A Heart Overcharged with Care
Luke 21:34-35
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life…

I. Let us, think, then, in the first place of WHERE THIS INJUNCTION REALLY APPLIES TO US — When is the heart "overcharged with care"? Distinguish between care and sorrow. Goal sends sorrows but He never sends cares. No one can doubt the necessity Or sorrow, it has a part in our development which nothing else can fulfil, and, there. fore, as long as God loves us and would do His best for us we may be sure we shall suffer, and that such suffering never need be a curse, but care always must. Who are the most miserable to-day? Not the sorrowful, but the careworn. When Christ said "Take heed lest your hearts be overcharged with care," He pointed to life's great tyranny. When, then, does this concern us? The word means "oppressed," "weighed down."

1. Then it is true when the heart is not able to rise. Spiritual aspirations have not quite died out nor are heavenward promptings ever felt, but the soul cannot respond to them; response needs thought, time, effort, and these cannot be spared, so life is absorbed by the earthly, and the higher things are as though they were not. Then, indeed, the heart is overcharged (oppressed, weighed down) with care.

2. So, too, is it when the heart has no room for the play of its best affections. So I say is it right to be so absorbed by business that we are practically lost to everything else, are practically slaves to money-getting, and deadened to those influences and enjoyments by which our better nature is developed and the deep places of our heart satisfied? We cannot believe it is.

3. And so, too, when the heart finds care to be a burden that crushes it. God means us to be free from oppression. His promises and requirements and the provisions of His grace all point to that: "Come unto Me and I will give you rest," says He, "peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you," "be careful for nothing," "take no anxious thought," "the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep your heart and mind."

II. Consider WHAT OUR LORD SAYS ABOUT THIS STATE. "Take heed!" He says, "take heed to yourselves lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with care." That is, you may fall into this state unawares, to avoid it needs much watchfulness. Glance at two or three facts which blind us to the perils of a care-burdened heart.

1. For instance, it seems inseparable from duty. The tendency of our time is opposed to calm life, and even to calm pauses in the midst of life. How seldom one sees a really quiet face! Care need not be, that is. Let us not be misled into it with the idea that it is unavoidable, that we cannot perform our proper task and keep our proper place without being oppressed by it. Christ's "Take heed!" means that if we will, for all appearance to the contrary, we may escape the evil.

2. Them, it seems consistent with devotion to Christ. That is another point which makes us think lightly of care — there seems to be no sin in it. But see the company this keeps in the text: "Hearts overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares!" "Surfeiting and drunkenness and cares" — these are classed together in the mind of Christ. Then failure in these matters, as much as failure in the other, is to be abhorred as disloyalty to God. Care springs from very evil roots, from unbelief and waywardness and very often from an idolatrous spirit. Therefore let us not go into it or live in it deceived as to its nature, as though it were harmless, but let us shrink from it alarmed at our Lord's warning: "Take heed!" — "Take heed lest at any time your heart be overcharged with care."

3. Then, too, it seems the natural result of temperament. That is another fact which blinds us to its evil, for we are apt to excuse certain forms of wrong-doing if we have, as we think, a tendency to them. Let us give up making light of the sin of care because it is natural, and of thinking that because it is natural it is unconquerable. Consider, thirdly,

III. WHAT THIS WORD OF OUR LORD YET FURTHER IMPLIES. The command not under any circumstances to have "hearts overcharged with care," is a most solemn assurance that this is possible. We can rise to some measure of it at once, but its full measure is the fruit of spiritual culture. Briefly notice the lines this culture must take.

1. We must train ourselves to undertake nothing but at the bidding of God. Cares are largely due either to a consciousness that we have taken our affairs into our own hands and must be responsible for the result, or to a feeble realization that having obeyed God we are His servants and are thus under His protection. Deliberate obedience is one of the great secrets of peace.

2. And we must train ourselves to commit our cares fearlessly to Him. Many of them are self-imposed, and, as I implied, it will not be easy to lose their burden. We must avoid such.

3. I need only add that we must train ourselves to regard communion with God as our first duty. For that communion is the basis of the faith I speak of.

(C. New.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

WEB: "So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.

The Immortality of Christian Truth
Top of Page
Top of Page