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guard your heart

Guard Your Heart

 

Do you believe God has a beautiful plan for your life?  If you don’t, you are denying Scripture and the very words of God.  He has said that He has a plan for your life and that plan is beyond comprehension filled with hope, purpose, and prosperity of the soul (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, Ephesians 2:10).  These bring meaning and enjoyment to life.  But how do we find this plan?  let’s consider this passage:

 

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

 

That last part gives us the answer.  We first must engage in the renewing of our mind.  This is a continual process of forcing our thoughts to conform to Biblical truth,  Then we have the right mindset to change our behavior so that we no longer conform to the pattern of behavior we see in the world.  Then, and only then, can we test and approve what God’s will is.  This means we can look at any situation before us and test it according to Biblical truth to determine our response that will lead to His good, pleasing, and perfect will for our life.

The hardest part about this is learning to think differently.  The Bible uses the word ‘heart’ to take into account our thoughts, our will, and our emotions.  The bible also says the heart is corrupt and deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9) meaning the way we think and feel has, for the most part, been affected by our life experiences.  Our family relationships from early childhood have a great impact on how we feel about ourselves, others, and life in general.  Throughout our life, there are significant relationships that will define core values such as love for us.

I remember counseling a couple once and the man was weeping trying to tell his wife how much he loved her.  She sat next to him on the couch with tears running down her face, but both eyes blackened with bruises from their confrontation a few days earlier.  For them, love had been defined differently, deceitfully and it needed to be redefined according to Scripture.  

Usually, this happens for us at such a young age, we don’t even realize what has happened.  It is dangerous and can separate us from the love of God and His plan for our life.  This is why the Holy Spirit gave us this proverb:

 

Above all else, guard your heart,

for everything you do flows from it.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

 

We must stand guard over our heart in order to set emotional and intellectual boundaries to keep any thoughts or emotions that do not align with Scripture out.  We can’t do this unless we immerse ourselves into the Word of God to find truth, then we stand guard forcing ourselves to not comply with any thought or feeling outside the boundaries of God.  When we learn to master this process, it will radically change our life.

 

Live Blessed and Be A Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 

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A New Way to Worship

A New Way to Worship

I love to worship as we do in church.  I love the old hymns of the church and I love the new choruses that exalt the name of Jesus Christ.  I raise my hands. I lose myself in the moment. The Spirit pours Himself into me and I am overwhelmed by the presence of God within my own spirit.  There is nothing like worship, but there is another way of worship. Let’s look at our Verse of the Day:

 

Romans 12:1

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship

(NIV)


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When we sing songs, the Bible refers to this as offering a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15).  When we go to church and sing songs together, we are sacrificing our time, our agenda, our breath.  But when we serve the Lord, we are giving Him our time, our agenda, and our breath. We are exalting Him.  The Bible says that with whatever we do, whether eating or drinking, we need to do it to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).  There is nothing spectacular about eating or drinking. Ok, maybe if you are one of those super-eaters that can eat 60 hot dogs in 60 seconds, then maybe that is spectacular.  Anyone else ever wonder how those people can be so skinny? Anyway, that is for another time 🙂 The point is that we are to spend all of our activity, every single day in a way that brings glory to our God.

Sure, there are things we can do for the Lord that are clearly for the Lord…volunteering at Church Under the Bridge…helping in Children’s Church…cooking for the homebound.  But what about the way you dress? Yeah, that’s right..the Walmart-wearing-no-sense-of-style-preacher just asked you about the way you dress. Shouldn’t we dress to the glory of God by at least trying to match our socks?  What about the way we drive? Ok…I know I just crossed a line there, but maybe we should drive in a way that brings glory to God. That is especially true if we have a Jesus fish on our car 🙂

This is a mindset.  It is dedicating our daily activity, ordinary or spectacular, to the glory of God.  It is waking up and saying to the Lord, “In all things today, I want to be a representative of Your goodness.”  This keeps our minds focused on Him. Our connection to the Spirit will be more prominent in our lives and He will bless us, overwhelm us.  It will change the whole makeup of our day as we try to walk in each moment to be an example of what it means to be a child of God. Even as I am writing this, I am correcting my grammar and misspellings because to not do so will limit my influence in the world.

I know that in the church, we say it is all about the heart, and this is true.  The Lord cares about our heart first and foremost so it may seem that the way we eat or drink is not something the Lord would concern Himself with.  But we also have to remember that even though God looks at the heart, man looks at the outer appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). Our spiritual condition is not determined by our outer appearance or the simple things we do every day.  But to be a good influence, we need to understand the world is judging us in how we behave, how we talk, and how we look every day. Let’s worship Him in this new way!

Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!

Pastor Lee.net

 

 


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