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Guard Your Heart

January 13, 2017

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Guard Your Heart

Above all else,  guard your heart,  for it is the wellspring  of life.   —   Proverbs 4:23

All day every day we all have thoughts about everything and everyone around us.     So what else is new?     We usually feel that our thoughts are simply our private concerns  and that they don’t matter, just so long as we end up saying and doing what is reasonably right in our own eyes.

But, our whole lives are built  on our thoughts.     Our every little thought  molds our character,  brick by brick,  day by day  until Judgment day  when we meet our eternal destiny.

If we tend  to have evil thoughts  of lust,  adultery,  nit-picking,  hate,  jealousy,  covetousness  or bitterness,  these thoughts will eventually destroy us.     Bit by bit  these evil thoughts  will solidify  into perceptions  that have absolutely no resemblance  to the truth,  though we will be unable  to realize that.     The drip, drip, dripping  of evil thoughts  will ultimately  wipe out any faith,  hope,  love  or peace  that we might have had  through Christ.

So,  if we don’t think  our fleeting thoughts matter,  we need  to think again.     Our whole future,  our eternal life,  is shaped by how  and what we think  day by day.   Yesterday’s thoughts  built the basis  for the words  that popped out  of our mouths  and hardened our hearts today.     Yesterday’s thoughts have formed  our immediate reactions  to the stressful events  of today.     And sometimes  that isn’t very pretty.

That is why Jesus testified,  in Matthew 12:34,

“You brood  of vipers,  how can you,  being evil,  speak what is good?     For the mouth speaks out  of that which fills  the heart.”

Our thoughts are what fill our hearts.     Wisely examine them.     Are they God pleasing?     Do they continually acknowledge  the love  and salvation  of God?     Or,  are these thoughts  solidifying our tendency  to have an evil,  degenerate character?

Here’s where our Savior  comes in.     He knows  our sinful hearts.     He knows  that our whole inclination  is sinful.   When Jesus suffered unjustly  at the hands  of sinful mankind  and gave His life  as a ransom  for all our sins,  it was like shouting out  of the very depths  His love  for us.

Did we hear that?

Jesus’ death is God shouting out, “I love you.     Yes,  you!   Believe in My love  for you  and let all your sins  be washed away  in the blood  of Christ.   Know  that you are loved  and be changed.     Accept My forgiving love  and let it change you.”

Acknowledging  and guarding the truth  that we are really loved,  forgiven  and saved by God  creates  and builds up  good thoughts  within us.     But  they are so much more than “good thoughts”.     They are honest praise.     They are responding love.     They are open thankfulness  for the beautiful truths  about God’s forgiveness  and salvation.    They are decent  and pure,  kind  and gentle,  trusting  and peaceful.

All this  is so well worth  guarding.     As we guard these  in this sinful world,  they will form our character  bit by bit,  brick by brick  into saved hearts  that glorify God.     The wondrous working  will be as Paul describes  in Philippians 4:7,

“The peace of God,  which surpasses all comprehension,  will guard your hearts  and your minds  in Christ Jesus.”

As we guard our hearts  and minds,  God’s peace  will be right there  guarding,  strengthening,  and helping us  —  leading us  to eternal life.

( I wrote this in June 2006 and it was posted on a website  that does not keep an online archive. )

Love,
Margaret

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A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.

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Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus

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The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24

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The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30

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Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1

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How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4

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Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13

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O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1

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Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3

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Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12

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