Is Your Heart Perfect?

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”

I Samuel 16:7

The Text

  1. God sent Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint another man to replace profane King Saul, which had been foretold due to Saul’s profane impatience earlier (16:1-5; I Samuel 13:13-14).
  2. Samuel first trusted Jesse’s judgment, who brought seven of his sons before him (16:5-11).
  3. Samuel then trusted his own judgment by the appearance of David’s oldest brother (16:6-7).
  4. Though the oldest brother and truly a specimen of a man appreciated by experienced and wise Samuel, God had refused him! The class valedictorian and football captain was refused!
  5. A little later the Spirit records how this oldest brother despised young David, proving that God’s measure of his heart was accurate, for pure hearts do not despise good men (17:28).
  6. God explained to Samuel the difference of measuring men, outwardly or inwardly (16:7), disagreeing with him about Eliab, though Samuel was probably a good judge of character.
  7. Jesse is finally prompted to remember his youngest son, who was God’s man (16:11-13).
  8. In spite of all the thoughts of our flesh, the efforts of the world to emphasize appearance and perception, and the deception of the devil, we must learn to look at the heart as God does.

The General Lesson

  1. God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ see every heart and its most secret thoughts, intents, and motives, which should cause us to tremble or to rejoice (Heb 4:12-14; Pr 15:3).
  2. Before dying, David warned his son Solomon about the importance of this fact for good or evil (I Chr 28:9), and this touching fatherly exhortation should light a fire in all good men.
  3. Your heart generates the words your mouth speaks, and your mouth is merely the hole that allows your heart to vent; since God judges speech, you start with your heart (Mat 12:34-37).
  4. David is set forth in the Bible as a man after God’s own heart (I Sam 13:14; Acts 13:22), which is the highest and noblest goal we could ever set for our lives, whether man or woman.
  5. Keep your heart with all diligence, not just a little effort once in a while, for out of it are the issues of life … all of the issues of any man’s life is bound up in his heart (Pr 4:23).
  6. It is alarming and confusing to hear and see people alter their diets and lifestyles to improve physical hearts, where the changes are not proven to be valid, and their physical heart is of such little importance compared to their internal and spiritual heart that makes life’s choices.
  7. Your heart, and its desires, is a choice you make to set it and them toward godly and noble goals (I Chron 22:17-19; Ps 27:4; Deut 32:46-47; Eccl 11:9-10; Acts 11:23; Col 3:2).
  8. We want a single heart, as men of Zebulon (I Chr 12:33), and not as the wicked (Ps 12:1-2).
  9. It does not matter your status in the world (you might even have seven older brothers and be almost forgotten by your own family), for any man can have a heart that God delights in.
  10. Though your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked beyond your true comprehension, there is a new heart in every child of God by the sanctifying power of regeneration (Ps 32:2).
  11. Your life shows your heart: do not deceive yourself that you have a secret perfect heart that no one else recognizes, because such is not the case, for a good heart produces good fruit.

The Positive Importance

  1. Regarding David’s heart, read how God esteemed it in spite of his sins (I Kgs 14:8; 15:1-5).
  2. We dare not intentionally compromise God’s worship, but we can know God will accept our heart as perfect, even if outward worship is imperfect (I Kgs 15:14; I Sam 12:20; Ge 20:5-6).
  3. Do not think for a moment that you can excuse the slightest sin by presuming on God’s mercy, for that is tempting the Lord, and He will judge all such presumption (Luke 4:9-12).
  4. For women, the most valuable asset you can ever have is a good heart (I Pet 3:3-4; Pr 31:30).
    1. The Spirit contrasts the heart and the world’s idol of the vanity of outward appearance, which consumes enormous amounts of worry, time, and expense for misguided women.
    2. Any woman, even supermodels, has between 10 and 100 things wrong with her outward appearance … it should be exciting to have something that can blow all such faults away!
    3. A chaste, cheerful, and gracious heart attracts God and men more than anything else, for it produces the graciousness that keeps a woman in high esteem and regard (Pr 11:16).
  5. For men, both God and great men will honor you for a good heart (II Chr 16:9; Prov 22:11).
    1. Joseph, David, and Daniel found rapid promotion in foreign courts due to virtuous hearts.
    2. Humility, service, holiness, and love of a man with a good heart are winning (Pr 11:29).
    3. A good heart (noble and pure) can open more doors than a good head (IQ and education).
    4. Your job performance should come from the heart to please God and men (Col 3:23).
    5. What does the Lord require? Read it and start with these things in your heart (Micah 6:8).

The Negative Importance

  1. If we approach God, ever so orderly and full of verbal worship, He measures the heart and judges by it, not our outward efforts or impressions (Isaiah 29:13-14; Matt 15:7-8; Mark 7:6).
  2. Following the due order, which is important, is only as meaningful as our heart’s integrity.
  3. Jesus identified the error of the Pharisees as this same form of hypocrisy (Matt 23:25-28).
  4. We live in a day and time when a form of godliness is thought sufficient, but Paul described it to Timothy by the Holy Spirit as perilous times indeed (II Timothy 3:1-5).
  5. It is your heart where sin gets started (Gen 6:5; Prov 6:25; Matt 5:28; James 1:13-16).
  6. Do not lie or excuse any bitterness or envy in your heart – it is devilish (James 3:14-18).
  7. A corrupt heart, which does leak out often, will bring hatred (Pr 12:8; 10:20; I Chron 15:29).

The Application

  1. Remember your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, so do not trust it (Jeremiah 17:9).
  2. You can purify your heart, and you should do so with the seriousness in context (Jas 4:6-10).
  3. Examine your heart with God’s help (Psalm 26:1-2; 139:23-24; I Cor 11:28; II Cor 13:5).
  4. Confess every sin: hiding sin is destructive and deceitful (Ps 66:18; Pr 28:13; Heb 3:12-13).
  5. Pray for God to take your heart and seal it for His glory and kingdom (Ps 141:1-4; 119:36).
  6. Pray for God to unite your heart to fear His name, to avoid being double hearted (Ps 86:11).
  7. Guard every input into your life … friends, music, and movies that corrupt hearts (Ps 101:3).
  8. Do not even let sin get started in your heart, which is where it always gets started (Pr 4:23).
  9. Start with humility to God and men, because both hate the proud in heart (Ps 131:1; Pr 16:5).
  10. Remember the simple solution from Jesus Christ for restoring first love (Revelation 2:4-5).
  11. Remember two commandments and teach your heart to love being third (Mark 12:29-31).

For Further Study:

  1. Sermon Outline: A Pure Heart
  2. Sermon Outline: Heart of David
  3. Sermon Outline: Heart Examination
  4. Sermon Outline: Lip Service
  5. Sermon Outline: The LORD is Jealous
  6. Sermon Outline: Bad Hearts
  7. Sermon Outline: Spiritual Adultery
  8. Sermon Outline: King of Hearts
  9. Sermon Outline: Take Your Medicine
  10. Sermon Outline: Hot, Cold, Lukewarm
  11. Sermon Outline: Reviving First Love
  12. Sermon Outline: Delusions of Deceived Christians