Michael Rasmussen preached on “A Tale of Two Hearts” from Jeremiah 17:5-10. In this sermon, he contrasted the cursed man and the blessed man and how the heart determines the man. But the challenge is that our hearts are deceitful and sick. We need Christ to transform and renew our hearts.
The Cursed Man is the one who trusts in himself or mankind (humanism). The flesh is his strength, and his heart turns away from the Lord. This man is like a shrub in the desert and is unfulfilled, striving after vanity.
The Blessed Man is the man who trusts in the Lord but also finds that trust IS the Lord. He is like a tree planted by the water and does not fear when the heat comes. He is not anxious and bears fruit. We are warned in scripture to guard our heart and the need for Christ to transform it.
The heart is deceitful above all things, it is desperately sick. Do you truly know your heart?
God searches the mind and tests the heart. Thomas Cranmer during the 16th Century English Reformation took the focus of head/mind and heart together. The Holy Spirit transforms the affections of the heart. As Canon Ashly Null summarizes Cranmer, “What the heart desires, the will chooses, and the mind justifies.”We see this focus on the heart in the Collect for Purity in our liturgy: “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The world preaches humanism, unfortunately, a lot of pulpits/churches do as well. We need Christ and the transforming power of the Gospel to renew our hearts so with Christ and his righteousness we can become the Blessed Man and no longer be the Cursed Man.
Where is your heart today?