“A Pure Heart” Summary of the sermon 2017/10/15

 

“A pure heart, that’s what I long for.” This should be our prayer, day and night, for we, children of God, should strive for holiness and lead a lifestyle separated from the world. Samson’s life, recorded in the book of Judges from chapter thirteen to sixteen, shows how he disregards his identity as a Nazirite, and how his own lust and pride lead him to self-destruction. Samson’s life is far from the ideal holy lifestyle we should long for. However, we can see God’s grace on Samson, for God still uses an imperfect man like him to save the Israelites from the hand of the Philistines. This does not tell us to indulge in our own sins; rather, the opposite is true. We should cherish our godly identity, obey God’s commands, and be teachable to our parents’ discipline. By doing so, we will not be like Samson who is “spoiled” by God’s grace, but we will become a living testimony to this world.

Samson was born a Nazirite, which means separation for holiness. Judges 13 lists down God’s instructions for Samson’s manner of life for Manoah and his wife, who are Samson’s parents. Samson’s parents have raised him up in a manner of a Nazirite, such as no drinking, no touching of carcass, and no shaving of his hair. Samson, however, was disobedient in heart and disregarded his special identity as a Nazirite. The first mistake he made was his marriage. Samson insisted to marry a daughter of the Philistines. Then he also sought prostitutes such as Delilah that ultimately led him to his deathbed. He could not help but fall in love with pagan women that did not please his parents and certainly did not please God. This demonstrates how human lust can lead us astray from God’s plan. Just as Samson is trapped by his own desire, we could also be entrapped by our desire to date the wrong person that hurts our parents’ hearts, or it could be our desire to pursue a self-gratifying goal that prioritizes “us” before God.

How to overcome such ungodly desire? It is by reading the word of God to keep our heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Since we are unable to fight our sinful desire ourselves, we should lean on God’s word to uphold his commands. Therefore, we should pray that may God’s desire be my desire and His way be my way.

Samson not only could not overcome his lust for pagan women, but he also gave into his pride until God has taken away all his power. It is by God’s grace that Samson can defeat the Philistines, but he often forgot to acknowledge God in his victory. This shall be a great reminder for us to acknowledge God in everything we do and to cherish the seal of the holy spirit that gives us strength. Samson relied on his own selfish desires, so he went from strength to weakness. This was his choice, but we can ask ourselves whether we want our limited time on earth to be a pleasing sacrifice to the Lord. If you do, let’s pray to God that we should never compromise God’s command for holiness with the worldly values in exchange for temporary satisfaction. Let’s determine to use all of our choices in lives to honor God, be it decisions regarding our studies, our career, or even our marriage. Our obedience to God’s plan for our lives shall all come to fruition as we will gain everlasting joy in what we do rather than short-lived contentment this world can offer.

Let us dwell on God’s word this week, reflecting on the lyrics of “A Pure Heart” that goes: A pure heart, that’s what I long for. A heart that follows hard after Thee/ A heart that hides your Word, so that sin will not come in/ A heart that’s undivided/ But one You rule and reign/ A heart that beats compassion, that pleases You, my Lord/ A sweet aroma of worship, that rises to Your throne.” Amen.