The New Heart

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If we want life, we need new, humble hearts, which we receive by Grace alone, and we respond to and further by being attentive to God’s Word, by confronting our sin ruthlessly, and running towards the needs of others, because of what we’ve recieved in the Lord!

Main: Proverbs 28:14 (ESV)
(+) Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
(-) but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.


A good life, a blessed life, a life which stretches into eternity is a life of humble, responsive heart towards God.
In the way we interact with His Word, in the way we deal with our lingering sin, in the way we engage with, care for, and love His creation, most of all, His people!
Problem: One of the most fundamental effects of the fall is hardness:
The ground of earth Genesis 3:17–18 (ESV)
Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.
The ground of Heart (Rom 3:11-12, 18)
No one understands; no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, not even one.”
This isn’t just for those who are openly atheistic, but for those who claim Christ!
Hebrews 2:1
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”
Look back @ Prov 28:14.
How easy is it to become hard in heart towards God, His Word, my sin, and His creation!
To become callous to conviction and to no longer grieve my sin.
To shut my eyes, and eventually, become blind to the pain of others.
To day by day, neglect engaging with, or responding to His Word until, suddenly, it no longer seems to have any power in my life.
This is just the reality, and this is a huge issue, because if we want any hope of seeing and being blessed by and forever enjoying God, we need a soft, pure, humble heart (Matt 5:8), what do we do?
Main: If we want life, we need new, humble hearts.
Humble meaning lowly, modest, submissive.
What does that look like, where do we find it?


I. Ezekiel 36:26 (ESV) A new heart is God’s plan and gift for His people.
And I will give you a new heart,
and a new spirit I will put within you.
And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.
This is why Jesus came. (John 14:18-20, 23)
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you… “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
Without God’s work, we’ve got not hope.
It is from his work, that we must work. A new heart necessitates a new life!
You can’t give yourself a heart transplant
But just because you’ve had a heart transplant means you aren’t responsible to care for your heart
This illustration breaks down in that God not only gives us a new heart, but a heart that is in union with Him and filled by Him, and empowered by our life in Christ.
So from this, we see the balance of immense freedom, thankfulness, security and conviction.
You cannot give yourself a new heart, you can seek that from God, you can trust that when he does it, it will be effective, and you must respond to the gift of a new heart with a Christ-bound labor of further cultivation.
If we want life, we need new, humble hearts, which we receive by God’s grace alone.
But what is our part? Other than asking for His grace? What, in response, must we do, to walk in, and by our union with Him, further what Grace through Christ has secured for us? What practices cultivate a heart which is soft to the Lord’s voice? What is the evidence or substance of a new heart in the Christian walk? I want to give a few, which are very important but not all there is to say on this.
From Prov 28 How do each of these demonstrate and further a soft, humble heart? How does Christ model this?
II. Proverbs 28:9 (ESV) A new heart is attentive to God’s Word
If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
(then) even his prayer is an abomination.
Turning away vs being attentive
A heart which has been humbly turned by God will faithfully (and increasingly) turn to God through listening to His Word. Psalm 1
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season
More attentive to His Word than any other: Self, world
Ever known someone who keeps being “humbled” but never actually learns from it? (Me trying to fix things [car, motorcycle, etc.] without seeking help)
How do I know my heart is being softened by/towards God, am I growing in the attention to, reverence of and responsiveness towards His Word?
Jesus is an unbelievable model of this: Though He was God, he constantly turned to God’s written Word to teach and go about His life.
A life which does not “attend” to God’s Word reveals a lack of trust, love, or understanding of the one who gave it!
If you have recieved a new heart and if you want to cultivate a new heart, then in every way, every day, your aim is to grow in your attentiveness to the Word God has given His people.
What does this look like? Seek to know (What does it say?), seek to understand (What did God mean?), seek to apply (How must I respond?).
Speech, My purpose, purity, politics, job
To cultivate a heart which is ever humble before God, you have to be attentive to His Word in every area of your life! And as you do that, you will be ushered into the next practice we see in proverbs.
III. Proverbs 28:13 (ESV) A new heart confronts sin
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
One of the clearest, most universal evidences of God having given someone a new heart, and of their humble faithful attentiveness to His Word is their grief over, confession of, and turning away from their sin. AND, without this, our hearts will move to hardness. 1 John 1:8-9
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
This is what separated David (a man after God’s heart) and Saul (a train-wreck king)
Who do we confess to? God and one another Jas 5:16
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Why human confession, it hurts and heals in a different way, because God uses it uniquely.
Confession is surgery and concealing is taking a pain killer. One leads to life through temporary pain, one leads to death through numbness.
You’ve seen this in your life, I have! The quiet hardening of a sinful heart, and the powerful, warming humility of confession
To the degree we hate our sin, and love/trust in God, we will confess. To the degree and length that we conceal our sin, we will harden our hearts. This is why the Word is so important! It teaches us to see God’s goodness and where we have fallen short!
We have got to be a place of such grace and power that people who are being eaten alive by unconfessed sin can find healing. We have to ask ourselves, “what’s more important my relationship with Jesus or keeping my brokenness from showing?”
That thing you’re dealing with alone, that pain no one knows about, that secret, wether it’s a small thing, or something you aren’t sure you can find freedom from. I want to invite, to beg you to, by faith and your union with Christ, confess it to God and someone you know loves you and Jesus and begin walking in repentance and healing. Do it today. Don’t wait. Find freedom.
Also, if you look at your life and see no area of needful repentance/confession, I’d invite you to look again, and ask for fresh eyes.
To cultivate a heart which is ever set before God, you must never allow sin to secretly linger in your life, in faith, we must be a people of confession. Because a new heart is changed in both it’s view towards our inner life, and the world around us, which leads us to the last practice and principal…
IV. Proverbs 28:27 (ESV) A new heart gives of itself
Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
It has ever been the habit of fallen man to turn a blind eye to the suffering of his fellow image bearer. (Rich man and Lazarus)
There is perhaps nothing less Christ like than a person who consistently ignores the suffering of the lowly around them, whether in spirit or in body.
One of the greatest blessings of the Christian life is the invitation and transformation of servanthood, but this is an area where we just need to admit we are quick to play down.
“I don’t have the resource”, “It won’t make a difference” “That’s not my calling” “They don’t want to be helped”, “They won’t use my generosity responsibly”
Or as this verse says, just act like we don’t see them.
Why do we have to be radical givers? 1) the one we’re called to look like is the Great Giver, 2) He’s given us more than we could ever give away 3) A life which serves self will end in death 4) The lowliest, or most despicable human on earth is made in God’s image, and we are called to love them sacrificially 5) The giving away of earthly security is an invitation to find security in the Lord!
Turning away from generosity in the name of gluttony or security hardens my heart to God and my fellow man, giving my time, talent, and treasure softens my heart. (I give selfishly)
Does this mean we need to address every need we see. No, we can’t. But it must mean that we are committed to actually, practically, regularly serving the lowly with whatever God has given us!
Do you know people in need? Do you associate with them? Do you give to them of yourself and your resource? Do you seek them out!
Do you struggle with a scarcity mentality, or wear the “build my life” blinders? (This is one of the primary reasons I believe in tithing, the sanctification of giving. Tithing hasn’t given me less, but more freedom to dedicate all I have to God)
The amazing blessing of this verse, you can’t out give God. And when we give, we actually grow in our love of the ones we bless and the One who has given to us, and our hearts are softened and molded more into the image of the Great Giver!
If we want life, we need new, humble hearts, which we receive by Grace alone, and we respond to and further by being attentive to God’s Word, by confronting our sin ruthlessly, and running towards the needs of others, because of what we’ve recieved in the Lord!


See, there is amazing security in the reality of my new heart being a gift of God. But there is also a very clear warning in Scripture that those who have been enlightened can lose sight of, and ultimately become hardened to the blessed hope of the Gospel, and in doing so, lose the only thing which gives abundant life. The security is this: Anyone who trusts in God, as revealed by a life oriented around Him will find life of the fullest, purest quality, as they grow in the quality of heart which is sensitive to HIs voice. The warning is that anyone no matter what they say who rejects God’s Word, who cultivates secret sins, who turns a blind eye to the ones God loves, WILL, find themselves with a hard, unbelieving, unregenerate, and ultimately, condemned heart.
I don’t know if you noticed this, but in each of these we’re seeking to recognize and move towards what Jesus said in Matthew 16:24
“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Each of these practice are a turning from self, denying what my flesh would be prone to do and, by faith, exercising my heart to walk in what God has called me.
Don’t waste your time trying to change yourself , in faithful humility, seek a new heart by God’s gracious gift!
Seek to, every day, be attentive to the ONLY voice which is always wise and always leads to life!
Don’t risk your soul by saving face and hiding your sin. Confront it. Confess and repent!
Don’t save whatever meager resource you have at the cost of the riches of heaven, be rich in good works and in doing so, inherit the eternal Kingdom!
May you, may we be a people who, by grace of God Almighty, walk in the newness of life, in Word, confession, and charity, let’s pray.
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