“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” As I pondered this scripture my thoughts turned toward on of the promises Jesus made. The promise is that he is coming again for those who have believed his word and accepted him as Savior and Lord of their lives - "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:3)Recently the Lord took me back to Proverbs 4:23 which says
However, while we know that he will return, the time of his return is uncertain - "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (Matt 24:42) No one knows the exact time of the return of Jesus Christ, but we can recognize the times we’re living in. With all that is happening prophetically all around the world it’s obvious that the time is short. I often challenge myself with this question; “What do I want to be found doing with my life when the Lord returns?’ This helps me to keep my life and priorities in perspective.
Looking back to the verse I started out with, Proverbs 4:23. How do we guard our hearts? Let’s look at a few thoughts on keeping a guard in our lives.
Guard our Attitudes – “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23) We need to make sure we’re building these characteristics into our lives on a daily basis. This will help us to walk in the Spirit rather than in our flesh, meaning our own thinking. See Galatians 5:16
Guard Against a Deceitful Heart - 9"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? 10 I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings”. Jeremiah 17:9-10
Daily ask the Lord to show you what needs to be purged from your heart. Remember, as believers we are in the world but not of it.
Guard Your Tongue – “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” (Proverbs 21:23) and "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. (Matthew 15:18) Check out Matthew 15:18 in the New Living Translation – “But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart.”
Guard Your Family – “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” Psalm 127:1 – As the verse clearly shows, without the Lord leading us in our homes we will not do the best we could do. There is so much in the world today that wants to tear apart families and best protection against these evils is the presence of the Lord in our lives.
Guard Your Testimony –“… so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them.” Philippians 2:15 NLT
The bible talks a lot about living a holy life separated from the ways of those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. As Christians we are to be different than the world, not like them. My husband often says “ No matter where you are you’re being a testimony for either God or for the devil. You make the choice.”
Guard Your Love – “So he answered and said," 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'" (Luke 10:27) We must love God with every area of our lives. Remember, he loved us enough to send his son to die on a cross for our sin, so that when we come to him in repentance we can be forgiven and spend eternity with him in heaven. Let’s not be like the Church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:4 who bore the indictment of leaving their first love. Let’s love God and those around us.
In closing, as you see we have much to guard in our lives. So, until next time think of your life in the light of eternity.