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A Transplanted Heart
Scripture: Ezekiel 36:26-27; Psalms 139:13-16; Gene...
Track 2 of 9 in the Primal Christianity - Love4 series
Running time: 1 hour, 03 minutes, 25 seconds.
Just like with the human heart that gives off the cellular memories, the Heart of Christ does the same things. What Jesus loves, we love also. What grieves Jesus grieves us as well. We take on His hearts cellular memories and become like him, think like him and comprehend like him. Chief among the spiritual emotions we receive from Jesus heart is compassion. The things that affect Jesus heart affect ours

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

The Heart of Christianity
A Transplanted Heart

What did you spend your time doing and how much time?

Our study over the next several weeks will take us into the understanding of what the Greatest Commandment is all about in understanding but more importantly, in action in our own lives. Over many centuries, Christianity has piled on layers and layers of tradition and culture that it is hard to see what the real, the first or original, the primal essence of Christianity when It all started. Our study will seek to recapture that essence in our own lives and to get back to the basics and do the basics great. The problem with the church today is we are not great at the Great Commandment. In fact, for many churches, they aren’t even good at it.

The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

Our lesion series is going to attempt to strip away all the superficial layers of our modern Christianity and look at what Christianity meant in the very beginning. What did primal Christianity look like and how does 21st century Christianity measure up? I often wonder how my Christianity would measure up in the 1st century. What would happen if I had a chance to meet Paul and asked him if I could travel with him as he went out preaching the Gospel. Would he accept me as part of his team with Silas and Timothy or would he consider me a John Mark and refuse to take me.

What about you? Do you ever wonder the same thing? What would Paul do with you? Would he take you or leave you behind?

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with him? What is he trying to tell us?

Heart transplants are amazing feats of technology and human ingenuity. A heart transplant is a procedure to take a working heart from a recently deceased organ donor and implant it into the patient. The world's first human heart transplant was performed by Christiaan Barnard on December 3, 1967 in Cape Town South Africa. Since then, today on average, 3,500 heart transplants are performed every year worldwide. However, there are over 800,000 people worldwide in need of a new heart. This tremendous need has led to research and heart operations using artificial hearts or hearts from other species of animals. The success rate using an artificial heart is low thus a tremendous need to find live working hearts for transplant.

Even though the procedure to transplant a heart is awesome, the human heart goes way beyond what medicine can explain or understand. It does more than just pump blood through your body, studies suggest that the heart has a mind of its own. The heart secretes its own brainlike hormones and has cellular memories. So a heart transplant recipient doesn’t just receive a new organ, they also receive the cellular memories of the donor.

Charles Siebert, a famous heart surgeon, concludes and has several studies to back up his conclusion that when a recipient receives a new heart, along with that new heart, they receive whole new sensory responses, cravings and habits.

Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Ezekiel described what you and I now have. He prophesied that a time would come when worship and loving God would change from a thing of duty to a heartfelt reaction to His love. There are a lot of amazing moments in life but nothing begins to compare with that miraculous moment when you give your heart to Jesus. That spiritual decision sets off a spiritual chain reaction with infinite implications. For me in the early morning of August 17th, 1971, my life was totally changed.

People ask me how I know for sure that God exists and that Jesus actually lives. For me it is easy, I see so many lives that have been changed, I have all around me people with transformed hearts…hearts that have been transplanted by Jesus. If Jesus weren’t really real and alive today, transformed hearts wouldn’t be a reality. When you and I allow Jesus to enter into our hearts, we become a member of the Tribe of the Transplanted.

Just like with the human heart that gives off the cellular memories, the Heart of Christ does the same things. What Jesus loves, we love also. What grieves Jesus grieves us as well. We take on His heart’s cellular memories and become like him, think like him and comprehend like him. Chief among the spiritual emotions we receive from Jesus’ heart is compassion. The things that affect Jesus heart affect ours.

If this being true, then how come in several studies is the Church described by the world as being heartless? Is there any worse criticism that can be said about the Church? What do you think they mean? Do we show ourselves at times as being heartless?

The problem isn’t Christianity at large; the problem is you and me. When the world looks at you and at me, what do they see? Do they see our actions as compassionate? In other words, how would you rate yourself at the Great Commandment?

Here is the Good News, even though at times we might be part of the problem, we can be part of the solution. We can change the face of Christianity but it will require more than a face-lift. It starts with a change of heart.

How powerful is a number? Is a number a personal thing or an abstract thing? What happens when a person is relegated to just a number? Examples?

When we look back at the Holocaust and what the Nazis did to their victims, they replaced the human element in their enemies to just a single number. The Jew lost his or her name and became a number. Numbers are desensitizing.Ever year 15 million children die of starvation in the world. When you break the number down, that is 40,000 children per day or 29 children every minute. By the time this class ends, 1,740 children will die of starvation. But here is the problem, we don’t know their names. We only know their number and numbers are numbing. It is so easy for us to ignore suffering when it doesn’t have a name or a face.

So here is a simple question we need to ask ourselves, are we okay with this?

The real problem in Christianity, most Christians are okay with this because the suffering are just a number, a faceless statistic. When you add a name or face to the suffering, better yet, add experience face to face relationships with the suffering or hold a dying child who is starving in our arms, our sensitivity to the problem becomes much different. God knows each of those names and God knows each of those faces and it breaks His heart.

Psalms 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.

Have you ever had a sympathy breakthrough? (A moment when your inclination to hate was overcome by your will to love.) This is a time when proactive compassion overrode reactive anger. A time when you cared about someone else’s pain than your own.

Have you ever received a scathing criticism over something you did or said?
What is your first initial reaction? How does a person with Christ’s heart respond?

George Orwell – Not shooting at a man (fascst) during the Spanish Civil War because he was holding up his pants. A man holding up his pants is not a fascist.

Accounts from the American Civil War tell us that several lives were spared on both sides of the line when enemies came face to face. Eye to eye contact many times short-circuited hand to hand combat. It is hard for a human to kill someone in combat looking into the enemies eyes.

It is in these types of moments when you recapture parts of your soul that you have lost. These are the moments when you learn what it really means to love God with all your heart.

Can anyone tell me what an IQ is? Intelligence Quotient. is an assessment of your ability to think and reason. IQ score is a standardized way of comparing this ability with the majority of people the same age as you are. A score of 100 means that compared to these people in your general age group that you have basically an average intelligence. IQ score fails to measure things such as manual dexterity (obviously), musical talent, and a slew of other abilities that may lead one to many different successes in life. My IQ is 105.The IQ accounts for 20% to factors leading to career success

Can you tell me what your EQ is? Emotional Quotient a self-perceived ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups. Controlling emotional impulses and regulating moods. One important dimension of emotional intelligence is empathy…the ability to put yourself in the shoes of someone else. EQ is more important than IQ.

Can anyone tell me what SQ is? Spiritual Quotient The ability to empathize with God. We feel what He feels.

We experience sympathy breakthroughs as we see the image of God in everyone we meet and those feelings turn into compassionate actions, they trigger a chain reaction with eternal ramifications. Don’t underestimate the spiritual significance of even one act of compassion done in the name of Jesus. Your one act of Spirit-prompted compassion can change the course of history.

Is this actually true? Are you and I capable of changing the course of history with one act of compassion? How many of you have done it? How do you know? Do you have any examples where this actually happened?

Genesis 37:2 This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

What can you tell me about Jacobs’s family from these few verses? Can you imagine how things went when Joseph told his brothers that he had a dream and they were bowing down to him? What happened? What would have happened if Joseph had just kept his mouth shut? Does suffering help a person become a little less self-absorbed?

What is interesting about suffering, it helps the person understand compassion better and to produce the quality more in their life. That is exactly what happened to Joseph while he lingered away in prison accused of doing something he didn’t do.

Genesis 40:1-7 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them. After they had been in custody for some time, each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why are your faces so sad today?”

Did you catch it? Joseph noticed that they both looked upset. So what? It doesn’t seem such a big thing but that one instance of emotional intelligence saved two nations from extinction.

How many times when we have problems of our own do we notice the problems of others? Do your problems tend to make you less or more likely to care about the problem of others especially when our troubles come to us unfairly.

What was behind the cupbearer’s dream? Joseph cared enough to inquire and to interpret the dream. 3 days later it came true and the cupbearer was released. For several years after that the cupbearer forgot all about Joseph until Pharaoh experienced a dream no one was able to interpret. It was at that time the cupbearer remembered Joseph and he was called before Pharaoh to give his interpretation and the rest his history. Joseph was promoted to 2nd in command and through his trust in God, developed a plan to survive a coming famine that not only saved all of Egypt, but his own family in Israel as well. It all began with that one simple act of compassion to care enough about a dream another person was upset over.

Never underestimate a single act of compassion, no matter how small. It can change the course of history in ways that only eternity will tell.

Homework: For next week, I want you to think about this one question: what will kill you if you don’t do it? What makes you glad or sad? What puts a smile on your face? What causes your spirit sob? What makes you want to pound your fist on the table because of injustice? Somewhere in the mix of your gladness, sadness and madness is your God-ordained passion. Or may we say, compassion because you are feeling what God feels. The only question remains, once you identify it, what are you going to do about it?