24th March 2024

Healing the Desperately Wicked Heart

Passage: Jeremiah 17:9-10
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

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Well, it's about to be Easter soon, and there is a need for us to understand what exactly caused the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, and his eventual death on the Cross, and then his resurrection. There's a lot of things that people talk around as to exactly what is the meaning of Easter, But the scriptures are fairly clear that the reason why Jesus came had to do with the problem of the human race, and it had to do with our human hearts needing some drastic action taken. And there's a very famous verse in the Old Testament which is in Jeremiah and we're going to put it up on the screen. And in this verse it's talking about the problem of the human heart and, so for a message all. I thought we'd have something simple, not like a great big sweeping state of the

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nation, or even the state of the economy which wouldn't be bad things to discuss in these days, but the state of the natural heart and by natural heart the one that all of us have. is it what God originally intended? No. But it's talking about the human heart and it's not talking about your blood pump of course is talking about the center the Bible uses the word heart to mean your innermost person, it means to be the essential you. It means to be that which is the very root of your actions, the very bottom of the person that you are. And in Jeremiah, and it's chapter 17 verses 9 to 10, you can see it on the screen, it says, the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. The older versions used to say desperately wicked because it was a word that was used back at that time of translation when somebody had a dreadful sickness and they got to the hospital and the doctors looked

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investigated and they said there's nothing we can do. Desperately is the word that they use, and you're desperately sick, meaning you're not going to recover. And when the Bible talks here about the human heart, it says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked or desperately sick? It's saying that the condition that it has is something from which there is no recovery. And were God not to intervene, then that is kaput for the person, because sooner or later that desperate sickness, and I'm not just meaning a human sickness as in a disease or whatever, that you'll die physically you are going to die all of us physically the Bible says support an answer a person once to die and after that the judgment but the human heart has within it spiritually speaking a sickness which is beyond recovery and a

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lot of people don't fully realize this and don't understand the Christian message the Christian message isn't only one how we can do better it is true the Christianity helps society to do better on the surface of things, but it doesn't resolve, it doesn't get rid of the problem that's the heart of why Jesus Christ came at Easter time. Jesus Christ did not come at Easter time and willingly do all it was necessary to prepare to be a sinless sacrifice on the cross, before God for our sins. He didn't come to do that if there hadn't been an easier way for us to be cured. But that's because the human heart, the real essence of who we are, ever since the fall of the human race and the book of Genesis begins with a storyline of how that occurred,

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ever since then, we have been desperately sick or desperately wicked. The sickness is the sickness of wickedness in the human heart. And then it asks, who can understand it? The Lord searches the heart and he tests the mind. So this is not just a temporary or a fleeting or perhaps only a partially correct diagnosis that the next doctor's visitation will change. Oh, it's not so bad. I've been taken off to hospital when they thought something drastic had happened and the doctor says, no, he's not so bad. Well, that's rather not very good news.

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This is like being dragged off to hospital and the doctor says how long's he got to live? The doctor says this one is going to be your end. It's amazing how in ordinary life of day-by-day living who are not under that immediate death death sentence shut that out of your minds. You only have to get into a role as I'm in where you're often invited in to hospital where people are in a hospital bed where they will die. And ah to hear the statements that people make when they've been told that they are physically desperately sick. And that is to say they have got something from which they're not going to be getting out, that happens to all of us, sooner or later, unless we get so squished in the car accident that they don't need to visit the hospital at all. If you want some proof of what I'm telling you about the desperate-ness of the human

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heart, just watch enough of those TV shows about police work and the tracking down of the criminals or the hospital work thank goodness our hospital programs those programs which are geared to be real life programs thank goodness they pick and choose about the people they show and I want to tell you I don't think they pick a representative group when they're showing you people who've you know fallen a bit and broken legs a good lot of those go out again because their ratings wouldn't be the same if they gave you a representative set of people in hospital. I don't know what the figures would be. But a hospital visit is an end to which you'd better address yourself the one day you're going to be there. The Bible says about when you're young to recognise the fact that these are nice and good days but remember

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Remember your Creator in the days of your youth' the Bible says, remember your Creator in the days of the youth before the times come when about the times you say, I have no pleasure in them'. They are talking about the run down of the human body and the fact that all of us face either a hospital end or something more grisly, depending on where you live with or what the grisly means. North America that may well mean a grisly bear. In Australia, one possibility is the hungry shark. But I could really get us to press tonight if I did a bit of a review of what happens to people that finish up their days.

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And I'm in an age where some of my contemporaries are going to the next life. It sort of does something to you when you realise that there is an end that's coming up sooner or later. Some people live to a ripe old age and we have members of our church who are probably close to being 100 and getting a telegram from the Queen. Or is it the King? I don't know these days. Anyway, let's not get into that. It is a fact that our general make-up and mindset is to push out of your mind the things about your end.

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The Bible is a very drastic book and it describes the fact that our end isn't only the death humanly, appointed unto man wants to die. But it's also about what happens beyond death. And that depends not only on how well is your body, and how long you've been given, 70 years or 80 if you've got extra strength. Some people live longer than that in modern medicine as helping and extending. But nonetheless, what happens beyond the grave is actually what this verse is talking about when it talks about desperately sick. Because the human heart and the problem that it has is one that will take us all to judgment Unless something intervenes in between, which is the salvation that Jesus worked on the

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cross. Now, it says the heart is deceitful above all things. And this is telling us something about the human heart that I think is not readily recognised as true. But when it says deceitful, is talking about the fact that we are able to cover up, we are able not to present the truth. we're able, somehow, to become schemey, we're able in our dealings with other people to misrepresent the truth. And where that problem comes, isn't only personality things that can occur—you can actually grow being deceitful.

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If you have poor upbringing and your parents don't understand that little children are not born truthful. They do vary, we have to acknowledge. The fact is generally speaking, you don't need to teach little kiddies how to lie. You actually have to teach them how to learn to be a bit more honest. If parents don't do that, or worse still, if they model lying themselves, it is amazing how deceitful I am telling you, I used to be a teacher in school, primary school at first and high school later, and I want to tell you that lying is one of the most natural things school kids do, and it depends upon their homes whether the parents teach them how to be a bit more honest.

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Or it depends upon the society that there's some other intervention. You leave little children without teaching them about honesty, and they just get more deceitful. Now I know there's some variation, and there are some children who pick up and are taught well, and some who have models that they coppa, seek to redress that basic instinct, but the Bible is speaking about a deeper level than just the culture that you can be trained to follow. You can have the best home training and yet there be.... The Bible actually speaks an absolute here when it says the heart is talking about what

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has been common to us since the fall of the human race. The first three chapters of the book of Genesis in the Bible are about that fall, by fall it's talking about from some dizzy hype in which we're made to be, Where humanity wasn't deceitful. In fact how Adam and Eve were first created, they were created with a beautiful clarity of conscience, with hearts that were straightforward and not filled with guile. We, the human race, were created with a relationship with God that was clear and where we had good reactions and with favourable attitudes. Adam and Eve to each other were in harmony. The whole storyline of Genesis one

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is of the paradise into which they were put and lived and how there was a clarity and a clarness of their hearts. But that changed the moment Adam and Eve sinned. Although the Scriptures say that in the beginning God created us upright, not just referring to the fact that we stand straight but talking about our characters upright, that got smashed by the Fall. When Adam's sinned, what's the very first thing he does? He goes and hides, and when God, who is actually probably the pre-incarnate Christ, comes walking through the Garden of Eden, and peace-making, and he knows of course, that they've hidden themselves and calls out, Adam, where are you?

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And he has to come from behind some bush where he thought he could hide. What made him have that reaction to hide from the God with whom he had natural relationship and kinship and a sense of fellowship? And every day, God, probably the pre-incarnate Christ, came walking in the Garden of Eden to have fellowship. But this time, he hides away from the presence of God. And one of the reasons why we hide away from the presence of God is because we know that our heart is not right, that there's something wrong.

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There's a rebellion that's taken grip. And we hide. And actually, God had to skin kill some animals and get their skins and cloth them because some change had happened to make them aware that things were wrong. Now, the Bible doesn't say exactly what that change was. my opinion I think it was that when they were first created though naked, they had a glow, they had the glory of God that shone from them, because of the sinlessness that they were, and because of the reflected glory of God who made them in his image, we had our original parents, had a glory, but when they sin, the glory was gone. And nakedness is not so much a problem that somehow we you know sinfulness puts onto

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the nakedness, the human body is a beautiful thing ... Well, I think that there was missing that which was the Glory of God that was obvious for every body or every thing to see when they first See you think you can hide from God? that the voice of the one walking in the Garden of Eden calls them, Adam, Adam. Where are you? Right at the beginning of the storyline of the Scriptures, is the fact that

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walking in the gardens of people's lives, and He calls them out of their hiding. And because the heart is deceitful, above all things, it not only is busy deceiving others. And someone once said, a famous preacher, he said, you know, one of the chief characteristics of the natural human heart, and I meant to be talking on that tonight, the natural human heart,

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is that it is a hypocrite, and it puts on a show, and it hides its worst, and sometimes pretends it's okay. We are people naturally filled with the ability to lie, and unless you somehow allow God to train you different, or if your parents don't do that, in the way they bring you up, train you how to be honest, you'll develop more and more, to be a person who bums on the act. We learn how to present something that's not really the truth. We make friends, and so we've got these so-called friends, but we don't always speak well about them behind the scenes – because we are doing with them the same as what we're doing with God. We're putting on a smile when, maybe underneath, we're not so pleasant. There's many a person in growing up

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and going through teenage years who comes to the understanding that the real them is not as nice as they've put on and a part of the problems that teenagers have is with oneself as how you see you really are and we can deceive other people and put on the good show, but that's just not the truth and the Bible says the heart is deceitful. Now that deceitfulness, it says is in the first line that you see on the screen, it says above all things. And what does it mean above all things? It means that the very essence of a description of your heart is its deceitfulness. Above every other characteristic that you might list deceitfulness is probably the biggest for you, according to the Bible. Now it is true that there are other aspects of the human heart which needs to be said to be

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be fair to this narrative that I'm giving you and that is that we've been made in the image of God. We were made in this image and so there are many wonderful things about the human nature that is something that is true and wonderful. I think one of those things is creativity. One of those things is that although it's different amongst some people, some people have got very obvious creativity areas and others, it may be a general thing, but there's something in us that does like to create. And every now and then, there comes a person who has an area at which their creativity really shows itself as having the touch of the Divine image. I think you don't get a Beethoven. You don't get some of the people have done some wonderful musical things without there being evidence that there is

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creativity that's put within the heart of the human as a part of the of God. Just by the way you heard about the fellow who saw this sheet music going through the sky and it seemed to be disappearing around the corner and he thought he'd better follow the sheet music and it followed it around the corner and into this building he chased it down the steps and he found, it went down, to where there was a whole lot of coffins and the sheet music was disappearing into a coffin and he said to the attendant who was standing there what's this and the man says oh that's just Beethoven decomposing. That's meant to be a joke. Anyway the thing is that I'm trying hard, not to put across the idea that everything's rotten about the human heart. Its basic element according to the scriptures is its deceitfulness and

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sinfulness but there are other aspects by which we are seen to be in the image of God and every Very now and then something happens in community where you see people doing things. So I think Australians, I've said this many times before, are known for jumping in and acting and helping out when there's a tragedy or when there's a flood or when there's a fire. Some of those fire people got in there and have to risk their lives to put out fires to perfect or to save other people's houses. Some of the stories you hear back about the firemen go home and find their house got burnt down. they didn't stay around their own home they selflessly went out and fought the fires and

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there is something very good when you have wartimes there are stories in war times of people who do great heroic things one such person was a British man who was in World War II and was present at the Dunkirk time when the Allied soldiers are gone and hadn't succeeded and pushing back the Germans and they themselves got pushed back to where they had to flee and many of them died on the beaches there. Have I got the right place, Dunkirk? Anyway, it's a long time ago in World War II. But there was one British soldier, who in those last moments, before they were able to get off, was behind a machine gun and stopping a whole lot of Allied soldiers being killed before he himself escaped, and he got off and he got into one of those little boats if I've got the story right- it came over from Britain and he got

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rescued. And he had become a major because of his heroism and because of his due and daring approach to helping, but yet he risked his life. That man, major Ian Thomas, became a Christian or deeper Christian. I don't know how when his conversion was, but as a deeper Christian he discovered nonetheless that he didn't live a very good life and that he had a whole lot of things that he didn't live out the Christian ideal, and he had to plead with God to somehow help him conquer the evil of his heart. When he discovered that he didn't have the capacity, he cried out to God and asked God to help him to overcome his sin and Jesus helped him so that he became a bit more sanctified and he became an itinerant preacher who came through Australia and often used to speak at Easter times which is why I'm thinking of it. He's not, he's dead now, But a major in Thomas was a speaker who spoke about the fact that it was a

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major discovery for him to, even though he'd been a war hero even though he'd manned a machine gun and stopped a lot of soldiers being killed before they got on the boats, I want to tell you he had to discover how to let Jesus help him get over something wrong with his heart. Because when we become Christians we've become forgiven but there's sanctification that needs to help us to get over the things that we need to be forgiven for? Otherwise, we can be a bit of a hypocrite, like I was just saying, the cheap thing about the human heart is that all of us as Christians can be real hypocrites, because we have the desire now, having been converted to Christ, to want to live right. But often there's lurking in us deceitfulness that they're covering up the areas of our failure. Well the The hardest

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it says, above all things. And the above all things means that it's the chief characteristic of your sinful human heart that you're deceitful. Now that deceit is that not only that we can put it on before the other Christians at church, but that deceit is, listen to me, that deceit is that we deceive ourselves about our condition. And there are stories even in the Old Testament scriptures, excuse me where there's someone who thinks then they might be a little bit bad, some of the kings who fought between you know Judah, and Israel, and Syria, and the different places they fought against who thought they weren't too bad, and yet. So, there's a story line that

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we have in the Scriptures in the Old Testament from second kings, and we'll put that up on the screen. And this story is about a king and about an Israelite man I think he's fighting him and and when we get this passage which is in if I've got it right here two Kings chapter 8 verses 7 to 15 yes you've got it now Elisha came to Damascus and Ben Hadad I don't know whether his name was Ben or he said Hadad and it got to be his name anyway Ben Hadad king of Syria was sick and when it was told him. The man of God has come here the King said to Haziel who's representing God prophetic sort of guy, take a present with you and go and meet the man of God and inquire of the Lord through him saying shall I recover from this sickness. Those days

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the hospital couldn't do too much. The medicine available, there was some but not that much. But he is inquiring of God's representative as to whether he's going to die or will he recover. And so Haziel went to meet him and took a present with him and all kinds of goods from Damascus, 40 camel loads full of them. He's going to meet a big King, he's able to squish his nation. When he came and stood before him he said, your son Ben-Hadad, I don't know what I've done, came to meet the men of God, shall I recover. He took it as your son Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, has sent me to you'. By the way Syria you can regard as an enemy people or you can regard to be the northern states of Israel I'm not sure here exactly what they're in but they recognizing Elisha shall I recover from this sickness and Elisha said to him, go say to him you shall certainly recover but the Lord

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has shown me that he's certainly gonna die. When Elisha doesn't want to take the risk of giving him the bad news I am not sure. It is not exactly an example of being transparent. He fixed his gaze and stared at him until he was embarrassed and the man of God wept so the King fixed his eyes on him and got him to tell a bit more truth. And Hazael said, Why does my lord weep? Haziel must be the the curriculum to die. Why does my you know nobody Haziel's the messenger of Ethiopia House let's leave it in the air then we keep going why does my lord weep and he answered because I know that evil that you will do to the people of Israel you will set on fire their fortresses

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and you will kill their young men with a sword and dash in pieces their little ones, and rip open their pregnant women.' And Haseel said, What is your servant? Who am I? Is he a dog? Am I a dog? He should do this great thing? Elisha answered, The Lord has shown me that you are to be king in other words I get it. He's going to become the King when the other one dies. The other one is going to die and that's what the story line is. And the one who's going to take over is hearing the message whose he's going to be the king. Then he departed from Elisha and came to his Master, so Hallael is the servant of Elisha. Who said to him, What did Elisha say to you? No it's the other the way round. What did Elisha say to you? He answered, He told me that you would certainly recover, so he gives the wrong message. The next day, he took the bedcloth and dipped it in water and spread it over his face until he died, and Haziel became king in his place.

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Well I don't think I've got the story up very accurately there, but it's the story of deception and inability to face the truth and in the Old Testament amongst those the prophets and amongst those who were god's people and amongst the kings if you go and do a bit of a survey as to how many of those kings were good and how many were evil I think the majority of them end up pretty evil. It's an interesting thing. There are some who stood out trying to do what was right But even the ones who didn't know when they were told that they were going to do a lot of murders, I'm sure that they said just as the fellow expressed at there, am I a dog, that I should be like that? He didn't like what was said to him because he didn't see himself as having that capacity

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to go and do all that killing. It's true, if you do take time to study criminology, you'll find that there's often in people who do criminal things surprising persons who are representative of that set of criminals who never in their younger days intended to become murderers. If we listen to Jesus as we've been doing in the Beatitudes, He talks about the fact of the anger of the human heart as being really murder before it's happened or really being the same event, just a milder form. But there's many a times when we have angers against people but the circumstances were not such that we went out and killed them.

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But just equally their can come about events in your life where something so terrible is what's happened to you and your reaction to it is so strong. The human heart is going to surprise you as to what you ended up doing. The reason why I believe that is because of visits to jails I've made when I've gone different places to preach, and ended up being taken by the organizers to the jails and to talk to the people there. And then you meet afterwards some of the inmates who are Christians. And the fascinating thing to hear, especially Especially when I used to do this in Youth for Christ when I was a pretty young preacher. And it was staggering to me to find in jails people who had been strong Christians in their churches who had always intended to live good lives.

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But somehow the circumstances came about that the evil of the human heart overtook them. Something happened and they acted in anger and ended up in jail. take this Bible passage lightly when it says above all things the idea of above all things means the very biggest feature of the human heart is just how rotten it is. The human heart if you're talking about the state of the natural human heart just us when we're unconverted us as a result of the fall us which all of us share the normal human heart of everybody who's been born ever since Adam and Eve – it is to be deceptive, it is to be deceitful above all things, meaning it is the chief attribute of your human heart. And that human heart will not only come out with deceit over others, but there is what is called self-deceit, where you convince yourself

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you're not that bad. Where you hear of other people who have a fall, and often in churches there are people who have a fault and you convince yourself, well I would never be that person, but maybe just the circumstances have put you in a place where the depth of evil of your heart got a chance to show itself. That's what the Bible is saying. Let's go back to that verse in Jeremiah, the human heart is deceitful above all things. Let's see whether it goes on to say. And in you know back to the one in Jeremiah which is chapter 17, the path is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked or desperately sick I told you that means who can understand that who can understand it the furrows the intricacies of the self deceit within the natural human heart, is that you won't get a proper understanding of your own heart. You'll think you're pretty good. You'll have some explanations for the times you didn't

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act pretty good. There was this reason or that person, or some other cause, or what about the families you got brought up in and the mistakes they made or what about what happened at school? Or you'll have other excuses, the human heart excuses itself all the time. and the explanations you have of yourself are not going to get to the truth because you trick yourself. You come to church and the Bible preaching is pretty clear and straightforward that we all are sinners. The Bible says for all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God and you say to yourself, well yeah yeah that's generally true but I've been doing pretty well I'm as good as those other Christians I know down there. It's staggering actually, if you go to a church, how easy it is to see all the sins of the Christians, because they are sinners. But what we're doing is using that as an alibi for why we're sinners.

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Who can understand it means it's a bit unsearchable, those evil depths in our own human hearts. And then it says, who does search them? It says, the Lord searches the heart and tests the mind, the Lord searched the heart and tests the mind. I'm not sure this translation has almost a request, a fact that will happen, but it's also a statement of what he does all the time, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit, the outcomes of his deeds. This is a terrible verse in the Bible and by terrible I don't mean bad, I mean it's true, but it's terrible in what it says about our human hearts. Now what that means is that there's only one solution, the solution is not just to get sufficient religion and to make you a bit nicer, the solution is not just to have training in Sunday school that will give you some

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standards to live by, yeah, I'm not saying don't do that, that's good that it's done. But that's not a solution to how desperately deceitful is the human heart. How desperately wicked who is… the wickedness is such you're never going to recover. The only solution that's possible. Is that God gives you a new heart and the offer of the new heart is exactly what the Gospel offers. The Bible talks about regeneration of the human heart. The Holy Spirit comes, the person that comes to Christ and acknowledges that they are a sinner and they have a heart that's never going to succeed, to turn itself around. And that person that gets desperate enough, it's a bit like the woman in Jesus' day who had an issue of blood as a woman who was having menstrual flows that couldn't be stopped.

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It wrecked her entire social life, I'm sure. It also meant her religious life. She wasn't allowed to go to certain places. It meant that her family life was ruined. It meant that everything was ruined. She had a desperately sickness and in her case she heard of Jesus and his ability to cure sickness and to do miracles. even though it's not possible to change the human heart from being desperately wicked it is possible for Jesus to do it and how he does it is that when you come to him for the forgiveness of what you are he will give you by his Holy Spirit

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a changed heart. A Christian conversion is not just about turning around and turn in terms of your attitude to Christianity, it includes that, but Christian regeneration is the heart of what it is to become a Christian when God changes your heart, and gives you a new heart. And the new heart is one although you'll still fight sin while you're being sanctified right up until the day that you go to glory. But nonetheless, you're a person who has within you the Holy Spirit to help that new heart to overcome the old habits. And this regeneration is the start of the Christian life, it's certainly not the finish, we have to cooperate with God's Holy Spirit to help that sanctification, sanctification, to happen. But the human heart and the gift of it is what is offered if you come to Christ and just as that woman who had that issue of blood, said,

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No doubt she'd heard the stories of people that Jesus had helped, and something in her did what you need to do. she had faith that though she couldn't turn around her problem Jesus could do a miracle. She said, if I just touch him on the hem of his garment I'll be healed I've searched to know to see whether or not she had any evidence for the whole idea of touching his garment I don't know that she had anything other than just her guess and other people being healed lots of different ways Jesus did touch some of them, some of them came to Jesus in other ways and some of them he spat in their eyes and healed blindness, I don't know that she had any reason to believe it, except she just believed for a miracle. And if you've discovered in your heart that it is something that is drastic that you know, you need a miracle, I'm here tonight to tell you that a

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miracle you can have. Jesus is in the business of doing miracles. Sometimes He even does physical miracles. Sometimes the miracle he does is the miracle of regeneration and when you come to Christ and you come with faith and ask Him to take the problem- not coming saying I'll make another start and try a bit harder you'd only just have another flop- but come to Him and say Jesus will you change my heart. When people respond to the gospel call of how he died on the cross to forgive their sin, how he rose again to show the acceptance of God, of his sacrifice for your sin, that was God saying, yeah, it's a finished deal about your sin, you can be forgiven. When God took him to heaven and made him King of kings and Lord of Lords, that made the name Jesus to be the name that has

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all the power and all eternity and all of earth. When you come to Jesus and you pray in Jesus name and you ask him to give you a new heart, I want to tell you if you come in faith and ask him, trust him, he will do it and that is the only for the human heart. The Lord searches the heart He tests the mind to give every man according to his ways and though the punishment for sin is according to the sins I want to tell you that the forgiveness is according to his payment on the cross and according to his grace and according to his love to let you have a new start. If any person be in Christ haven come to Christ the Bible says that one becomes a new creation. The old is past and the new has come. It's one of the joys not every person coming to Christ has it all clear

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in their minds and it takes a lot of Bible reading and counseling sometimes to get to understand that it's actually now happened. In my case when I came to to Christ. I had such joy and just knew, and they gave us a gospel to read and I read it through, and the more I read of Jesus, the more I knew I had Him in my life, I just knew. The more his presence became pronounced, the more I read in the Gospel of John of Jesus, the more He was real to me and even though I went times of some of my wayward, stupid, childish ways, getting me into trouble. He never left and I want to tell you that when Jesus remakes your heart, he remakes your heart to love Him and to want Him, and even though you may have the ups and downs and your backslidings you eventually recognize that you've met

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Jesus and you don't want to let him go. He changed your heart to want to hang onto him. That's the answer to backsliding is to let Jesus so get a grip of you that he changes your heart, and the more opportunity you give him to work on your heart. Putting yourself in his presence at church, and coming and reading his Word by going and praying when you find you're not doing so well. By doing those things getting closer to Jesus there is some change in you it's called sanctification is what we're called to do once we've come to Christ is to give him the chance to change our lives, and as we do that, those changes make somehow the grip that he has on us stronger and stronger and now rest in the fact that our heart is changed. I wouldn't bother spending my life, and my life's career is to talk about Jesus really. Either teaching

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it in college or preaching it in a church or teaching church for Christians or going to places where there's non-Christians and telling them about Jesus. I wouldn't bother doing that if it wasn't because about Jesus was the greatest topic a person could ever have. If it wasn't because walking with Jesus and obeying his commands and sharing what he's done for me has been my greatest joy, and continues so to be. I have a week every now and then, something happens in my week where I run into somebody who's outside of Christ. The Bible talks about people who don't know the Lord as being outside of God, of being without hope in the world and you meet someone who does not know Christ. I discovered that happened to me when I was a teenager. My parents went to the city Tabernacle. Not that I was very good at going to a big formal

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church and doing all the right things, but at that church people would come in off the streets and come in and I would watch them all the way through the and hopefully the minister will get onto the Gospel and when he didn't I will get around near the door and catch him on the way out and try to find a way to tell them about the Jesus who loved them, the Jesus who wants to change them. That has been my greatest joy and sometimes when I get a chance to go elsewhere and I'm sitting in a plane or just sitting in a bus shelter and someone is there I try different ways to start the conversation and because I wasn't brought up to be a that one very good at socializing I've had to learn how not to to give two barrels at once of the shotgun but to gradually you know

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working but that's one of the most exciting things to do I love opportunities to tell people of Jesus and every now and then have the joy of them saying they'd like to have him. And when you lead a person in prayer to come to Christ I want to tell you I think you hear a little bit from heaven because the Bible tells us that whenever a sinner repents there is more joy in heaven it says it exactly before the angels over one sinner that repents turns back, says they're sorry and comes to Christ for forgiveness. And when that happens and you lead a person in prayer, I go home zinging, and it's the greatest joy that anybody could have. The heart may be deceitful above all things but God intended it to be upright, the Bible says so. But the fall has made human

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hearts that needs to be cured and the only one who can do it is Jesus. If you're that person tonight, before this service is over or you do something about it, not that your doing will earn anything. What you're doing, what you need to do, is come like that woman who had the heart had the flow of blood and she said, if I could just touch him of his garment I would be healed. And she did. Jesus felt the touch and he stopped and turned around said, Who touched me? And the disciples told him off, you're in a crowd here, what do you say, who touched me? They all might be touching you, basically. And then she onde up, came trembling, and then he said, your faith has healed you. Do you know what faith is? It's not being certain you're gonna get there. It's not being someone that does

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exactly a perfect formula, it's just someone who's prepared to reach out to Jesus. She had to push her way through the crowd. You don't have to push your way through a crowd tonight because we all love people coming to Christ here, this church does. But if you're someone that's not certain, maybe it is that the deceitfulness of your human heart does not let you believe that you're not really converted. When you do get really converted, although you can have doubts and need to find some way to establish your assurance, that's true, but there is available the work of the Spirit eventually to convince you where you're at and you know you belong. If there's anyone like that now I know our little number, we're mostly Christian people and

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this message may not apply to many tonight but if there's one who deep in your heart is not certain you haven't deceived yourself that you're a Christian when you've got really no evidence that your heart has changed I want you to do something tonight and like that, woman took a risk in front of other people in fact and she came trembling she probably had to get away through the crowd and she touched him and it happened and he said your faith has made you well will you come now how to do this to give you away just to make it obvious is I'm going to sit down here at the end of the song and all through the song as we finish in a minute and then afterwards you can come and sit to me either come now or when it's over you can come and I'll lead you in the

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prayer to ask Jesus to do the miracle about your heart. Will you do it? This is a moment, this is an evening, when Christ is calling and you can come if you want to. Let me pray and then I'll hand back to the service. Heavenly Father, thank you for the fact of the scriptures and the truth of the human heart that is desperately wicked. We deceive other people but we also can deceive ourselves if there's someone here who needs to be rescued from a human heart for which there is no hope because it's been declared desperately wicked, would you You help that one to come to Jesus and ask Him to change their heart, to forgive their sins, to change their heart, and to be the one who will lead them from this day on. We ask in His Name. Amen.

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