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Bethany Baptist Church had a float in the Ava Area Christmas. We did not win a prize, but we saw some very nice floats that did win. Our message that rang out with the bells of Christmas was that Jesus Saves.
Tim and Jackie Long, and their son, Levi, long time friends of Pastor Bob and Darlene Sorensen were guests at Bethany Baptist Church, Sunday. Jackie Long taught the combined Junior and Teens class in Sunday school and sang a special song in the preaching service. Tim Long taught the adults and brought a message in the preaching service from Psalm 86 on “Heart Health.”
When Tim was just a young child, doctors found an irregularity of his heart that resulted in his being “watched” and being told that eventually he may have to have corrective heart surgery. Your heart is an extremely important organ. Our lives depend upon the health of the heart, but our spiritual heart health is even more important. King David prayed in Psalm 86:11 “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.”
There are two reactions to God’s commands. Hearts are yielded to God or hardened against him. One way will bring peace, the other way will bring pain. Failure to have a strong heart spiritually can result in a spiritual “heart attack.”
Doctors recommend good diets and exercise to help prevent heart attacks. Exercises that work to prevent “hardening of the spiritual arteries” are prayer, praise, and worship. Add to this a good diet of the Word of God and of good fellowship.
Hearts that are hardened are spiritually weak. To keep the spiritual arteries clear we need to avoid certain things. Negative and critical attitudes, questionable amusements, listening to flattering tongues, anger, selfishness, and such like can clog the arteries of the spiritual heart like cholesterol does the physical heart. Sometimes a heart is so hardened that there needs to be a transplant. God has promised that if we give him our old diseased heart he will give us a new heart.
Some times the heart is beating too fast or too slow. People can get excited and worked up about complaints, pleasures, or personal relationships. Maybe there is more excitement about a foot ball game and no passion for the things of God. Return to him with the whole heart.
Spiritual heart disease comes on slowly with a slow erosion in attitudes, breaking down of relationships, eating away at our dedication to the Lord and making little compromises with our conscience. The numbness grows unnoticed until there is no gratitude, no love, or no anger for injustices. Then when something stresses us, we collapse with a spiritual “heart attack.”
If you need a heart transplant you will want to go to the right doctor. You do not want to trust your heart to just anyone. You will want to go to the very best. You must go to Jesus the Great Physician. His credentials were established back when Ezekiel spoke about Israel in the last days. The Lord would “… take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:” When you receive Jesus as your Savior you receive a “new heart.” This new heart is still vulnerable. You can’t just go back to the old life style eating and drinking the same old things, going to the same places, and continuing with bad habits. You take on a new life style with the good diet and exercise program that will maintain this new heart.