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Seeking God With All My Heart

by Julius Hovan

Transcribed from Words of Life Radio Program

Welcome to this broadcast of Words of Life. This program has been on the air for many years. Faithful servants of God have proclaimed the great message of our wonderful Lord Jesus and it is our joy and pleasure to come into your home or your car or wherever you might be this morning, whether in some far country or in the United States where this broadcast originates. Where ever you are, we are glad to be able to come to you this morning for we are going to share good news and tell you more about our great God.

Let me begin by reading from the 119th Psalm. It is that long chapter in our Old Testament Scriptures. It is the longest chapter in the Bible. Listen to the readings, if you will, of verses 9 and 10. “Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed thereto according to thy Word. With my whole heart have I sought thee. Oh, let me not wander from thy commandments.”

I want to center attention upon that 10th verse especially regarding our whole heart. The other verse talked about a young man cleansing his way. And the way to do that is, of course, as it says, to pay attention to the Word of God and to do what it says and refrain from what it tells us not to do.

We have a song in our hymnals entitled How Shall the Young Secure Their Hearts? And the answer is given in this passage of Scripture, of course. The heart is mentioned in the Old Testament Scriptures over 800 times.  And in the New Testament the word heart is referred to 160 times.

Now it is not talking in this verse and in these others about that thing that beats in our chest to provide blood throughout our body. The heart spoken of is that part of us with which we think, that part of us that has a will, that part of us that has emotions and feeling, that part of us that causes us to act. What is in our heart is what will come out in our lives. It is the seat of our intellect and all of our emotions.

Now think about it. If the Lord is in control of this inner most place in my life, in my body, there is going to be victory and joy. If not, if I will not let God rule there as he desires to be and should be allowed to do, there is going to be defeat.

It is no wonder Jesus said you should love the Lord your God with all your heart. We are going to browse through this 119th Psalm this morning and we are going to notice some of the other references to the heart.  Interestingly, one of the things about this psalm is that almost every verse has reference to God’s law, God’s statues, God’s precepts, God’s commandments. Over and over and over it is mentioned in this psalm.

Listen to some other verses. Verse 145 says: “I cried with my whole heart.  Hear me, oh Lord.”

Here is a person who at a time in his life was in distress and he cried with all of his being with his whole heart, beseeching God to hear his cry.

In the 51st Psalm and verse 17 it says: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, oh God, you will not despise.   If we can have a humble heart, a heart that breaks because we sin and disobey God and do not keep his commandments. And we know that is not best for our lives or that we have a contrite, a repentant heart that is willing to change our ways when that need comes.  Notice the crying heart of the psalmist when he said I cried with my whole heart.    Have you ever had to call out to God because of that situation in your life?  My friend, be assured. He will hear if you are a child of God.

In the 34th verse of that 119th psalm we learn about an obedient heart.  Yea, I shall observe it, that is, the law of God. I will observe it with my whole heart.   The 69th verse.  I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Verse 11.  Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee.

Here is a person who has made up his mind. He is going to live for God. He understands that God is holy and  wants him to be as holy as a saved sinner can be, wants him to observe the law of God.  He will keep the precepts of God.  He will put the Word of God in his heart and it will help him keep away from the thing we know called sin. Thet Word will be in our heart and in our mind and we will be able to say, as Jesus said to the devil, “It is written.” And the devil must run from the Word of God.

The crying heart of the psalmist, the obedient heart of the psalmist. Look at verse two in that psalm. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies and that seek him with the whole heart.

 

We like people to be enthusiastic. If they are on our ball team we want them to have that enthusiasm.  If they are in our church group or our youth group or whatever the situation, we want them to have enthusiasm. Here is somebody seeking the Lord with his whole heart, verse two.  Verse 10 in that psalm says: With my whole heart have I sought thee. Oh, let me not wander from thy commandments.  The whole heart to seek God. He says, “You will find me if you seek me with your whole heart.”  The prophet Jeremiah understood God rewards the true seeker. Listen to Jeremiah chapter 29 verses 13 and 14. You shall seek me and find me when you shall search for me with all your heart and I will be found of you.

Some of you may be seeking. Maybe you have had a vision, a spiritual vision that God is showing you something about himself or about the Lord Jesus. Perhaps this is God’s way of telling you that you need to find out about Jesus, about what he has done for you and what God wants to do in blessing you with everlasting life, seeking God with the whole heart, a seeking heart. We are all seeking something. We are all desirous of something. Maybe it is pleasure. Maybe it is money. Maybe it is possessions.  What are you seeking today? Will you seek the Lord and know that he wants to be found?

Listen to the Hebrew writer in chapter 11, that great faith chapter that lists all of those heroes of faith.  The writer says he that comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

When we come to God we first of all have to believe that he is, that he is real, that he exists. There are those today who call themselves  Agnostics and they say they don’t know if there is a God. There are those now rising to the front and making their voices heard who are avowed Atheists who are sure there is no God. They would not be able to come and seek him. We must believe that God is real and that he is and in believing that and coming in faith, we will reap the reward, if we diligently seek him.

Here then are these various hearts. The crying heart, the obedient heart, the seeking heart.  Then in the 58th verse of this passage of Scripture: I entreated your favor. That is, literally, I looked for your face, Lord, with  my whole heart.   To try to find God, to be able to come to him in prayer, coming face to face, not literally, because God is so glorious and holy we cannot see him in his present form. But by faith to come to him in his Word and we beseech him to answer prayer. What a privilege has been opened up for the Christian by the Lord Jesus, the avenue of coming to God in prayer.

Do you do that? Have you followed that great path to the very throne room of God to come there in prayer? Jesus has opened the way with his blood.  Oh, that we would take advantage of that access in the holiest of all.

The Ephesian writer in chapter two and verse 18 says for through him, that is Christ, we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Do you realize, sinner, friend, that you, if you will come with a diligence, if you will come with a humble heart, that you can come by faith into the presence of Jehovah God the creator of this universe? How? Through Christ. Your faith must be in him. You must believe that he is all that he says he is and that he will do what he says he is going to do for you.

And so I hope you will search your heart this morning.  I hope you will take a look at where you are in relationship to this great God of ours.  Listen to the ninth chapter of the psalm and verse one.  I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart. I will show forth all his marvelous works.

It is not surprising that when we cry out to God with a whole heart, when we have that obedient heart, when we have sought him diligently and we have a praying heart, it is not surprising that this is the result.

I will give thanks unto the Lord with my whole heart. I want to show forth his marvelous works.  And the 138th Psalm opens with these words.  I will give thee thanks with my whole heart. Before the gods will I sing praises unto thee.  My friends, to have this type of heart, to have a heart for God, a whole heartedness that is so precious.

The proverb writer says this: A man’s heart devises his ways, but Jehovah directs his path.

My friend, if you will have a heart for God, God will direct your path. He will lead you past many of those side roads that lead to trouble and difficulty and sorrow and heartache.  He will lead you in the path that is the path of life everlasting, the path of righteousness.  The proverb writer also says in Proverbs 23 verse 7:  As a person thinks in his heart, so is he.

What is in your heart as you hear these words?  What are you centering upon? On what is your attention? What are your desires? What motivates your life?  Oh, that you could have a whole heart for the right things to know the blessing of a heart for God.

If you can believe the gospel message, it is so simple. People will say it is too simple. It cannot do what you tell me it will do.  My friends, it will do it. The gospel, the good news, Jesus died on the cross in your place. He has paid your sin debt, a debt you owe that you cannot pay.  A debt he did not have, he did not owe for any sin, and yet he paid that sin debt. He became sin for you and for me.   And if we will come to him in faith, confess him as the Son of God, repent from our rebellious life, a bad heart, a dark, cold heart, commit ourselves unto him and be obedient to the watery grave of baptism, we will be raised to walk in newness of life.  What is your heart like this morning? Not your physical heart.  Maybe it is bad. Maybe it is weak. All the more reason for you to have a spiritual heart for God.

It is our desire that you will seek the Lord while he may be found and if you will seek with the whole heart, he will find you and you will find him and the results will be glorious indeed.

 

God bless you and yours as we close the broadcast today.

 




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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10