THE REEL CHRISTMAS
Is Your Heart Big Enough?
Our Advent Sermon Series this year is entitled “The Reel Christmas.” We’ve selected four very popular Christmas movies to assist us in relaying truths about Christmas. Last week Miracle of 34th Street showed us the importance and necessity of believing and having faith. Today, we look to the timeless legend, The Grinch, for our message theme.
“Grinch’s Small Heart”
The Grinch’s heart was simply too small. Too small to understand the concept of doing anything except that which was selfish and for his own personal gain. And because his heart drove his words and actions, his misery demanded company. So he set out to destroy that which fed those with bigger hearts.
In today’s culture, we hear a lot about the heart.
A popular saying today is: “follow your heart…” or “I have to follow my heart.”
One of the most successful people in the computer business was a man named Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Computers. At the time of his death in 2011, Steve Jobs' net worth was estimated at $10.2 billion. From his early days at Apple, Jobs had been rich. He had a net worth of more than a million dollars by 1978, when he was 23 years old. Surely Steve Jobs would have been accurate with his quotes. Here’s what Mr. Jobs had to say about the heart: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
There is one simple inherent problem with following your heart and intuition. By your original nature, it will most often lead you away from God. Let’s look to one of God’s prophets to learn why.
Jeremiah 17:9 - "The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?”
Dr. Seuss, in our movie today, created a character that embarrassingly mirrors our natural character. That character will plague us until the day we die!
Paul is clear in his analysis of our character challenge in his letter to the Romans
Romans 7:21-25 – “I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart.23 But there is another power[e] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”
The answers to every challenge with the heart is found in Jesus Christ. But He has to inhabit our heart in order to do the work necessary. Jesus is the Light of the World and when He comes into our lives, He chases the darkness away.
God’s prophet Isaiah talked about this darkness and the need for Light hundreds of years before Christ came to earth.
Isaiah 9:2 – “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.”
Paul told the Romans plainly that he found the line between good and evil cutting through his own heart. Just resolving to do better, he said, didn’t produce the results he sought. John, too, wrote about the darkness within us, and our profound need for Christ’s light in our lives.
When truth comes, what happens?
The Grinch’s heart was too small - nothing could fit in it – only the darkness he was born with. But finally, he saw the light. And his heart grew!
Is your heart big enough for Jesus? Or do you have too many other things there?
Christmas will come, whether you have the light within, whether you make room in your heart and certainly with or without your celebration.