Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
~Proverbs 4:23, NLT
Learn from the mistakes of others: you don’t have time to make them all yourself.
The heart is not primarily the symbol of emotion, though emotion is not excluded, but of thought, of the mind and the will of the inner person. Jesus spoke of the heart often.
- Matthew 5:8–“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
- Matthew 5:28–“I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
- Matthew 6:21–“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Matthew 12:34–“For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”
- Matthew 15:8–“THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.”
- Matthew 15:18–“But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.”
- Matthew 15:19–“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
- Matthew 18:35–“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
- Matthew 22:37–“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.”
This is Jesus speaking on the heart in one gospel, there are 31 other references to the heart in the other three. When it comes to our physical anatomy, the heart is the most vital organ. You can live for awhile without the others but when the heart quits, it’s over. The Roman soldiers wore a breastplate that covered the heart. The enemy always made the heart or the head the target. Heart here in Proverbs is the inner man, the real you and it includes emotions, mind [reason] and volitional will. When something or someone captures our heart, they can lead us anywhere they want us to go because they have our heart. Erotic love is a heart love. To maintain this love, you have to guard your heart. A better way of saying it is to keep your guard up. The N.T. writers would say, be sober and vigilant. Don’t get complacent and lower your guard. Pride and presumption are our enemies. We get to feeling invincible, we lower our guard and before we realize what has happened, our heart is leading us in the wrong direction.
Max Anders tells the story of the young girl who found a baby raccoon and decided to make it a pet. The local vet gave her a stern warning: “Raccoons do not make good pets. They are very volatile and are prone to sudden outburst of violence.” The little girl did not listen. She insisted that both she and the raccoon were exceptions to the rule. When the raccoon became an adult, it attack the girl and leaving such deep cuts on her face that it required surgery. She refused to learn from the experience of others. When we ignore history, we are bound to repeat it.
Well, we finished up the WBS at Sardis Springs last night. We had a very good week and a lot to be thankful for: God is good. He has certainly been good to me. I have an empty calendar now, after two weeks of being pretty busy. Pray for some doors to be open.
Larry was in the process of being transferred to the nursing home in Decatur [one near the hospital] when I was there yesterday evening about 4:00. There were no opening at Summerford’s. I think he is some better but I am not a doctor. He is still weak and short of breath. He can walk a few steps but then he gives out.