An Enlarged, Expanded Heart

God wants to lead us out of narrow thinking. He shed His love in our hearts and now we have room for people we never had time for before. We come to Him and no longer live in straightened and restricted ways. (Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 6:11)

Speaker(s): Pastor Steve Scibelli
Sermon # 11361
11:00 AM on 11/5/2017

 

P. Scibelli

Mt. 11:28-30, 1 Cor 2:9, 2 Cor 6:11-13,

A man was running to a train. Why are you running? To pick up five minutes. What do you do with it when you pick it up? Trying to save time but don’t know what to do with it when you save it.

Thanks for your prayers. I can tell the church is praying because it goes so well. It took about 28 hours to Tianjin. That’s where we met maybe 220 Chinese believers. Amazing time in a resort way outside the city. Because of some of the things that happened in China many years ago. From Tianjin we flew to Kunming with P. Mike and Avril and he has the work there with Bible school. From there to Guangzhou with P. Marian. Then Nepal where there are 44 GG churches and P. Rajan. Then Bangalore with P. Brian. 5 days we stayed there. Then to Mumbai with P. Carl. A Conference plus leadership training session and 30 hours back home. I’m sick of airplanes.

Then it will be Houston and Peru. I feel like I’m mentally ill. My wife said what are you doing? I don’t know. I’m sure I know. Just joking.

We touched 170 GG churches in this trip. 150 in India. Amazing work of God there. Nine in the Far East and Nepal 42 or 43. It was quite something, an adventure. I came home and lied down and woke up the next day at 10 in the morning, almost 20 hours out. Which is great and then ready to go again I think. It’s a privilege to meet the Body of Christ. How Jesus Christ has an enlarged heart for people.

I was thinking of some students I had in grade 12. Michelle, do you remember? You went to Latin America and Latasha to Africa, Avril to China, Mike to China, Debbie Westera married P. Pete which was a great blessing for him! Jim Shirmer was in that class and went to Emirates and in Budapest for how long now. I was thinking of the hearts these young people had.

As we read the first verse the word “come.” It’s a command tense. You need to come he’s saying. If you don’t come with all the labor and that which is heavy laden, then I’m with these things trying to handle these cares and anxieties by myself. Come unto me all you who labor and heavy laden. You’re all free of everything, right? That’s finished work, positional truth. I have situations in my life and we need to come. He says “take.” Take my yoke upon you and learn of me and find rest for your soul. “Rest” means rest in the work not from the work. A lot would like to take a 51-week vacation and work one week. Jesus says rest in the work not out of the work.

The enlarged heart of J.C. This area of the world there are 2.5 billion people in those countries. 1/3 of the world is in these two countries. You know something is up when you have a 20 person line in front of you to go to the bathroom. Sometimes you have to yell emergency to get in there. The bathroom line is incredibly long. Thank God I have the patience to wait which I don’t. God’s heart is so enlarged for every person. One man said we have one of the smaller cities of China, population 21 million. Imagine 21 million in a city. One of the first places was 30 million people. God has an enlarged heart. He says for us to come.

I don’t care about your situation, what you are going through, what you believe the future might bring. God just says come.

He wants me not only to come but he’d like me to have an enlarged heart. They could be very much geared to only a certain group of people. We can become narrow; our heart become very straightened. Straightened in your emotions. God wants us to open our hearts. Hearts would be enlarged. I was thinking of heart attack. The Gospel is like the ambulance going out with the message. Ever hear the siren? The siren with the feet of the Gospel. What they find in the hospital is J.C. the great physician. The church ought to be a place that has an enlarged heart.

Churches sometimes I see in Africa are very restricted. This people group, for rich people, for poor people, etc. Yet God doesn’t want the church to be like that.

God wants the church to have an enlarged heart that can take in anybody and everyone. He says to the Corinthians, I don’t believe we should speak. When you have an enlarged house your mouth should speak. People speaking but heart not enlarged. Very religious. Very much this is what we believe. I know some of those things can be true but leave no room for anyone else to come.

I had a Bible study on Central Street in Massachusetts. Thirty-five were coming, mostly problem people. During the break people were smoking on the porch. Some church leaders happen to ride by. They rode by and they said we saw 4 or 5 people smoking on you porch. I said last week they were shooting heroin. They’re really growing! Some day they will be like you! Their heart was so restricted by a certain bent of mind called legalism, no grace.

Paul said I have you in my heart. We are partakers of grace. There are two versions in the translation. Some say you have me in your heart. I think both are true. Have you in my heart and I want you to have me in your heart. When a heart is restricted and narrow and can’t take in people. Sometimes we think of the heart beating.

What is the heart? P. Stevens gave great definition. The center of all your motivational thinking. The heart is the center of all the thinking that should be motivating me. 2) The basis for all operational behavior. Sometimes you see the translations in concordances. The communication center of the purposes of God. That’s the heart.

God wants our hearts enlarged. Sometimes I would have trouble and wasn’t so keen visiting nursing homes and God had to enlarge my heart. Some could say I never could talk to a person with an addiction problem. Then you heart is straight, narrow. I have a hard time talking to poor people. I once met a man who was in Baltimore and ordained and asked why he didn’t evangelize. He said I’m not keen about black people. I said what do you mean? I have no idea what you are talking about. He had no contact with African Americans so fear was there. His heart was narrow. He is having a spiritual heart attack. The heart was not enlarged. God wants to enlarge our hearts so we can take in every person in every situation and have a desire to see them be transformed. Your hearts are narrow. You need to have an enlarged heart. I sit over in the corner and don’t want to have a lot to do with people. I don’t want to talk to anyone. That person needs to grow. All they have to do is come to Jesus and receive from his heart. Avoiding all contact with any believer. I know some pastors who do that. Not here. You come late and leave early and nobody can approach you. Don’t you love our church? We have rap sessions, the café, all opportunities for people. If you have some situation in your life you can come. I love P. Jason and wonder if he has a sin nature. Because I read the Bible I know he does. Because I read the Bible, I know he does. He has such a heart for people. An enlarged heart. Jesus has this incredibly enlarged heart.

The church has to have an enlarged heart. A church that doesn’t do outreach doesn’t have an enlarged heart. Why reach out for more problems with more difficulties whatever is happening. Why reach out for more? God says you ought to have an enlarged heart. 650 branch churches we have in 80 countries. This little man in his 30’s or whatever and he’s up in Maine in some small town called West Sumner and look what takes place. His heart was enlarged. He had a vision for the whole world. They were thinking he was out of his mind. They are sitting in W. Sumner saying take a look around. He’s talking about a worldwide vision. P. Stevens had an enlarged heart.

We can have all kinds of governmental people but can you imagine if those people don’t have an enlarged heart and all they think about is money. I don’t even think about it. He wants you to be enlarged.

Christ had an enlarged heart. I have to be careful I don’t become narrow in my emotions, thinking, straightened in my choices and living unto God and me and nobody else. That’s when you find out problems are happening in your life. God says I will cause trouble in your life to expand you. God is the reason for your trouble. I got a problem in my marriage. I said if it wasn’t for the Body we would have killed each other by now. It’s the Body that enlarged our heart.

Someone said to me why are you going to Africa? God just opened my heart for Africa. 31 years later I’m still there. I got that from J.C., the ministry and our hearts are open. Jesus can meet Nicodemus. Do we have a heart for religious people? There’s quite a lot of them in this world. All kinds of orthodoxy. Hindu, Buddhist. Is my heart open for religious people? Or am I there to correct them. Is my heart open for middle age people and older people? I turn 70 tomorrow. Don’t buy me a birthday present. Can you believe we live this long? I never thought I’d get passed 40. I’m looking for 90 right now! What a way to go if you have to go. An enlarged heart. Jesus had a heart for Nicodemus. Maybe people don’t have a heart for religious people. He has an enlarged heart for an infirmity of 38 years, for blind Bartimaeus. For a leper in Luke 17, for backsliders. There’s nobody here that’s a backslider so don’t take it personally. Jesus chases down two backsliders. Didn’t our hearts burn within us when he talked with us in the way and showed us the Scripture? Jesus’ heart was enlarged. He’s going after them. Samaritans? It’s a country of demons, woman on her fifth husband and a city of drunkards.

Jesus has an enlarged heart for the Lk 15 backslider. We can get like this when someone backslides. They should know better, come to the end of themselves. No, is my heart enlarged? That’s what I love about prison ministry. My heart was narrow. Through those things, God enlarged my heart. Can you love these people who can’t stand you and maybe would hate you? Is your heart open and enlarged? Only God can do that. What was his heart? Joseph’s heart was enlarged.

Jesus said come to me and I’ll enlarge you heart. You say I don’t want an enlarged heart. Maybe we are restricted in our life in our own little life and our heart is not enlarged. God says if that’s how you want to live handle it yourself. Ever try to handle your own problems. Jesus said let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. Casting your cares where? On your husband or wife? The pastor? Cast all you cares on him for he cares for you. Let your prayer and request be made known to God. When anxiety controls the heart, its heart attack. Here comes the ambulance. I want my heart expanded. A lot of things can expand when you get older. Waistline, not your hair. It’s lost usually. P. Jerry and the man behind you. The sun and the moon! One is reflecting off the other! I have an enlarged heart for people with no hair. I remember there was someone who came with their daughter and said I can’t control her. She’s out of her mind. Her mouth is vulgar. I’m talking to the mother and she said I’ll never go with this jerk, pastor. I said I want this girl. I want to take this girl home. 7 years later she was still with me. She went to Africa as a missionary. Is your heart enlarged? I don’t particularly like this kind of person. Is your heart enlarged? 2.5 billion Indians and Chinese people. We have opportunity everywhere as a ministry. You’re part of a ministry whose heart is enlarged. Jesus’ heart was incredibly enlarged. Peter will eat with Gentiles until the Jews come up and then says I have to go. He backed away and Paul rebuked him to the face. Peter finally got it. He said he had unfeigned and fervent love for the brethren. He could now love Gentiles and have a mission to them. Ever hear someone make a statement “I’ll never go to that county.” Maybe you have a narrow restricted heart. This can happen if we are not careful. How God enlarges our heart.

Rom 5:5-8 Holy Spirit sheds love abroad in our heart. Let the H.S. shed the love of God aboard in your heart. We had an interesting illustration in India. I need four men. I’ll place you where I want you to be. Make a box. This is how the love of Christ constrains me. Every time a problem happens I want out of that and the love of God and I try to make a move. The love of Christ constrains me. There’s problems in the marriage. The love of Christ constrains me. I got a problem in my past and I have to go deal with this and get it off my chest. The love of Christ holds me in on every side. Holds me on every side and prohibits me from considering any other option. I’m constrained by God’s love instead of being narrow. This is God’s love shed abroad in my heart enlarging my vision and purpose. Enlargement comes from the H.S.’ love in my life. It comes through the Word, Body life, through faithfulness of God, eternal purpose. Glorifying God. God says I want you to be enlarged. I’m so enlarged for you I don’t care what is going on in your life. Ever think it’s something God won’t forgive? Think you did something God won’t forgive? His heart is enlarged. I don’t need to believe it. I know it.

I read Mk 7:20-23 21 sins of the osn but God can go beyond that. His forgiving love expands my heart. His love expands. I can say I’m going to take in Onesimus, a runaway prisoner who stole from Philemon. Onesimus comes and Paul takes him in and says you need to love him. When the man who robbed you comes back, receive him as you receive my heart. I didn’t come here to hear that. How about someone in the family. How about someone in the neighborhood. Do you know what that person in the church did? No, I don’t. Have an enlarged heart that can take everybody and everyone in regardless of what they’re doing or what they have done to you, etc. My heart is enlarged. He’s talking to a church that rejected him as an apostle. He’s talking to a church that didn’t like him anymore. He said have an enlarged heart. I have an enlarged heart for you Corinthians. I heard these words, I am Jesus whom you persecute. What did Jesus’ enlargement do? Change him to Paul and gave him an enlarged heart.

We come to Jesus to say God expand my heart. Enlarge my heart. I can’t do it. I have narrow thinking. That’s why some have a struggle with missions and Bible school. They dare not want their heart enlarged. There is a great world out there waiting for people who have a heart of grace and mercy. They are out there waiting. They are everywhere. God help us. God help me to have an enlarged heart. That can only come by fellowshipping with you. Take my yoke and learn of me. I am meek and lowly in heart. Meek means have the Word and lowly means I have grace. Jesus will expand my heart. He can expand my heart for a person. After years being separated and divorced people come back together because he enlarged their hearts. A parent reconciled to children and children to a parent. Believers that maybe were going in a different direction. God, enlarge my heart.

 

 


Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.

 

 

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