Guard Your Heart

Proverbs 4 23

Proverbs 4:23 NKJV  Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

The writer of the book of Proverbs instructs us to protect our heart; to keep it under careful watch with all diligence. That a strong admonishment. He goes on to tell us that everything in life springs from what is in our hearts.

Heart – Hebrew word labe – means the feelings, the will and even the intellect; the center of anything.

Our heart is the center of everything that we feel, think, or even will to happen in our lives. It is from the heart that all of our life’s expressions flow. The center of anything is the core of it’s existence. The heart of man is the center of his existence and what is in the heart will flow out of the mouth and be followed by the actions of his life. Jesus said it this way when speaking to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34-35:

“Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”

In other words, an evil heart produces evil thoughts and words, but a good heart produces good things. The center of man’s being, his heart, reflects what is in it through speech and actions. The way to change your speech and actions is to allow God to change your heart. We can work with Him in accomplishing that by changing what we put into our hearts, minds, and what we allow to drive our emotions. That is how we guard our heart. The old cliché “garbage in, garbage out” really is a true saying. What we put into our hearts will take root and grow and eventually will come back out through our speech and actions. The heart reveals the man!

Jesus said in Matthew 6:19-21 that we should lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust could destroy and where no thieves could break in and steal and then He went on to say that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” You can identify what is important to you by what is in your heart. Is your heart centered on Jesus? Do your words and actions reflect His fullness within your heart?

Jesus died for you and for me to give us a new heart. It was prophesied in Ezekiel 11:19, 20 that when He did that we would become His people and He would be our God.

Ezekiel 11:19, 20 “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, “that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”

He went on to say that the heart of those who do not know Him will produce a people who follow the desire for detestable things and abominations that are not of Him. It is through the heart change that we have new desires and a new outward flow coming from within us. God’s Spirit comes to live within the heart of man when Jesus is invited in.

John 6:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

The heart is where Jesus comes to live when we invite Him into our lives to be our own personal Lord and Savior. It is with the heart that we make the choice to believe in Him and receive Him. Romans 10:9, 10 says that it is with the heart that we believe that He is God Son, whom He raised from the dead after being crucified for our sins and then it is with the mouth that confession is made unto salvation. The heart and the mouth both must be in agreement for salvation to take place. Man receives a new heart when that happens and the Spirit of God comes to live within the heart giving a change in focus and direction. Man’s heart then becomes regenerated, or reborn! A new life is begun at that very moment.

Romans 10:11-13 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Notice that in verse 11 the scripture refers to the belief which happens in the heart and then in verse 13 He says that the person who calls, or who opens their mouth and prays out of the belief that is in their heart will be saved. In the middle of those two verses He shares with us that no one is outside of the grace of God for salvation. It is available to both the Jew and the Greek, or to all men of all nationalities, for the color or culture of man is nothing in view of the heart of man. All hearts need Jesus! The heart of man is the center of His being and is not determined by any race, creed, color or culture. Every heart needs salvation!

Will you open your heart to Jesus today? Will you invite Him in and receive His salvation? If you have not done that and would like to receive Jesus as your own personal Lord and Savior, please pray this prayer and mean it with sincerity of heart:

Father, I come before You this morning realizing that my heart needs to be reborn. I believe that You are God and Jesus is Your only begotten Son, whom You gave to die for the sin of mankind. I believe in my own heart that He died for me personally. I confess to You that I am a sinner in need of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I ask You to forgive me of my sin and come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and save me. I confess You as my own personal Savior and Lord and I thank You for saving me. I vow to live every day for you from this moment forward. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Now, if you prayed that prayer you have just been reborn and ushered into the family of God. Congratulations! That is the most important decision you will ever make in your life. From now on begin to put God’s word into your heart so you can be changed into the person that He intends you to be. You are no longer the same person; your spirit has been reborn but He will change your character and nature day by day as He conforms you to the image of His Son. Cooperate with Him by feeding on His word, praying and communing with Him, and getting involved in a good Bible believing church that preaches and teaches the whole Word of God.

We guard our hearts through making sure that what goes into our hearts on a daily basis is the truth of God’s Word, not the junk of the world. Man’s heart is cleansed through the washing of the water of the word.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that she should be holy and without blemish.

God sanctifies us, or sets us apart for Himself through the cleansing that comes through His word. He changes us into a glorious church, His body without spot or wrinkles through the cleansing of His word within us. Man’s heart is cleansed through the conviction of His Spirit and meditating on His word. As you ingest the Word of God, the power of it changes you. So, if your heart is not centered down into God’s Word you can make that change by starting to feed on His word and allow Him to change what’s on the inside to good instead of bad.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 that man would not live on bread alone, or simply the natural sustenance that the physical body needs, but that he would live by every word that God speaks. The natural man needs food to fuel his physical body, but the heart of man where man’s spirit is needs the word of God to grow and be strong. Man’s heart is strengthened through God’s Word.

Feed on the Word of God; take His nourishment into your hearts, listen to His voice as He speaks to you in prayer and act on what His word says and what He shares with you through your devotional times of prayer and Bible Study. Your heart will be cleansed, refreshed and renewed!

Father, I thank You for Who You are to me. You are my God. There is none above You nor beside You. You are my life and breath and the reason for my existence. It is in You that I live and move and have my being. I thank You for being at the center of my heart for all that I live for and do arises out of Your love for me and Your place in my heart. I thank You for the sacrifice of Jesus, Your Son, for the sin of mankind. I thank You for those who may have given their hearts to Jesus today. I thank You for convicting the hearts of those who have not been close to You. You have said that if You be lifted up You will draw all men unto Yourself. I lift You up this morning and ask that You would fulfill Your promise through the salvation of many souls who may read this blog today. Father, I thank you for Your word and its power to save, heal, deliver and set people free. I thank You for Your Spirit who works in the hearts of men to bring that salvation into existence. Thank You for sealing Your believers with Your precious Holy Spirit. I pray that You will give each one of us a hunger for You and a thirst that is unquenchable for all that You are and want to be in each one of us. May You be glorified in and through Your body, the individual believers in Your Church. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mellie
    Mar 18, 2013 @ 22:36:05

    I have often thought how much better off we would be if were able to retain the heart we had as a child. I pray God will continue to work with my heart so that I may grow every day and that others may see Christ in me. Thank you again for another wonderful devotion Avie. God bless and keep you.

    Reply

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