Guard your heart

‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways…They shall never enter my rest.’ See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.–Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.–The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways…–This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me”…Hear and understand…what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts…These are what defile a person.

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled–one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! — Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.–“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you”–let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith–As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.–Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Heb.3:10-12 NIV; Prov.4:23 NIV; Jer.17:9-10 ESV; Mt.15:8,10,18-20; Heb.12:15 ESV; Deut.29:19 ESV; Ps.139: 23,24ESV; Ps.51:10 ESV; Ezek.36:26 NKJV; Heb.10:22 ESV; Lk.8:15 ESV; Mt.5:8

God looks for whole-hearted followers who are eager to know and follow His ways even when they are at odds with our own natural desires.  Where we are prone to measure our goodness by what shows on the surface, He sees our thoughts and motives.  Where we are satisfied with guarding our reputations He calls us to be honest about what is in our hearts and to recognize our inclination to stray, to resist, to hide and to deny what’s there.  But best of all He grants a new heart and His own Spirit to those who will trust Him.  And day by day His word grows and bears fruit in the hearts of those who will hear and believe that His ways are always the best ways. –LS