Tag Archives: Proverbs

Guard Your Heart!

Guard

Keep your heart with all diligence!

From the moment I got saved I’ve been obsessed with the heart. I continuously think about what it means to have a clean and pure heart and I’m always trying to find ways to ensure that my heart is protected from festering filth. My understanding that God searches the heart of men has increased my awareness of my own heart and instilled in me a genuine desire to keep the source of my actions as pure as possible.

With that being said, you’d understand why I appreciate the advise given in Proverbs 4:23

 Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

I have not begun to unravel the depths and mysteries of this verse but I suspect God will continue to reveal it’s true meaning to me over time. For now though, I’d like to share some ways I’ve learned to keep my heart guarded when dealing with painful or disappointing situations.

The more I interact with people who disappoint me is the more I realise that their actions not only affect my mood and my view of them, but it affects my heart. The more upset I become when I’m hurt by the words or actions of others is the easier it is to infect my heart. In fact if I were to be blatantly honest with myself, I’d admit that when I’m not careful, I allow things to fester unnecessarily, causing an ugly bitterness to develop that wasn’t there before and then I have to take deliberate measures to get back to a place where I can genuinely love that person again.

The danger I’ve found in my own behaviour is my ability to tell myself that I’ve let things go and believe those words without truly examining the truth of my statement. In the past I’d simply say to myself that I’m fine and never go through the process of feeling hurt and angry and then finding practical ways to forgive and move on. Recently though, I’ve found that praying for people whom I feel have wronged me and blessing God for creating them has helped me to keep my heart pure. When I acknowledge that the person who’s done me wrong is also a child of God, whom he loves and cares for then my perspective shifts. I begin to honour God for who they are to Him, and for what He is doing in their lives and so I shift my thinking. That prayer impacts my heart and helps me to forgive and love people in spite of our misunderstandings and disagreements.

Another way I’ve learned to keep my heart is by being deliberate in having meaningful conversation with them even while I’m hurting. This one is a bit tough to do at first but once I let go of my ego and start speaking I find it becomes easier to carry the conversation forward. The key, I believe, to being successful in this, is to remember that our lives should please God. That having this conversation is not about me feeling good or better, but it’s about honouring God and being a good example so His name would be glorified. Most times I find that having a lighter conversation that isn’t directly related to the problem I’m facing with the person helps with my frame of mind and makes it easier to raise the issue I’m having in a way that facilitates healing conversations. This also helps in changing my perception of people in my mind. Once my mind is changed, then my actions change and my heart is void of all malice against that person.

Photo Credit: http://www.essentialparenting.com/2014/12/10/3-ways-the-heart-becomes-hardened/

Sometimes though, in spite of having these methods I still find myself holding on to negative words and situations much longer than I intend to.  I sometimes refuse to forgive others because I feel a justified sense of satisfaction when I can look at them and say they’ve done me wrong and highlight the flaws of their character. Sometimes when I think about some people I still only see the wrong they did to me, I still get annoyed or hurt when I think of words they said or things they did to me and I’m still not open to genuinely connecting with those people  on any level – all because I choose not to be honest about the negative feelings I’m harbouring against them in my heart.

Recently though, I’ve started examining my flaws and I’ve begun to truly appreciate that we all have things in us that God is working on. I’m not perfect by any stretch and if God can forgive me for the many times I’ve messed up and the many times I’m going to mess up, then I can forgive people that have done wrong against me. Holding a grudge feeds a desire to be right and righteous, but the bible uses the analogy that our righteousness are like filthy rags before God.

I’ve come to realise that one of the main keys to keeping my heart in diligence is to always aim to please God. Not just in my ways but in my thoughts as well. A heart that is set on pleasing God will remain guarded and will not be easily affected by the poison of this world. I know that there is a lot more to be understood and applied from Proverbs 4:23 but this is what I have to offer on the subject for now.

What other insights did you get from this verse?

 

 

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State Your Claim

Speak Life

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

There is a blessing stored up for us in high places which will only be released on the command of our tongues. We use this powerful weapon (the tongue) daily to express our innermost thoughts, desires, opinions, concepts, etc. We give our tongues full reign when it’s time to complain or add to the negativity of bad situations, but today we can do the exact opposite of that. As we continue to believe God for breakthroughs this year I encourage each of us to openly declare what we’re expecting God to do for us. SPEAK IT! SAY IT! TALK IT OUT LOUD! and once you believe it in your heart it will come to pass. I’m writing some of my declarations for 2014 here as an example of what I mean. You can write some of yours in the comment box below as well and I will agree with you in prayer for these things but be sure to say it out loud even as you type. Let the power of your tongue be for life always and never death.

MY DECLARATION

I am a woman of power who is anointed and appointed for such a time as this. I belong to the kingdom of Heaven and my Father is the creator of all things. I am blessed and highly favored and I shall not be moved or intimidated by the tricks of the enemy. I am a force to be reckoned with because of the power of Christ which works within me. I am a victorious leader, a child with a purpose and an ambassador for the kingdom of Heaven. I am saved, sanctified, washed in the blood and on fire for Jesus Christ and though troubles and trials will come I SHALL NOT BE MOVED!

Good things are coming my way……………………make that GREAT things; all in accordance to God’s purpose for me. I declare it, I believe it and I’m going to receive it.

What are you speaking into your life today?

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Daily Dose – Our Best Friend

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Proverbs 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the way of the wicked leads them astray.

We need friends. But there are those who will lead us into trouble and those who will encourage us and lift us up in our faith, drawing us ever nearer to God.

Before we draw to others, do we consider their spiritual impact on us? If God is our best friend, let us be cautious not to be led astray.

When we share friendship with Jesus and our earthly friends, we are truly blessed.

*Everyday Encouragement – Pamela L. Mcquade

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Daily Dose – Importance Of Friendship

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Proverbs 27:10 Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, Nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

Friendship is important to God, or He would not encourage us to hold fast to it. As Christians we’ve known times when other believers seemed closer than our kin.

God has brought us into a new family; His own, where faith becomes more important than blood.

Through Him, our love expands, and we help each other when trouble strikes.

No matter where you go, God’s people are near.

*Everyday Encouragement – Pamela L. Mcquade

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Daily Dose – Appreciation For Mothers

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Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. 

Wouldn’t every woman like to receive this kind of praise? A few do.

Yet, though we all need praise for a job well done, many families forget to encourage their members. When we have followed God faithfully, it shows in our lives, but we still value others’ appreciation.

Has a Christian mother been a wonderful influence in your life? (doesn’t have to be your mother only) She’d probably like to know that. Feel free to share that praise with others too.

 

*Everyday Encouragement – Pamela L. Mcquade

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Daily Dose – Building a House

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Proverbs 14:1 A wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.

Did you know you can build a house? God says so. No, you won’t need mortar, brick, and wood.

But every Christian woman has the ability to build up her family with her wisdom, industry and righteousness.

Her faithful Christian character blesses those in her home. Today, are you building your house or tearing it down?

Seek God, and He will help you make it strong.

 

*Everyday Encouragement – Pamela L. Mcquade

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Listen

James 1:19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to LISTEN, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

I’ve come to believe that not many people pay attention to this particular verse in James, and if they do they don’t care to follow it. We live in the communication era; everyone has something to say and they have numerous ways to have their voices heard. Sometimes it’s easy to be sucked into a vortex of never ending chatter across various mediums with our hands cupping our ears. We are forever speaking and never listening.

I understand as believers our tongues and by extension our voice is our source of power from God. The tongue is our greatest weapon and as much as we need to use it on a daily basis it’s time we become more mindful about giving it a rest. Despite the recent trend WE DO NOT have to comment on everything, WE DO NOT have to answer every question out there and especially when we’re angry WE DO NOT have to let the opposition know what we’re thinking in that very moment.

WE NEED TO SHUT UP!! 

God wants to talk to us, but so much of us are caught up in our own ramblings that we do not allow God the opportunity to say a word. We pray and ask for answers, but do we stop and listen for his response? We have a lot of examples in the bible where god spoke to his disciples. Maybe he wants to speak directly to us but we’ve put on our ear plugs and put our tongues on overdrive, not allowing him access to our ears.

John 10:27 My sheep LISTEN to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I don’t wish for us to stop speaking all together or stop connecting with each other or stop spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. All I’m asking is that we take some time off to listen to what God has to say. God has given us instructions for a reason. Just like any other instruction given to us through the bible it is for our own good that we should practice holding our tongues.

Proverbs 29:20 Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them. 

James warns that those of us who hear the word of God and does not follow it are like men who look at themselves in the mirror and then walk away not remembering what they look like. I pray that we do not become like those men. Let us follow the instruction given to us so that our words, when spoken will be for the up-lifting of God’s kingdom.

Colossians 4:Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

God Bless You!

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