Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Determining the Course of Your Life

Proverbs 4  Speaks To Today

Wild

Heart Matters


Proverbs4:23NLT

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Guard your heart above all else


for it determines the course of your life.


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Let's Clarify The Language - What Does "the Heart" Mean:


"The Old Testament psychology differs from our popular allocation of certain faculties to bodily organs. We use head and heart, roughly speaking, as being respectively the seats of thought and of emotion. But the Old Testament locates in the heart the center of personal being. It is not merely the home of the affections, but the seat of will and moral purpose. 

"To the Hebrew thinkers, the heart was the indivisible, central unity which manifested itself in the whole of the outward life. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.’ And that personal center has a moral character which comes to light in, and gives unity and character to, all his deeds." (Alexander MacLaren)

Out of the Heart:


The scripture makes a contrary point and makes it often. Jesus makes that point a cornerstone of our understanding of humanity.

It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. Mark 7:20-22 NLT:

Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness and by the worries of this life. Luke 21:34 NLT

It is not the evil outside that we guard against. Such is the thinking of a man and woman. Such is the erroneous teaching of many leaders and people in the Church.

The danger does not primarily lie in the outside coming in. The danger lies in what is inside coming out. Such is the nature of the fallen heart with which we are born.

Then Woe is Me for I Am Undone:


If the evil I do comes from the core of my being, not the pressures and peers in my life, what am I do? Even scripture says the heart is exceedingly wicked. So what can I do? For who can change his heart even by his own will. Who can recreate a new core? Can I create in me a new moral character?

Awe, this is why the New Testament message is not one of just salvation from the wrong we do and have done. The message is "be transformed." 

Transformation does not occur when we are forgiven. Forgiveness is not heart surgery. Heart transformation does not even occur when we change directions ('repent' means to turn and go a different way). Transformation is a creative act of God. As we walk and talk with him by the Spirit which lives within us, only then can we become a new creation.

For it is not just I guarding my heart. No, Christ has brought a new order, a new opportunity to empower us to guard our hearts against the wickedness that tries to escape our core.

And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 1 Peter 1:5 NLT

Like the disciples, let us cry out for increased faith. For faith is not a once and over event. It secures us for living if we live in it day by day.

Yes, There is Hope for Today,  Hope for a Guarded Way


God is not only protecting us. God is not merely kicking aside the rotting pieces of heart as we shed them. God, also, is watching, recognizing our faith, renewing, and rewarding  us.

Like in the past, when the hearts of the people had brought judgment and earthly terror into their lives and into the deteriorating, dying world which was their country. God is watching us. God is waiting for the change of heart he has made possible within.

In our day, as it was in the day of Shemaiah, may it be recorded;

When the Lord saw their change of heart, he gave this message: “Since the people have humbled themselves, I will not completely destroy them and will soon give them some relief. I will no longer use their enemies to pour out my anger on them. 2 Chronicles 12:7 NLT (revised)

Present Your Hearts for the New Circumcision Needed Today!


Don’t forget that you used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. Ephesians 2:11 NLT

Wild


Guard your heart above all else


for it determines the course of your life.




Photo Credits:
Wild by Jeff Power, some rights reserved @ flickr.com

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