Gospel habituation. Habituation is where you tune something out after a while, like you might not notice the loud ticking of a clock in your home but a visitor hears it loud and clear. We can do that with the gospel. It can become familiar, ordinary, and unamazing. God has given us ways to keep that from happening, like hearing Christ preached and celebrating the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, but our diseased heart doesn’t take it in.
I was on the tennis court ready to receive serve when I felt dizzy. The next thing I hear is the staticky radio voices of emergency personnel as I am being wheeled on a gurney to the waiting ambulance. That set me on an unplanned crash course on heart disease that included knowing symptoms of heart failure.
Thinking - Heart - Failure - Heart - Stoppage
Contrary to my thinking, heart failure does not necessarily mean heart stoppage and instant death. It just means the heart is failing to do its job. Evidently, it can show up in different people in different ways. For me, the telltale sign was shortness of breath.
Spiritual heart failure is a serious matter as well. It can never result in death for the true Christian, whose heart of stone has been removed and replaced with a heart of flesh by the Holy Spirit. That new heart is receptive to the things of God and voice of Christ, and will beat into eternity.
Heart - Heart - Failure - Job - God
That spiritual heart, however, can be afflicted by heart failure. It doesn’t do its job of loving God with all its being or loving neighbors. It tends to be listless, unenergetic, and increasingly disinterested in the things of God.
What are the signs of spiritual heart failure? We can note at least six symptoms.
Attendance - Worship - God
Attendance in weekly worship becomes optional and irregular. This is pretty serious. God designed us...
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