God, You and the Inner Life!

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Sermon on October 1 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi

Scripture: Proverbs

Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up. (12:25)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (13:12)
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy. (14:10)
Even in laughter, the heart may ache, and rejoicing may end in grief. (14:13)
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. (14:30)
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. (15:4)
A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. (15:13)
All a person’s motives seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (16:2)
The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? (18:14)
The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion (28:1)

  1. YOUR INNER LIFE REALLY MATTERS! (18:14)
    It is not how good your circumstances are but how strong your spirit is that determines true happiness.
  2. YOUR INNER LIFE IS VERY COMPLEX!
    • When you have a crushed spirit it may physical or emotional (14:30 ; 12:25)
    • When you have a crushed spirit it may be moral (your conscience) (28:1)
    • When you have a crushed spirit it may be existential (‘there must be more…) (14:13)
    • When you have a crushed spirit it may be misplaced faith (15:13)
  3. NO-ONE BUT GOD KNOWS YOUR DEEPEST YOU! (14:10; 16:2)
    Those who know you best do not know you completely – without God as a friend we are ultimately alone.
  4. ONLY GOD CAN HEAL THE HEART YOU CAN’T! (13:12)
    The Cross was a tree of death but because Jesus climbed the Tree, it is to us a tree of life.

Remember! Jesus is the ultimate song, the ultimate beauty, the ultimate arms, the ultimate Tree of Life.
Live as if you are living, not existing. Let all your loves keep leading you to Jesus.

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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION

  1. Where is the focus of our culture in the quest to find happiness? What does Prov. 18:14 tell us about how where we should invest?
  2. Some issues we struggle with may be physical, emotional, moral or existential. Are we prone to judge people and even our hearts too readily? Give reasons for your answer.
  3. Read Psalm 139. How does the truth he recalls encourage David? Why does David’s knowledge that God alone knows him not frighten him? Why would it not frighten you?
  4. Pray for those whom you know who are weighed down and crushed in spirit. How can you get alongside and encourage that person with the truths of these Proverbs?

 

Photo credit FreeImages.com/Robert Linder