A PREPARED HEART
TEXT: 2 Chronicles 12:13-14
Introduction: As we consider the kings of Israel, the first was Saul who started out well but eventually fell into disobedience. David, the next one, although he made some serious mistakes, was generally a man after God’s own heart.
David’s son, Solomon, also started out well, but because of his many political marriages turned to serving idols. As a result, following Solomon’s death the kingdom divided into two nations: Israel to the north, and Judah to the south.
The kings of Israel were mostly evil, and the kings of Judah were somewhat of a mixed bag, with some good and some bad. In fact, the first king of Judah, Solomon’s son Rehoboam, was not a very auspicious beginning.
Read TEXT. The inspired historian tells us that Rehoboam did evil precisely because he did not prepare his heart to seek God.
In this lesson, we want to look at some things which we need to do in order to have TITLE.
I. Respect the influence of godly parents
A. God gave children parents for a purpose: Deut. 6:4-7, Eph. 6:4
B. Therefore, children need to listen to their parents and learn from their teaching: Prov. 1:7-9, Eph. 6:1-3
C. When children do this, they will have hearts prepared to remember their Creator: Eccl. 12:1ff
II. Recognize the consequences of disobedience
A. If there’s one lesson to learn from the Old Testament, it’s that God punishes disobedience: Deut. 28:1-2, 15-16, 64-68; 2 Chron. 36:15-21
B. Sometimes, punishment for sin occurs even in this life: Prov. 13:15; e.g.: Prov. 20:1, 23:29-30 (cf. sexual immorality, lying)
C. But even worse is the fact that if left unrepentant all sin will result in eternal punishment: 2 Thess. 1:7-9
III. Maintain moral uprightness
A. Consider Joseph: Gen. 39:7-13
B. Consider Esther: Esth. 2:1-2, 7-8, 16-18; 4:13-17
C. Consider Daniel: Dan. 1:8-21
IV. Pursue purity of life
A. In thought: Prov. 4:23, Phil. 4:8
B. In word: Matt. 12:33-37, Eph. 4:29
C. In deed: 1 Thess. 5:21-22, 1 Pet. 2:11-12
V. Develop a knowledge of God’s law
A. Knowledge of God’s law helps us be prepared to do what is right: Ps. 1:1-2
B. Lack of knowledge leads to hearts unprepared to obey God’s will: Hos. 4:6
C. Therefore, the New Testament emphasizes the importance of knowledge in preparing our hearts for the Lord: 2 Pet. 1:5-8. 3:18
Conclusion: Note Ezra 7:10
How well have you and I prepared our hearts to seek the Lord?
By Wayne S. Walker
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