Now today we are dealing with something that all of us are familiar with — that which identifies with all of us, that which is the most important part of the body, the center of our emotions.
I say the most important part because there are many things that the body itself can survive without; for example take away the eyes and the body can still function. Cut off one arm or hand and the body will keep right on going, many people are walking around today and doing good with only one leg. Take all of our teeth out of our mouth and we can still talk, cut the tongue out and we won’t be able to talk but at least we can still live, but I declare unto you this morning that it is literally impossible to live without a heart.
Take out the heart and the body will surely die.
And since the heart is the center of our emotions, then that which is in the heart is expressed through our actions. You see my friends, whatever is in a person’s heart and is the center of their emotions will be that which will occupy their mind and thoughts and will be that to which they devote the most of their time.
For example, when a boy loves a girl in his heart she is all he thinks about, he thinks about her when he goes to bed at night and he thinks about her when he get up in the morning. All day long she is in his thoughts, all of his energy is consumed by the one he is in love with — to drive that point home a little further we parents know the love we have for our children because they are flesh of our flesh, bone of our bones. Our blood is running through their veins so there is a special love that we have for them in our hearts; so much so that there is nothing good that we won’t do for them.
Community, I said that to say this — when it comes to the Lord’s work and working for the master it too has to be in the heart and it starts with having a changed heart (Rom. 10:9-10). For if we don’t love the Lord Jesus, we cannot love his work! It is impossible to love him when you don’t even know him but community, this explains a lot of things, it explains why when it comes to being faithful and committed to the work of the church why some people do things the way they do.
It explains why when there is “Ushers Ministry” meetings, only a few show up while others have something else to do. It explains why choir presidents are so frustrated because there is so few choir members at choir rehearsal but the choir loft is full on Sunday morning. It also explains why bible study and prayer meeting night is the least attended night of the week and despite encouragement from the pastor to come people are engaged in other activities; yet when it comes time for them to do what they really want to do they make time to do it.
It explains why in most churches you have the “faithful few” that carries the church. Community, it all boils down to one thing, it’s not in their heart.
In love I say when people don’t pick up their bibles from one Sunday to the next when the things of God take a back seat to the things of the world, it’s not in their hearts! I have learned over the years in ministry that people will do what they really want to do. Community, when you really love the Lord you will also love his work.
There was a church member of mine who was an elderly lady, she was a diabetic, was on dialysis three days a week and could barely walk. She lived about 75 feet from our church parking lot when I would get to church early on Sunday morning 15 or 20 minutes before it was time for Sunday School I would see her leaving home with her walker taking baby steps one at a time barely putting one foot before the other trying to get to the church. I knew it was a struggle for her, yet this lady had a press to get to Sunday School. Community she had every reason to stay home from church or come late and nobody could blame her, she didn’t feel good most of the time but she got up, got dressed and would make it to church before Sunday School.
Another faithful church member was the same way, tired from dialysis three days a week, he had both legs amputated, was a diabetic also, yet was on time wherever he went. Now why did these two people do what they did? They did it because it was “in their hearts!” Community, it is truly a heart thing.
Mary of Bethany anoints the feet of Jesus with very expensive ointment (or perfume), and wiped his feet with her hair (John 12:1-3). The best that she had she expressed in love to him. Despite being criticized by Judas (verse 5) she did it because it was in her heart.
When it’s in our heart we’ll be more than Sunday Christians; and then when somebody ask us “why do we go to church, and give God the best of our service? May we all be able to say I do it because “it’s in my heart.”
The Rev. George Ellis is pastor of Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church.