Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Guard your heart.

Random: yesterday was January 5, 2015 ~ so it was 1515. I just like things like that. :-)

   I have had something on my heart to do here at Honeycomb Cottage, and have been pondering it for the last few days. When I saw the quote below on Facebook this morning it reminded me of an experience I had yesterday. I decided to respond to that quote here even though I was going to start 2015 with something else.

“If you want to change your circumstances, you must have faith in two places—in your heart and in your mouth.” -Gloria 

   A woman I care about, and have respect for, called to see if I was going to attend a meeting being held at church tonight. We chatted over the “How was your Christmas?” question. Somehow that led to her sharing with me some views she had that were simply not scriptural. I listened for some time, affirming my presence with an “I’m still here” when she inquired of my presence. I did not want to interrupt her, I did not want to challenge what she was saying, and I certainly did not want to bring contention or strife into the conversation ~ particularly over scripture. Of the emotions I was having during her small dissertation, the vastness was the brokenness of my heart. My heart became so heavy for her it was as if it fell to the pit of my existence, and broke when it hit bottom. She believed that God in His sovereign omniscience and omnipotence, had determined to place and use some horrible things in her life so she could find Him. I am not going to address the distinct and blatantly incongruous and contradictory thought and reasoning within that sentiment, at least not on this post as it is not my point here. 

   After a wonderful 16 days of traveling, seeing family, meeting people I had wanted to meet for over two years, and enjoying the wrapping up of 2014, looking forward to 2015, Jon went back to work yesterday. I had much of the after travel settling back in done, but there was the house cleaning those Smurf’s never showed up to do. But, I was enjoying the quiet and the progress I was making. I even got a double batch of laundry soap made, a loaf of bread and a full pot of Beef Barley soup made. I was feeling refreshed and excited about a number of things. Just about that time this friend called. By the end of that phone call my heart, both pieces, were heavy, I felt discouraged, sad, and had to seriously try to debrief my mind. I was not successful. I knew what I needed to do, go to the source of my joy, life and help ~ grab my Bible. As always, that sorted me out. I was still concerned for her, and somewhat discouraged because that is a prevalent mindset among Christians. That kind of thinking robs the believer of so many wonderful things God has for them.

   In seeking God, He took my straightaway to 2 Peter 3:16-18; 

"...as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."

And then to:

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer." 2 Timothy 2:15-17a

   I just never cease to be amazed at how wonderful, and how faithfully and ever ready to minister to us God is. WOW!! Spot on with that scripture, and not where I was headed exactly. I want to share some encouragement here. Our hearts determine how our life goes, and it is what we put into our hearts through our five senses that determine what our heart believes. If you are listening to what the world has to say, reading things contrary to what God’s Word says, filling your mind with most of what is on the television and soaking up the news, you are putting into your eyes and ears things that will compromise and contaminate the faith you received at salvation.

   By indulging in things contrary to the Word of God you are not learning something, or broadening your thinking views to a better educated end, or being loving by listening to wrong views of God’s pure Word. You are setting yourself up to be as Peter told us, unstable, losing our steadfastness and being led away by the errors of the wicked. James 1:6-8 tells us a double~minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not think he will receive anything form the Lord. That is not a harsh, unloving statement. God wants us to take His Word seriously because it is life, the only source of life, and to put anything else in our “reasoning” will compromise the faith it takes to live out that faith and be victorious.

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63

   Gloria’s quote is spot on! Whatever you believe in your heart is what will come out of your mouth. When we express what is in our heart it comes out in what we do and SAY. Put God’s Word in your heart, guard your heart against all else, and your faith will be what comes out of your mouth. It really is that simple.

"Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." Proverbs 4:23

We must guard our heart with all diligence so as to have an upright heart, and so our words align with the Word of God.

"My words come from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge." Job 33:3

   One of those two passages of scripture God led me to that I mentioned above was 2 Timothy 2:15-17a. In that passage Paul mentions the ungodliness that will come from idle babblings, things contrary to scripture. He says those words spread like cancer. Not good. But, I want to draw your attention to the  clause, “... rightly dividing the word of truth.” To “rightly divide” God’s Word you have to study it in light of the rest of the Word. You must take the Bible as a whole single message, not segmenting it, but by comparing the verse, passage or book with the rest of the Word.

  God’s Word is not a “rule” book, or just a piece of literature to read for moral guidance ~ it is a love letter straight from the heart of God, to us! Sometimes I can hardly fathom that. What about you? Do you find that amazing? I use this word with its due prudence, I find that AWESOME!!! God’s Word is good for any need we have. It teaches us, encourages us, builds up our faith, gives us wisdom, gives us the knowledge of His kingdom principles so we can live successfully and victoriously, the knowledge of God that multiplies our grace and peace to us, and reveals those “mysterious” ways of His that people like to get all spooky about. God is an open book, He loves us, and His Word is His love letter to us for everything we could need ~ He holds no good thing back from us.

"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32

   Make His Word first in your life. Give it first priority and everything else will be added to you. Don’t let anything contrary to the Word of God be a part of your life. Cast everything down that exalts itself against the Word of God. You will be set free and walk in grace, peace and victory. When trials and tribulations come, you will be built up in the Word, and ready to handle anything. Just guard your heart!

   The point at which my friend began talking about how we live under a curse, I did stop her, lovingly. I told her I lived under no curse and neither did she (she is saved), because Jesus has redeemed us from that. We live in a world that has sin in it, but we are not under the curse and penalty of that sin. She did acknowledge that the Bible did say that, but that we are still affected by the curse. I agreed, but told her we did not have to live that way. I should have put a stop to the conversation a long time before that, but I was trying to be kind and give her air space. I am not necessarily referring to those doctrinal differences that Satan loves to make huge deals out of and divide the body of Christ over here, but in the future when I am faced with conversation that contradicts what I know to be true, I will guard my heart by lovingly changing the conversation, or dismissing myself if that is not possible to guard my heart. My first response is always to say, let's get our Bible's out and see what God says. I do say that fully prepared to find something new myself. If that seems to be causing conflict I will go to plan "B", "B"etter to bail out than to cause strife and division.

  When my friend got to the end of what she wanted to say and enquired of any response I might have, I asked her what scripture(s) she was basing that which she shared on. There were none. She said it was just the “mysterious” way, a way we don’t understand, that God works. When the conversation ended we agreed to meet at church tonight.

   This really isn't a bad way to start the year off here after all. Actually, it is a great way to start. Let's put God and His Word first and guard our hearts so that we remain steadfast, unwavering ~ and bring glory to God. In doing this we will have a wonderfully fruit filled year. 

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:8

   This is not the verse I have chosen for my epitaph, but it certainly could serve as a life verse for me. 

Your word is very pure; Therefore Your servant loves it. Psalm 119:140

I find that spending time with God, and being in His Word first thing in the morning insures that I do spend time with Him, and read His Word.
"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; 
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up."

Psalm 5:3

What are ways you can put the Word of God first in your life?

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