Sunday, August 15, 2010

Guard your heart

Welcome again to A Good Bible Study!

If you are here, it's because you are  meant to read today's message. It's the right message for you, at the right time. Let's get ready to receive it with prayer:

Lord, You arrange no coincidences, no chance occurrences, nothing happenstance. You brought me here at this time, for this message. Open my heart and mind to understand what You would have me know in this moment. Thank you. In the name of Jesus, amen.

I was reading my copy of Enjoying Everyday Life magazine, this morning. If you don't already receive it by mail, you can get it for free by signing up for it at Joyce Meyer Ministries. Here is the link.

As I read, I began to circle and underline certain passages, a sentence here or there, marking good quotes and adding my own notes as insights were sparked along the way.

Dr. John C. Maxwell, leadership expert and founder of EQUIP, is a contributor to the magazine, as is Stasi Eldridge, of Ransomed Heart Ministries, and author of the excellent book and bible study "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul." A common theme through out this issue was attitude -  good or bad, everything begins in the heart!

Read one of my favorite verses, Proverbs 4:23. Here are a few different translations:

NLT: Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. [Hebrew for from it flow the springs of life. ] (NLT - Tyndale House)

NIV: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (NIV - IBS)

ICB: Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life. (ICB: Nelson)

Joyce Meyer says one of the biggest revelations she has received from God is that our real lives are not the ones everyone else sees, our real lives are the lives we are living inside. I would say that's in our hearts and in our attitudes.

Read Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the _____ in ______, for they shall see God.

The Greek word for blessed is maka/riov or makarios and it means both blessed, and also, happy.

The word for pure means "without corrupt desire," and the word for heart, means the "center of physical and spiritual life."

"See" means not only to see with our own eyes once we have left this earthly life, but it also means to "know from personal experience! "

So, you can also read it "If you want to be happy, then focus on good desires and do not dwell on negative and envious temptations, and you will know God personally, and will see Him face to face!"

How do we walk that out? For one thing, Dr. Maxwell says we have a choice each time we interact with anyone else: we can lift them up, or we can limit them. Are you a lifter or a limiter? _______________________

He adds that the most important asset we can develop is a teachable attitude. Our attitude is the thoughts that springs from our heart. If you're willing to be taught, you can learn something from everyone you meet. If you walk away from any relationship having learned nothing, you wasted a lot of time and energy, don't you think?

Read Mark 4:24 and pay attention to the second part where it talks about those who will hear.

It means that if you are willing to hear God's Word and learn from it, more insight and understanding will be given you. Likewise, if you go through life willing to learn, it's not surprising that you will continue to grow in wisdom and understanding overall.

Sometimes we go through periods of life when we feel like we are the last word on pretty much everything. No one we meet has anything of value to offer us. We are not interested in anyone's opinion but our own. I spend a lot of years like that. I'm sure my family, and probably my friends too, were relieved when God starting working on my attitude of superiority.

Now it seems the more I learn, the more I learn how much I need to learn. Anyone else on the same page?

Andrew Murray was one of the chief promoters of the call to missions in South Africa, and is now best known for his devotional classics. Among these are Abide in Christ, Absolute Surrender, With Christ in the School of Prayer, The Spirit of Christ and Waiting on God.

He said, "Our humility toward others is the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real."

Father, soften our hearts and our attitudes. Make us to be humble and teachable. Above all, continually remind us to guard our hearts, our thoughts, and our motives because we want to be happy, and to know you in a real and personal way. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Love, Karen

Photo by Luigi Diamonti, courtesy of

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