and continue to do what Jesus taught us to do once we are clothed with power. 1 John 3:8 “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Paul was sent Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” This is also our task. Everything changes when we return to God.
No longer will we be reading the curse side of Deuteronomy to describe ourselves. Deuteronomy 28:65 “Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see.” This is not the heart we want to follow. There is a battle for your heart. Who will you give it to? If we do not obey we are giving our hearts over to satan and planning to spend eternity with him and his angels. Here is a disheartening thought. Let’s say one Sunday they playing Highway to Hell by ACDC. Some would love it but most would think that just terrible and at the same time they sit there listening to a false gospel. Now picture the car on the highway with ACDC and the church people in the back sit going to the same place. 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?” He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’ “But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ 28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
Here is an example of having the wrong heart. Proverbs 26:22 “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts. 23 Like a coating of silver dross on earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart. 24 Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. 25 Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts.” Proverbs 6:16 “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable (abomination) to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Revelation 17:5 “The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth.” Again I ask who has your heart? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit or filled with abomination. Many think they are filled but they are not. Not only is there the fruit of the Spirit but there are also the gifts of the Spirit.
Notice in Nehemiah he said in their confession, “You gave your good Spirit to instruct them.” John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. Galatian’s 5:25 “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Because of Jesus we have had an opportunity to be saved and be part of the family of God, heirs to the throne. This is what happens when our hearts are right. Galatians 3:29 “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Most do not because they have rejected the power of the Holy Spirit and the word of God. Do you really think God will not turn his face from them. We are pleading that God will turn his face back again.
The heart of the matter is whether we love God with all our heart or not. There is no middle ground. There are millions of christians who have become very comfortable in the tepid waters of what they think is christianity. There is a apathy that has filled the church because the church no longer fears the word of the Lord even though He said Matthew 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” So yes our journey is hard, those around us think we are nuts but we continue to relentlessly pursue the true gospel of Jesus Christ and all that goes with it. Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” We continue to pray that God will change our hearts. Saul had his heart changed 1 Samuel 10:6 The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. 7 Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. 8 “Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.” 9 As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. 10 When he and his servant arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came powerfully upon him, and he joined in their prophesying.” Yet he disobeyed and lost the kingdom. We always must obey. To replace Saul was a man after God’s own heart Acts 13:22 “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.”
God is looking for those who will love him with all their heart souls and mind. 2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” So we have turned from our wicked ways and we have hope because God said 2 Chronicles 7:13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there. 17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.” 1 Kings 9:3 “The Lord said to him: “I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.”
So we want to make sure we seek God with all our heart soul mind and strength. Solomon said 1 Kings 8:17 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel.” It was said about David, 1 Samuel 2:35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always.” Will you be part of that house, heir to the throne or will you follow in the ways of the cursed who disobey the word of the Lord. You choose! Paul said Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms” Hebrews 4:11 “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”