Pastor Mike Cariño opens our new message series on Stewardship by going directly to the seat of control in our lives, the heart. More than just a blood-pumping muscle, the heart is the very center of our being. What we allow our minds, emotions, and will to dwell on defines the state of our hearts and consequently, our lives.
1. Do you sometimes speak words that distort, discourage, or damage yourself and others? How can you produce more uplifting speech?
2. What are some shows, movies, books, blogs, or websites that fill your eyes and pollute your heart? How can you discipline what your mind dwells on?
3. Are you a slave of some things, activities, habits, places, or people that replace God as your master? Explain your answer.
4. When do you say that your heart is filled with trash? What changes do you need to make today to purify your heart?
The CBCP Library recommends these two books to complement this week’s message.
Seven: The Deadly Sins and the Beatitudes by Jeff Cook looks at the seven deadly sins and the Beatitudes. These two offer distinctly different paths. Both call to us. Both present themselves as life choices. Only one, however, leads to restoration. Only one will make us happy.
In Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart, author Kyle Idleman helps us recognize the false gods that are at war within each of us. We can’t truly follow Jesus if our hearts are pursuing something or someone else. These pursuits are the modern-day equivalent of graven idols. According to Idleman, idolatry isn’t just an issue — it is the issue that keeps us from an intimate relationship with God.