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PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD

PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD

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PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD

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  1. PREPARING THE HEARTFOR GOD’S WORD Ezra 7:10 [By Ron Halbrook, adapted from Cecil Willis, How to Study the Bible]

  2. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD • Introduction 1.Ezra 7:10 We must prepare the heart with the right disposition to study the Bible 10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.

  3. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD • Introduction 2.Lk. 8:10-18 The condition of the heart determines what we learn & how we react

  4. 10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 2.Lk. 8:10-18 The condition of the heart determines what we learn & how we react

  5. 12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 2.Lk. 8:10-18 The condition of the heart determines what we learn & how we react

  6. 15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. 2.Lk. 8:10-18 The condition of the heart determines what we learn & how we react

  7. GOOD HEART: • Listen carefully • Learn much • Shine brightly 16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. 18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. 2.Lk. 8:10-18 The condition of the heart determines what we learn & how we react

  8. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD 3. Let us prepare our hearts for God’s Word: • Study with reverence toward God • Believe all of God’s holy Word • Employ mental industry in Bible study • Moral purity prepares the heart to understand • Desiring the truth opens the heart • Expect to understand God’s Word • We must desire & intend to obey God

  9. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD I. Study with Reverence Toward God A. We Revere God by Revering His Word • 2 Tim. 3:15 Timothy knew “the holy scriptures” • 1 Thess. 2:13 We should accept the Bible message as “the word of God”

  10. 13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. • 1 Thess. 2:13 We should accept the Bible message as “the word of God”

  11. Peter gave abundant irrefutable evidence to convince honest hearts! PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD II. Believe All of God’s Holy Word A. God Gives Evidence to Prove His Word True • Acts 2:36 We can know for certain 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

  12. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD II. Believe All of God’s Holy Word A. God Gives Evidence to Prove His Word True • 1 Sam. 3:9-10 Speak, Lord, we will obey 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

  13. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD II. Believe All of God’s Holy Word B. We Obey Whether or Not We Understand Why • Deut. 29:29 Obey what is revealed 29 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.

  14. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD II. Believe All of God’s Holy Word B. We Obey Whether or Not We Understand Why • Isa. 55:8-11 God’s will & purpose higher!

  15. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. • Isa. 55:8-11 God’s will & purpose higher!

  16. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. • Isa. 55:8-11 God’s will & purpose higher!

  17. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD II. Believe All of God’s Holy Word C. To Pick & Choose What to Believe Is Unbelief

  18. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD III. Employ Mental Industry in Bible Study A. Concentrate, Meditate, Do Your Best to Learn • 2 Tim. 2:15 Eager, diligent study Study, Greek spoudazo, “to exert oneself, endeavor, give diligence” (Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words I:311) 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. (ESV)

  19. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD IV. Moral Purity Prepares the Heart to Understand A. Pure Hearts See & Apply Truth More Clearly • Matt. 5:8 A pure heart has a single focus: God 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

  20. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD IV. Moral Purity Prepares the Heart to Understand B. Love of Sin Darkens the Mind • Tit. 1:15-16 Some are corrupt in mind & deed 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

  21. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD IV. Moral Purity Prepares the Heart to Understand B. Love of Sin Darkens the Mind • Matt. 13:14-15 Corrupt hearts cannot hear

  22. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. • Matt. 13:14-15 Corrupt hearts cannot hear

  23. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD IV. Moral Purity Prepares the Heart to Understand B. Love of Sin Darkens the Mind • 2 Cor. 4:3-4 Love of sin blinds the mind 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

  24. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD V. Desire for Truth Opens the Heart A. Truth Must Be Our First Priority • Prov. 23:23 Sacrifice everything for the truth 23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

  25. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD V. Desire for Truth Opens the Heart A. Truth Must Be Our First Priority • Jn. 8:32 The truth sets us free from sin 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  26. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD V. Desire for Truth Opens the Heart A. Truth Must Be Our First Priority • Matt. 13:44-46 The kingdom of God is the kingdom of truth: its value is great!

  27. 44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. • Matt. 13:44-46 The kingdom of God is the kingdom of truth: its value is great!

  28. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD V. Desire for Truth Opens the Heart A. Truth Must Be Our First Priority • 2 Thess. 2:10-12 Hearts not loving truth are easily deceived

  29. 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. • 2 Thess. 2:10-12 Hearts not loving truth are easily deceived

  30. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD V. Desire for Truth Opens the Heart B. Love of Truth Overcomes Every Obstacle • Focus on the truth—NOT the teacher’s failures, our own past practices, or the majority view

  31. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD VI. Expect to Understand God’s Word A. God’s Word Reveals NOT Conceals the Truth • Eph. 3:3-5 Read & understand what is written

  32. 3 how the mystery was made known unto me as a revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. (ESV) 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (KJV) • Eph. 3:3-5 Read & understand what is written

  33. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD VII. We Must Desire & Intend to Obey God A. To Obey God Must Be Our Highest Priority • Jn. 7:17 The right heart understands Jesus 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. (KJV) 17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. (ESV)

  34. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD VII. We Must Desire & Intend to Obey God A. To Obey God Must Be Our Highest Priority • Lk. 6:46 If we call him, “Lord,” we must obey 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

  35. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD VII. We Must Desire & Intend to Obey God B. The Wise Obey, the Foolish Disobey God • Matt. 7:21-27 Only those who obey are saved

  36. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. • Matt. 7:21-27 Only those who obey are saved

  37. 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. • Matt. 7:21-27 Only those who obey are saved

  38. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD VII. We Must Desire & Intend to Obey God B. The Wise Obey, the Foolish Disobey God • Ja. 1:25 Must learn & continue to obey 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

  39. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD Invitation 1. Let us prepare our hearts for God’s Word: • Study with reverence toward God • Believe all of God’s holy Word • Employ mental industry in Bible study • Moral purity prepares the heart to understand • Desiring the truth opens the heart • Expect to understand God’s Word • We must desire & intend to obey God

  40. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD Invitation 2. Rom. 6:17-18 Yield to God’s grace in obedience: • Believe, repent, confess Christ, & be baptized 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

  41. PREPARING THE HEART FOR GOD’S WORD Invitation 3. Ja. 5:16 Fallen saints can be restored to grace 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.