Hardening of the Heart
When I first enrolled in seminary, I found an apartment room next to a railroad crossing. I wondered why the apartment rent was so cheap—and found out the first night. A train came through in the middle of the night, blasting its horn. It didn’t just wake me up, but also nearly gave me a heart attack!
Every night when the train came through, it blew the horn. At first I thought about changing apartments, but then I started getting used to the nightly awakenings. I would wake up for a few seconds, then go right back to sleep. Eventually I got where the train horn didn’t even wake me up. I hardened my heart to the train and couldn’t hear it any more.
The same hardening process occurs when God speaks to our hearts and we don’t respond. Eventually, we stop hearing His voice because our hearts have become hard.
“Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews 4:7).
Kent Crockett’s Sermon Illustrations
Tell Your Heart to Beat AgainThis is a true story. A pastor in Ohio asked a member of his church, who was a surgeon, if he could be in the operating room to watch an open heart surgery. The doctor permitted him to observe. The physician began the surgery, removed the woman’s heart, repaired what was wrong, and placed it back into her chest. As he massaged her heart to get it going, it wouldn’t beat. He tried to start it using other procedures, but nothing worked. In an act of desperation, the surgeon knelt down beside his patient and said “Mrs. Johnson, this is your surgeon. The operation went perfectly and your heart has been repaired, but you need to tell your heart to beat again.” When he finished saying those words, immediately her heart began beating! Even though the surgeon did everything necessary to repair her heart, the patient needed to cooperate with him. By an act of her will, she had to start her own heart beating. This story inspired singer Randy Phillips to write the song, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again. Maybe you’ve been rejected or you’ve lost a loved one—and your heart has stopped beating. Perhaps your spouse betrayed you and your heart no longer beats. You’ve lost hope and your will to live. Remember, God is the great physician who can repair your heart—but you have to tell your heart to beat again. You must tell your heart to love again. You must command your heart to hope again. No matter what tragedy you’ve been through, you can live again and you can move forward with your life again. Just tell your heart to beat again. www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com (Kent Crockett's Sermon Illustrations www.kentcrockett.com)