August 27, 2017
By Ed Young
For our hearts to function properly, they need to be whole and complete. This is not only true physically, it is true spiritually. When a heart is broken, life ceases to exist. This, too, is not only true physically, it is true spiritually.
In this message, Pastor Ed Young unpacks the powerful truth that we all have a broken and segmented heart. But it is not something we can fix on our own; God is the only One who can repair it. And when we come to understand His plan for our lives and accept the work He has done to repair our broken hearts, we discover the amazing reality that we never have to live again with a broken heart. We can live whole-hearted!
Well it happened. At 12:11 a.m. on the 25th of August, Lisa and I became grandparents. The most beautiful baby in the world, Sterling Lee Hughes was born and we’re so, so excited. Grandparents. You might be going, there’s no way you’re a grandfather. As young as you look? As dynamic, there’s no way! Well, yes, there’s a way. I’m just prematurely gray. That’s all, that’s all. Anyway, there’s nothing like childbirth. We all have a birthday, we do. You might be wondering, man, Ed, how old are you? Well, it’s important for you to remember my birthday, I appreciate that. It’s March 16, 1961. I’m a ‘61 model. When’s your birthday? Let’s all say our birthdays out loud on the count of 3. 1-2-3. Yeah, yeah. I can hear you down in Miami, at our beautiful campus in Southwest Florida, Fellowship Northport. I can hear that. Celina/Prosper, Dallas, Fort Worth, Southlake/Keller, even all the way at beautiful Allaso Ranch, because I want to welcome everyone who’s here today. Thank you, guys, for being here. I really, really appreciate it. We’re in a series called Open Heart. Open Heart.
We’ve been saying around here, and this is kind of different maybe for some of you to absorb this. Jesus is the supernatural surgeon. That’s right, he’s a doctor. He was called the Great Physician. The Bible, I’m talking about the Word of God, the Scripture is a scalpel, a scalpel. This book convicts, this book cuts, this book performs surgery, does it not?
I had heart surgery 12 weeks ago. They cracked open my chest, cut me from stem to stern. I had to go through some pain, yet I’m better on the other side. I feel great.
So often that’s the way the Bible works in all of our lives. And quite frankly that’s why a lot of people don’t like to come to church. They don’t want to have surgery performed. But if they’ll stay with it, what’s gonna happen? Miracles will happen, supernatural stuff will happen. Because our heart is the hope of the world. Our heart, your heart, my heart, is basically a home for Jesus. Isn’t that cool? So today we want to do some open heart surgery because of our surgeon, because of the Scripture, and because of the potential of our heart.
Now when I say the word ‘heart’ I’m not talking about that fist-sized muscle, that vital organ incarcerated in your ribcage or mine. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about another kind of heart. We use the word heart. She has heart. He has heart. Go with your heart, we say. What does it mean when someone says heart? It simply means the seat of self. Your intellect, your spirituality, the essence of who you are, that’s what I’m talking about. That’s what Jesus is driving at. That’s why he’s the surgeon. That’s why our heart has such potential and that’s why Scripture is so convicting.
You know when people come to church they have one of three reactions. They either get mad, and I’ve had people get mad before. They’ll get mad, offended from the Word of God, because basically I have nothing to say by myself. Zero. I mean, I can’t wax eloquently about anything really. Yet I’m called to preach and teach the Word of God. And when I preach and teach the Word of God, which I’ve done for 27 years, oh yeah. God uses my vocal cords and he has something to say. So I have nothing to say by myself, the Bible, the Word of God, the blessed blade has everything to say and sometimes people get mad. And I say to them, “Hey, don’t get mad at me. If you have a problem, ask God about it. Don’t send me a scathing e-mail, try a knee-mail.” And just say, “God, here it is…” but it’s OK to get mad. I’ve gotten mad before. Wow, it’s convicting! Oh, that hurt! You know? And then we will move so often from madness to sadness, and part of repentance is godly sorrow. It’s feeling, and we know in our heart of hearts, we’ve hurt the heart of God. So if you’ll, even if you’re mad, just hang around here. You’ll move from madness to sadness, then on the other side there’ll be gladness, there really, really will. God wants to perform surgery. He has your best interest in mine.
Likewise, the surgeon that operated on me, he’s one of the best when it comes to mitral valve surgeons in the world. I researched him and amazingly I got in to him. He did not perform this surgery for his benefit. He wasn’t saying to himself, “Wow, I can make more money.” I mean, he’s got a lot of that. He’s not worried about acclaim. He goes all over the world. He’s operated on emperors and kings and queens and celebrities and even a regular guy like me. He did, though, say when he looked at my heart that there was more love in my heart than any other person he’s ever operated on in his life. Anyway, so he did that to help me. So the Master Surgeon, the Supernatural Surgeon, the Lord Jesus himself, he is performing surgery for your best interest and mine. Isn’t that cool? That’s great.
ILLUS: So today, I just want to tell you about some things. Now, if you’re a believer, if your heart beats fast for the Lord, if you know him personally, you can use this to share this with others, because I’ve given everyone a little map, a message map. Take out your message map whether you’re here or at one of our many locations. You can wave it, yeah, way up it the balcony. I see you, man. Awesome. Good to see you guys. You know, when I was a teenager my father is also a pastor, I used to sit with Lisa (I hate to confess this) way up in the balcony kinda hidden from him. Hold hands, I even would steal a kiss now and then during his message. But I always would kiss her in church, just a quick kiss, when dad would look down. Boom, that’d be the kiss and he wouldn’t see it. So I want to do some drawing.
The first one I want to draw is, and again, connect the dots because that’s what we’re doing today. For some of you, you’ll be like, I’ve never connected the dots. OK, I’m gonna do a little drawing for you, the heart. The heart, and God, man. Basically we know the first thing the Bible talks about is the fact that God is a God of love. Say it with me. God is a God of love. God loves you and me with his whole heart. We didn’t deserve it yet we’re made in God’s image. Genesis 1:31, let’s read it together and fill in the blanks. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”
Everybody is made in the image of God. You’ve never looked at someone who does not matter to God. People say, well I just don’t matter. I’m a no-count. I’m alone. Are you kidding me? You are valuable! So valuable, in fact if we knew how valuable we were we’d fry circuits. That’s how valuable we are. You have a one-of-a-kind laugh, a one-of-a-kind smile, a one-of-a-kind personality, just like Sterling, our granddaughter is a unique human being. You’re unique as well. You’re made in the image of God. The potential in your life and mine is unlimited. Well, back in the day everything was synced up. I’m talking about back in the Garden, man, we had it going on with God. It was perfect. Our heart beat in sync with God. And God gave man all of these choices. I like to say squillions of choices. God just did that because of his love and because he desired a relationship with man and everything was perfect. But we had a choice. You wouldn’t believe it. We had squillions of choices, yet God said, hey, don’t jack with the fruit on the tree in the middle of the Garden and what do you think happened? Well, I’ll talk about that in a second.
Jesus said in John 10:10, “I’ve come that they might have life and have it to the full.” This is the life that God intended us to have. This wholeness, this health in our heart, but what did we do? We chose to turn our heart from God and <heartbeat sound effect> follow the beat of our own heart, which we’re going to find out led to a flat-line existence. Man chose to look away from God.
If you look in the book of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, the first time that man looked away from God for his significance, that is when sin entered the game. And the Bible says man and woman tried to cover their nakedness. I mean, they were walking around nude in the Garden, that’s how amazing it was. So Eve literally tried to cover her carcass with a shopping spree to Neiman-Marcus. That was funny. That’s what she did, yet they began to blame each other. God confronted them because of their sin, because of their failure. They began to play the blame game and they blamed each other, and finally they blamed the serpent and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on. Well, I’m on a roll. Help me! That was good. No love, no laughter. Man, I can’t make these things up. I had to work on that timing. So man sinned and sin is just what we do.
So if you’re taking notes the first thing I want you to write down is that God loves us with all of his heart. Yet, man chose to rebel against God. Man chose to do his own thing his own way so we broke the heart of God. Sin. What is sin? What is sin anyway? Sin, in the original language, is pronounced hamartia. It is an archery term. You’ve got a bull’s eye, you know? Someone shooting an arrow. If the arrow hits right here it’s still hasn’t hit the target. God’s standard of goodness is perfect. He’s holy. He’s just. He can’t even wink at sin. He can’t say, “boys will be boys. Girls will be girls. If you keep your nose clean, if you’re better than the other person…” No, no. God is holy. So back in the day everything was just copasetic. It was perfect. It was like we were synchronized. Our hearts were beating together. Yet we have a choice, love has a choice. God chose to love us, did he not? And we have a choice. We’re not robots. The 70’s. Michael Jackson. I can’t moonwalk, though. That’s pathetic. So even if you miss the mark, let’s call this mark God’s standard of goodness, GSG. Even if you miss the mark 1/100th of an inch, or if you’re way out here, you’ve still sinned. Because the word hamartia is an archery term, it’s missing the target.
When our granddaughter gets older we’re not gonna have her sinning lessons. We’re not gonna say it’s our goal for you to be an AAU sinner, or to be in Club Sin. No, she just knows how to do it. People are like, “No, I tell you, dude. I think babies when they’re born are all good.” They have a lot of good things but if you don’t believe in the sin nature just crank out a couple of kids and just watch them.
No one taught me how to lie. I remember my first lie. I mean, I remember like it was yesterday. No one taught me how to say bad words, I just learned it. I just knew how to say bad words. No one taught me how to think impure thoughts. Have you ever thought about that? Who taught me that? It’s sin! So, we miss God’s standard of goodness. We miss it. So no one taught me that and sin separates us from God. God-man. Because of sin we deserve eternal separation from God. Romans 3:23, let’s read it together at all campuses. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” <arrow shooting sound effect>
We’re in trouble! I’m a self-centered sinner, I’ll admit it. So are you. People say the church is full of hypocrites. No, we’re not full because there’s always room for more. We’re all hypocrites. That’s what’s so funny. I’m a hypocrite, I’ll say it right now.
I mean, for example, the Bible says in Ephesians that I am to love Lisa like Christ loved the church. Have I always loved her that way? Perfectly? Heck no. Ask her. I’ve said I want to love Lisa like Christ loved the church. Thirty-five years ago in front of a pastor, I will love Lisa like Christ loved the church, but I haven’t so I’m a hypocrite. I think it’s really refreshing to say I’m a hypocrite. Now, hopefully I’m not the level of hypocrite that I used to be. Hopefully God’s improving me by his grace from the inside, out but don’t ever say, “oh, he’s just a hypocrite.”
I have this tendency, so do you, to compare and contrast yourself with others. I want to say to myself, “Lord, I mean, yeah I’ve got a couple of X’s on the moral scorecard but compared to my neighbor down the street, I’m looking pretty sweet!” And yeah, maybe I am better, a nicer guy than my neighbor, maybe I am. But you know what? Sin is sin. So we have a problem. We have a problem.
So at this point God could have said, well, too bad, so sad. Check out Romans 6:23. You’re not gonna see this on a coffee mug. “For the wages (I’m on a roll, I’m telling you. I’m a grandfather now). For the wages of sin is death.”
Ed, come on now. Death? Are you talking about flatline?
Well, here’s what I’m talking about right here. This flatline would be Hell. Whoa, you might be saying. Hell? Oh my gosh, Hell, the H-word? That’s right, Hell. God does not send anyone to Hell. Let me say it again. <rewind sound effect> God does not send anyone to Hell. We make that what? Choice. God chose to love us. We’ve chosen to rebel against him. Do you realize that it’s God’s will for everyone to become a believer? Every single person, it’s God’s will, for all of us to become believers. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave…” Right? The world. So God wants all of us to become believers. So if you end up going to Hell you’re going against the grain of God. You’re going against the will of God to go to Hell. Yet what did man do? Man said, you know what, I’m not gonna follow God’s heartbeat, I’m gonna follow my own heartbeat. And when man followed his own heartbeat you have brokenness and you have some serious heart failure, am I right? Because of sin.
So what has man done? Oh, man has tried to bridge the brokenness to God. So we try religion. We try moralism. We try politics. We try this or that. Religion is basically a colossal construction project from man’s side to God’s side but we don’t have the tools, we don’t have the ingenuity to bridge the gap over brokenness. I want to be philosophical. I want to be better than the next person. If I erase the world from wars or racism or whatever, and all those things are great, but it’s not gonna get you to God.
So people have tried and these things fall short. <falling sound effect> They fall short. This is a cosmic chasm. Sin has separated us from God. So God cannot look at sin. There are the eyes of God. He can’t even glance at it because he is holy. What did God do? Let me just read a couple more verses so we can fill in the blanks because I don’t want to leave any blank unfilled, because invariably I do, I’ll leave a blank unfilled and someone will come up, “You forgot this.” Oh yeah, I did, I forgot it. I want to make sure that I’m being very thorough. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” That’s Romans 3:23. Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin …” You could say the compensation for our conduct , sin, is condemnation, death. The #1 cause of death, by the way, is heart disease. And the #1 cause of death is heart disease. Proverbs 14:12, isn’t this true? “There’s a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
So again, we broke God’s heart. The bridge does not bridge the brokenness. It’s time to take off our hardhats, take off the tool belts, and go, “God, I don’t deserve anything. I deserve eternal separation from you.” That’s why I want to draw the next thing.
Sin. Sin separates and alienates. It’s doomy and gloomy, is it not? It keeps us from this incredible life that God offers. Well, the Scripture says this about the situation, because this is the good news. First thing, if you’re taking notes, God loves us with all of his heart. The second thing, man broke his heart because of our heart failure. We failed to live up to God’s standards, obviously. We deserve a flat line existence in forever. #3 – God’s solution to our pollution, or you could say God’s solution to our heart failure, is Jesus. So what did God do? God saw this situation and John 3:16, “For God so loved the world in this way that he gave his one and only (what?) Son.”
1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures (the Bible), he was buried and raised on the third day according to the (what? Let’s say it together) Scriptures.”
The blessed blade. The supernatural scalpel. 2 Corinthians 5:21. You know what? Let’s all read this together. I want to read this together. 1-2-3. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
So what did God do? God sent Jesus and Jesus gave his heart. I mean, he put it on the line. He gave all of his heart. He put his heart on the cross voluntarily and he bridged the gap. Jesus bridged the gap from God to man. He did it. Jesus did. We don’t deserve it, yet he totally and completely identified with us. He became the righteousness that we don’t deserve. He was totally holy, totally pure, again, as the Scripture said, totally righteous.
So Jesus satisfied the demands of God. Remember, God cannot look at sin so we deserve eternal separation from him. God, because of his irrational, one-of-a-kind love, because he wanted to give us an opportunity to reclaim what we screwed up in the Garden, God sent Jesus to give his heart, his perfect heart, for you and me and for this great exchange to take place. Our guilt for his grace, our sin for the Savior, our lives for the Lordship of Jesus. Isn’t that awesome? So now when God looks at us, if we’ve appropriated this, if we’ve arranged for this to happen, so now when God looks at us what does he see? He sees the righteousness of Christ.
So let’s draw one more. Are you ready? I can tell. Again, we’re connecting the dots, are we not? Here’s the last thing. Ezekiel 36:26, powerful, before I draw. “I’ll give you a new (say it with me) heart and put a new (what?) Spirit in you. (Let’s keep going.) I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Whoa. So, now we have sin, of course, let’s keep with our theme. And we have Jesus. Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be (what?) saved.” Saved, rescued.
2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away and the new has come.” So Jesus, wow, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. So if we ask – watch this now, very important when I draw this – if we ask Jesus in our heart, a heart transfer takes place, a heart transplant takes place.
I read the first heart transplant happened in 1982. Well, that was true physically but spiritually it’s been happening for 2,000 years. God has arranged a heart transplant. I mean, it’s the greatest deal. Jesus in your heart or my heart. If you’ve made this decision, if you’ve arranged for this, if you’ve chosen this, because it’s your choice or my choice.
I mean, I could have looked at my surgeon and said, “I’m not gonna have surgery.” But I had about six months to live in the same condition I was in. You can look at me, because I’ve taught you God’s word, what it says about how to have the heart that God wants you to have in your life. You can look at me and go, “You know what? Forget it. I’m gonna do what I want to do.”
That’s your prerogative. I implore you, though. I beg you. I pray, we’ve been praying for you, to make this decision to invite Jesus in your heart, to give you a new heart. Because he has done the work to take all of your sin, all of your guilt, all of my sin, all of my guilt upon himself and I’ve made that choice to receive him. So if you’ve made that choice, take this little handout with you. It’s gonna be in our app, and share it with someone. So often people don’t know how to become a Christian. It’s the essence of that the Bible is about. The Bible is about Jesus, the Bible is the word of God, and Jesus is called the Word of God in the Scriptures. So you’re teaching people, you can share with people in a visual way with the hard copy or on our app about how to become a Christian, how to become a believer. And I’m not talking about religion here, I’m talking about a relationship.
So now let me talk to you, because we have a lot of people here and a lot of people at all of our environments, who have never made this decision. You’ve never made this choice to ask Jesus Christ to come into your life. If you look at Jesus he always compared himself to stuff that would penetrate. Water of life, water penetrates the soil. I’m the Bread of Life, bread penetrates our body when we eat it. Jesus wants to penetrate your life and mine to give us a new heart and a new life. Have you made that decision? Because if you’re born once you die twice. If you’re born physically one time and you’re not spiritually reborn, you die and only God knows that day and time. And then you die because you’re in eternity separate from God in a place called Hell. However, if you’re born twice, a physical birthday and a spiritual birthday, you die once. Are you ready to die? You’re not ready to live until you’re ready to die.
And it’s stunning over the years. I was just thinking recently about how many people have come to Fellowship over the years and how many times I’ve heard about someone passing away like the week after I’ve preached a message like this. And I say to myself, I wonder, I wonder if they’ve arranged for this heart transplant to take place. So I want to give you an opportunity to make that decision right now. If you’ve never made that decision, and it’s simply a prayer, a choice, I want to give you a chance to do that. We all have a birthday physically. Do you have a birthday spiritually? Let’s make sure that we do. Would you bow your heads with me for a moment.
I want to pray a prayer, and this is a prayer that I prayed years ago when I arranged this situation, this heart transplant to happen in my life. And right now you might be saying to yourself, well Ed I’m not ready to make this decision. You know what? You’re never gonna be ready. You’re never really to get married. You’re never really read to have kids. You’re never really ready to be a grandparent. No, no, no. But you have an opportunity right now to allow this heart transplant to take place. I’m just simply telling you what God has told us through his word.
So just pray this prayer. And the moment you pray this prayer Jesus will do the heart transplant thing, supernatural. You might be way up there in the balcony, you might be on the back row. In Miami, you might be in one of our overflow rooms in Fort Worth. You just pray this prayer with me and God will come into your life. Just say this to yourself. God, I believe you love me and you want my heart to beat for you, but I’ve failed you. I’ve sinned. But I believe to the best of my ability, I believe it. And here’s what Jesus said about belief. If you have the belief of a mustard seed, that’s a tiny seed, that’s enough, even if you have doubt. We all have doubts, it’s time to step out, to diesel through the doubt. So God, I believe you love me but I admit to you that I’ve sinned and my sins have separated me from you. And I acknowledge the fact, I accept the fact, I believe that you sent Jesus to bridge the gap, to die on the cross for my sins, and right now I ask Jesus into my heart. Jesus, give me a new heart, perform a heart transplant.
If you prayed that prayer with me, if you meant them to the best of your ability, as our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, here and at all of our different churches, just lift your hand with me, just lift your hand. All right, I got you. Guys, ladies, awesome. Lift your hand. I got it. Yep. In the back, way up in the balcony, yes, way up there. Wow. Awesome. To the side, the side, lift your hand. I prayed this prayer with you, Ed. This is my moment, this is my spiritual birthday.
OK, I’m gonna ask you as our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed, if you lifted your hand for the first time I’m gonna ask you to do something bold. We’re gonna dim the lights and those of us who are followers of Christ, I want us to pray. I’m gonna ask you if you raised your hand to step out and walk down the aisles at all of our different environments and stand down front. You might be saying, Ed why? That’s because every time Jesus called someone to himself he did it publicly and we’re going to invite you to do that. Because he’s God and he knew when we do that we go on record. Think about all the public things we do to signify defining moments. Graduations, weddings, whatever, we don’t do those privately. Yeah, they’re private decisions but we go public with them. So when I close this prayer down by saying amen, when I close this prayer down don’t hesitate. I want you to walk forward. You might be way in the balcony, that’s cool. We’ll wait for you down front. Again, you might be in one of the overflow rooms in one of our campuses, or maybe you’re in the front row or back row, don’t hesitate. You walk forward. You’re saying Jesus, I put my flag up. I put my hand up, my life up, for you.
Father we ask all these things, get ready when I say amen, we ask all these things in the name of Jesus, our living Lord. You ready? Amen. You come as God leads. Don’t hesitate.