IS YOUR HEART RIGHT WITH GOD?
By David J. Riggs
A. This lesson is designed to bring greater spirituality and
closeness to God. It is designed to help build and increase
personal happiness because of our relation to God.
1. Why aren't we, as members of the body of Christ, a happy
2. The Christian can't be happy if his heart is not right with
3. Let us try to improve our closeness (having our hearts
right) with God. James 4:8
I. LESSONS FROM THE ACCOUNT OF SIMON THE SORCERER.
A. Be on guard against old weaknesses.
1. Satan will work on our weak points. 1 Pet. 5:8
2. Simon was regarded as someone great. Acts 8:9-10
a. He still wanted to be someone great and thus wanted to
buy the power to impart the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:18-19
B. Avoid the evil heart.
1. His thinking ("thought") was all wrong. Acts 8:20 He
literally had sinned by thinking wrong; he had not acted as
2. Jer. 17:9-10 - As a garden tends to produce weeds, so does
one's heart. Thus, Prov. 4:23.
C. Avoid the impenitent heart.
1. Simon did appear to have a penitent heart. Acts 8:24
a. Some people will never repent; they have hard hearts.
b. "Harden not your hearts" - repeated three times. Heb.
3:8;15; 4:7. Perhaps the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us
D. Maintain a heart suitable for correction.
1. Christianity is a religion of the heart. A good heart is
vitally important and essential.
a. We must have good and honest hearts which can be
easily entreated. Luke 8:15; James 3:17
b. God constantly purifies our hearts through His Word.
E. Repent and pray. Acts 8:22
1. This is our means for keeping our hearts pure.
II. IS YOUR HEART RIGHT WITH GOD?
A. Do you have an evil heart?
1. An evil heart can spring up at any time. Heb. 3:13
2. Bitterness can spring up. In many families, churches,
relationships, etc., where there was once love, bitterness
has taken over. How sad! Heb. 12:15
a. As weeds have a tendency to always spring up where
they ought not be, so does bitterness.
3. Here's a personal question: "If you should die today, would
you be saved?" Here are some common answers, "No," "I
don't know," "I hope so," "yes." How would you answer?
Take an inventory. 2 Cor. 13:5
B. The Lord knows all.
1. Many act as though God can't see what they do. They think
that the cover of darkness hides their sins. 1 Thess. 5:4-8
2. Remember, God knows everything. He even knows our
thoughts. Psalm 44:20-21; 139:1-4
C. One can be self-condemned.
1. 1 John 3:19-20
2. One could have a clear conscience and still be wrong, but
one cannot have an evil conscience and still be right.
a. God would never save us in spite of our evil
consciences--thus, the importance of keeping our hearts
right with God.
D. We all must make corrections when needed.
1. Our hearts have been sprinkled from an evil conscience. Heb.
a. This is the inward part of regeneration. Baptism is the
other part "our bodies washed with pure water."
2. The Christian is blessed with the opportunity to obtain
forgiveness at all times.
E. We all must maintain pure hearts.
1. 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22; Matt. 5:8
a. We need to set reasonable goals and maintain them.
b. For example, one might say, "I don't study like I
(1) To obtain and maintain a good heart, one must
change - begin to study like he should.
c. If one says, "I don't love my husband (wife, children,
relatives, enemies) like I ought," he must change;
otherwise, his own heart condemns him.
III. WHEN IS ONE'S HEART NOT RIGHT?
A. Do you find services boring?
1. Some slip in late and/or slip out early.
2. Do you enjoy studying, singing, praying? Or, are you looking
for an excuse to quit? Psalm 122:1
B. Do you find true joy in Bible study?
1. 2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 3:15; 2 Tim. 2:2 - We can learn to enjoy
it, can we not?
a. It is like getting involved in a hobby, sport, etc. The
more we involve ourselves the more we enjoy it, and the
more we enjoy it, the more knowledgeable and skilled
we become in it.
C. Do you enjoy the company of brethren?
1. For example, would your rather attend a gospel meeting (at
one's home congregation or elsewhere) or would you rather
be with worldly friends?
2. 1 Cor. 15:33; Prov. 13:20
D. Do you get mad at others when they rebuke you?
1. Prov. 9:7-9; 10:17; 12:15; 13:1; Psalm 141:5
E. Are you truly interested in souls? Prov. 11:30; Luke 5:9-10
1. Do you encourage (hold up the hands of those) who are
doing the work? Ex. 17:11-13
IV. HOW CAN WE IMPROVE? How can we have a better relationship
with God? How can we obtain a real personal happiness?
A. Let wisdom reign in our hearts. Prov. 23:23; Col. 3:16
B. Feed our minds with wholesome things. Phil. 4:8
1. Listen to tapes of sermons and songs. Read the Bible, and/or
church bulletins, brotherhood papers etc. Much of the
reading material available in this world is nothing but
C. Purpose in our hearts to do good. Acts 11:23; Ezra 7:10
D. Let joy reign in our heart. Psalm 4:7-8 "Happiness is a
1. We rejoice in God through Jesus Christ who has brought us
joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Pet 1:8
E. Seek God with all our hearts.
1. Psalm 34:8-10; 84:11; 119:2; Lam. 3:25 This is the only way
to find a lasting peace and happiness.
A. Is your heart right with God?
B. First, let's get our own heart right with God, and then perhaps
we can help others to get their's right.
LESSONS FROM THE ACCOUNT OF SIMON THE SORCERER
1. Be on guard against old weaknesses.
2. Avoid the evil heart.
3. Avoid the impenitent heart.
4. Maintain a heart suitable for correction.
5. Repent and pray.
IS YOUR HEART RIGHT WITH GOD?
1. Do you have an evil heart?
2. The Lord knows all.
3. One can be self-condemned.
4. We all must make corrections when needed.
5. We all must maintain pure hearts.
WHEN IS ONE'S HEART NOT RIGHT?
1. Do you find services boring?
2. Do you find true joy in Bible study?
3. Do you enjoy the company of brethren?
4. Do you get mad at others when they rebuke you?
5. Are you truly interested in souls?
HOW CAN WE IMPROVE?
1. Let wisdom reign in our hearts.
2. Feed our minds with wholesome things.
3. Purpose in our hearts to do good.
4. Let joy reign in our hearts.
5. Seek God with all our heart.