Text: I Sam. 10:1-9
As we read from this passage we see that Saul, who was to be a righteous King over Israel, had to first experience a change of heart. God had to make his heart pure before he could rule the people rightly .
It is important to note that true change always occurs from the heart - from the inside out - because the essence of man's character lies within the heart:
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Saul's heart was changed because it was necessary. But so, too, must our hearts be changed! (See Jer. 17:9)
There are three aspects of change that we will focus on in this message:
1. The Purpose of Change
2. The Promise of Change
3. The Provision of Change
First let me say that when God examines a man He does so by looking at the heart. God is not so much concerned with what we do, as to why we do what we do?”
God always looks on the heart –
I Sam. 16:7
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
When God looks on the heart, He sees the heart perfectly. He knows perfectly why we do what we do.
We may be able to fool others when it comes to our good works, and we may even fool ourselves, but we cannot fool God.
God wants us to do what we do because we have a willing heart.
Take ye from among you an offering unto the LORD: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the LORD; gold, and silver, and brass,
I. THE PURPOSE OF CHANGE:
A. There are 2 basic reasons why change must occur:
1 . Man's heart is naturally evil -
a. Gen. 6:5
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
b. Gen. 8:21
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth...
c. Pr. 22:15
Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
d. Jer. 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
2. A Pure Heart is absolutely essential in order to see God -
a. Ps. 24:3,4
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
b. Matt. 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Herein lies a great dilemma: Our hearts are not pure, they are impure from birth (See Psalm 51:5 ), and yet without a pure heart we cannot see God. So what's the solution?
II. THE PROMISE OF CHANGE:
God desires to give us a new heart. This has been His intention from the beginning:
1. Deut. 30:6
And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
2. Jer. 24:7
And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
3. Jeremiah 31:33
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
4. Eze. 11:19
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
5. Ezekiel 36:26
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Thus, God has provided a way by which our hearts may be cleansed!
III. THE PROVISION OF CHANGE
It is God who changes the heart – We cannot purify ourselves
1. Jeremiah 13:23
Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.
2. Pr. 20:9
Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
But we must ask for a new heart -
1. Ps. 51:10
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
And as Scripture promises, God accepts a broken heart -
1. Ps. 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
2. Ps. 34:18
The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (KJV)
The first and greatest commandment is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt 22:37).
God desires to give you a new heart, a heart that is inclined to love Him, but it will only happen by and through faith - faith in the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ..
A warning is given to all those who hear the gospel:
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Do not harden your heart! Allow God to cleanse your heart! This is the very purpose for which Christ suffered! He died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins and mine. It is through faith in Christ (His death, burial, and resurrection) --by believeing what He accomplished for us on the cross-- and through faith alone, that salvation comes. This is the only means by which our hearts can be and will be cleansed.
As the Lord speaks to you through the Gospel, humbly accept by faith the Lord's provision for your salvation - the gift of His Son. For only then will you have the ability and the right to stand before His presence both now and forever. My prayer is that God will open your heart so that you can believe the Gospel (Acts 16:14).