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Good evening! Again, we welcome you to our Thursday evening Bible study. Let us pray, and then we will get right into our lesson.

     Let me ask you 4 questions to contemplate. Please write a short response.

          1). What is it that you spend most of your time thinking about? In other words, what seems to be on your mind the majority of the time? ______________________________________________________

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          2). What particular situation, is causing you to think about, what you are consistently thinking about?

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          3). What makes you to think about, the things that you don’t want to think about? ____________

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          4). ___ Yes   ___ No   Are you able to “control” what you think about?

     A battery “controls” your car, flashlight, remote control, and various other items. You may drive a $50,000.00 automobile. But, if the $50.00 battery is bad, the car will not operate. This shows us the importance of the battery.

     Parents, have you ever bought Christmas toys for the kids, and forgot the batteries? Or, found out on Christmas morning that the toys needed batteries?

     The battery is basically the “control center”. Without it, many items cannot function. The battery “controls” everything.

    ***** FIVE STAR SENTENCE # 1- The Bible reveals that man has a “control center”.

    PRE-TEST QUESTION ___ Yes   ___ No   Do you think that it is possible for a man to be able to “control” his “control center”?

     If “No” was the response that was checked, then what this is basically saying is that man’s “control center”, can be “out-of-control”.

  • Man’s Control Center

     The Bible has a name for our “control center”. And that name is listed ________ times in the Bible. Man’s “control center” is called the _______________.

     Man’s control center is not referred to as the “brain”. The word “brain” is not mentioned once in the Bible.

     Now, this is not referring to your “physical” heart. The one that pumps blood throughout your body. This is speaking about your “spiritual” heart. It pumps “spiritual” life and/or death.

          1). Romans 6:17- But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

     This is saying that the “reason” why they obeyed, was because they had an obedient “control center”. A “spirit of obedience” was internal and the results were external.

          2). Matthew 18:35- So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.

     An attitude or spirit of forgiveness could not be found within their “control center”, therefore it could not proceed outward.

***** FIVE STAR SENTENCE # 2- Both right and wrong attitudes are found inside of your “control center”.

          3). II Corinthians 5:12 (AMP)- We are not commending ourselves to you again, but are giving you an occasion to be [rightfully] proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in [outward] appearances [the virtues they pretend to have] rather than what is [actually] in heart.

     This is referring to someone who takes much pride in outward appearances, and are pretending to have certain virtues. But those “actual attitudes” are not in their heart. Other evil and negative thoughts and feelings are actually in their “control center”.

    IMPORTANT REVELATION: Your “heart” (the control center) cause and motivates you to do what you do!

          1). A person is mean because there is a spirit of meanness in their heart (control center).

          2). People criticize others because they have a critical spirit within their heart (control center).

               These are persons who are very “self-centered”, and operate in pride.

          3). People backbite/talk about others behind their backs, because they have a judgmental arrogant spirit/heart (control center).

FIVE STAR SENTENCE # 3- Whatever a person put (or takes in) into their heart, by means of the eyes, ears, and thoughts, that is exactly what will come out.

SPIRITUAL APPLICATION: Our MAIN focus throughout this spiritual journey must be on our HEART.

  • The Place of Origination

     It is of utmost importance that we understand what the Bible has to say about from where does the following things originate:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Motivations (Intentions)
  3. Emotions/Passions
  4. Actions
  1. Thoughts- Both good and evil thoughts come from the “heart”.

1). Genesis 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.

 ***** FIVE STAR SENTENCE # 4- If a person appears to have an evil personality, it’s because an evil spirit resides in their “control center”.

     a). I Samuel 16:14- But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

2). I Kings 3:12- Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

     Now, the exact opposite is true as well. One can have a “foolish heart”.

     a). Proverbs 22:15- Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

     God promises to place wisdom “in your heart” (control center) if you should ask.

     a). James 1:5- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

3). Matthew 15:19- For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

     Notice this list of negatives that can be located within your “control center”.

MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: How does these become located within your heart? There are three access points/places. Some refer to the as “gates”:

     a). The eyes

     b). The ears

     c). The mind

4). Job 8:10- Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their heart?

     “Mean” responses travel out of the heart, and exit through the mouth. A person simply “speaks” what is in his heart.

     People are not “accidentally” prejudice. They are not “accidentally” rude.

     a). Proverbs 4:23- Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

5). Matthew 9:4- And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

          “Whatever” you think about the most; or “whomever” you think about the most, whether you like or dislike them, those thoughts, passions, and feelings are located deep within your “control center” (heart).

6). Acts 8:22-  Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heartmay be forgiven thee.

     We must confront and deal with a negative heart. We must replace “bad” things with “good’ things.

  1. Motivations (Intentions)- As way of example, we will focus on one’s motivefor giving:

    The reason why people give, or choose not to give, is found within their hearts.

1). Exodus 35:5- 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,

     We should not only give to God, but we need to joyfully give to others. You may give money/gifts to a person who may not need it “financially”. But they desperately needed the act of kindness “emotionally”.

2). II Corinthians 9:7- Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

     Every Sunday some people give 10%, and are mad at God about it! They love to “receive”. But they hate to “give” to God or anyone else.

3). Luke 21:1-4- And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundancecast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury (poverty)hath cast in all the living that she had.

  1. Emotions/Passions- Feelings of hatred, vengeance, anger, dislike, grief, etc. are located within the heart (control center).

1). Deuteronomy 19:6- Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot (in the heat of anger), and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.

     One may say, “Well, I just don’t have patience, my patience is very short, with people that act the way they do!” No, your patience is short, because your love is short!

     A “quick temper” can be traced back to your “control center” (heart). It’s the exact opposite of love.

     a). I Corinthians 13:4; 7 (GNT)- Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

2). I Samuel 1:8- Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

     All emotions, good, bad, or amoral, reside within your “control center”.

SIDENOTE: Every man or woman has a conscious. This is the part of man that whispers to him when he is wrong. The conscious is also linked to the heart.

A person can have a guilty, clear, or seared conscious.

1). I Samuel 24:5- And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.

     David had a guilty conscious.

2). Job 27:6 (KJV)- My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

3). Job 27:6 (GNT)- I will never give up my claim to be right; my conscience is clear.

     Job had a clear conscious.

4). I Timothy 4:2- Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience searedwith a hot iron;

  1. Actions

1). Isaiah 32:6- For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the Lord, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

2). Luke 6:45- A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

BOTTOM LINE: We have two choices:We can:

     1). Attack the Heart- We must be “intentional” about putting good things into our hearts, or our “control center” will automatically give out something bad.

     We must feed our hearts the WORD OF GOD.

     2). Have a Heart Attack- If you don’t attack your heart, you will have a heart attack.

          a). Proverbs 4:23- Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issuesof life.

GAZILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: So, how do we “change” our hearts?

***** WE MUST ASK GOD TO DO IT!!!

          A). Deuteronomy 30:6 (NLT)- “The Lord your God will change your heart[a] and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live!

          B. Psalm 51:10- Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a rightspirit within me.

          C. Ezekiel 36:26-27- 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.