Guard Your Heart
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. )
A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and GOD of gods.
Pray for our country.
The LORD made this day, let us rejoice and be glad in Him.
The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
Sing for joy in the LORD, O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming to the upright.
How blessed are those who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
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.