Guard the Heart
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. "truth be in the inward parts" ( Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom). A heart that is honest, right before God, is what delights Him. It is only the ("pure in heart" that shall "see God" Matthew 5:8). God is not after merely external conformity. He wants the heart of the man. And this is part of what makes the New Covenant promises so wonderful -- God will write his law on the heart (Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people). It will not be a mere external rule, written on stone. It will be internalized so as to cause the man to want to follow the Lord This verse clearly demands that we protect our hearts against things such as covetousness, materialism, greed, pride, bitterness, anxiety, rebellion, self pity. All these are obvious. But surely there is more. Does it not also demand that we be careful not to allow our hearts to be drawn away from the Lord by "harmless" distractions? Our love for leisure, things, toys, recreations, hobbies -- so many things -- can cause us to "leave our first love" (Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.) We must give our energies and attention to making sure these things do not so occupy our minds or captivate our desires and ambitions that we forget the higher priority of loving and serving God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. A Christian man is not like other men. He has higher thoughts, higher desires, higher priorities, higher goals and ambitions. And while the world offers many harmless and enjoyable things, we must recognize that they are all dangerous. They may lead us to forget Him. The apostle John's command, ("My little children, depart from idols" 1 John. 5:21). "An evil heart of unbelief" may quickly arise in a heart that is "hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12-13 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.) Love Ya'll, God Bless,
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