• The Encourager

Guard Your Heart - April Edition

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shall be justified, and by thy words thou shall be condemned. (Matthew 12:34-37)

The heart is what we are in the secrecy of our thoughts and feelings, that nobody knows but God. And what we are at the invisible (root) matters as much to God as what we are at the visible (branch). “Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) From the heart are all the issues of life. What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart . . . For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.” (Matthew 15:18–19)

Words are very important and speak to our outcome in life. As we communicate, we are to be mindful of our emotions, the tone of voice we use, our attitudes, body language, our timing, and also, to whom we are speaking. Believe it or not, what’s in the heart matters. Therefore, we must guard our hearts!

Proverbs 4:23–Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. The heart is the wellspring of desire and the center of the will, intellect, and emotions. Following God and knowing His ways involve a resolute decision to remain committed to Him, seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness. Failure to keep our hearts result in a departure from the path of safety and leads to an entrapment and a destructive snare. To watch over our hearts with all diligence result in all our ways being stablished in His favor and grace.

Proverbs 16:21–The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning. The sweet and health speech promotes actions that are desirable, whether in our human relationships or in the release of divine grace in our daily living. It leads the believer to an overcoming, victorious life, through a consistent acknowledgement of the power and might of God with both mouth and manner. Wise words bring health. The words in our hearts are to control our speech and our conduct. No wonder the Psalmist stated, Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. (Proverbs 15:13) Your demeanor shows your heart. If you are happy inside, it will show outside. If you are sad inside, it will also show outside. Others know your heart by what they can see on your face. The lessons are to choose a merry heart for yourself and to help others get one also.

When you are happy and excited, whether by circumstances or choice, you have extra energy, light, and life. And this refreshing carriage is often contagious to those around you. In the same way, when you are sad and discouraged, you have little energy, power, or resolve. And this depressed appearance drags those down that are with you.

Colossians 4:6–Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Believers speech must be pleasant, appealing, kind, and gracious. It must be language that results from the operation of God’s grace in our hearts and speaks the truth in love. Seasoned with salt means conversation that preserves appropriate and marked by purity, not corruption.

The Angry Heart: The angry heart produces a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, irritability, hasty decisions, ill temper, hostility, anxiety, stress, and a troubled spirit. Proverbs 15:1–A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Sometimes it’s not what we say that adds fuel to the fire, but it’s the way we say it. When facing anger, a soft answer will encourage reconciliation and peace, while harsh words stir up more anger and hostility. Psalm 37:8–Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. Wrath is extreme anger.

The Pure Heart: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) Pure means to be “clean, blameless, unstained from guilt.” The Heart—This can be applied to the physical heart. But it also refers to the spiritual center of life. It is where thoughts, desires, sense of purpose, will, understanding, and character reside.

Being pure in heart involves having a singleness of heart toward God. A pure heart has no hypocrisy, no guile, no hidden motives. The pure heart is marked by transparency and an uncompromising desire to please God in all things. It is more than an external purity of behavior; it is an internal purity of soul. The only way we can be truly pure in heart is to give our lives to Jesus and ask Him to do the cleansing work. Psalm 51:10 says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

The Joyful Heart: Webster’s Dictionary describes JOY as “the passion or emotion excited by the expectation of good.” A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) This is a heart that rejoices in God, and serves Him with gladness. The joy that is good for the soul and the body is the joy that we find first in the the Lord and then in the simple pleasures that He created for human beings.

The opposite of a cheerful heart is a “crushed spirit that dries up the bones.” Here, bones is used to represent the whole person. A cheerful heart brings tremendous benefits to all that we are, and a broken spirit brings harm to the whole person.

Luke 21:34–And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Jesus offers us a way out.

I Peter 5:7-Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Take that heavy burden of anger, difficult problem, or challenge you are facing; the one that has arisen due to circumstances creating hardship and struggles in your life. Fling those worries and anxieties over onto the back of the Lord! Let Him carry them for you! The Lord is extremely interested in every facet of your life and is genuinely concerned about your welfare.!!

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, your condition very possibly could be related to stress and pressure. In First Peter 5:7, it is almost as if Jesus is calling out to you and saying, “Your shoulders are not big enough to carry the burdens you’re trying to bear by yourself.” In Biblical days heavy loads were carried by camels and oxen. Jesus is saying to us today, this load will eventually break you, so please let ME be your beast of burden! Take that load and heave it with all your might. Fling it over onto MY back, and let me

carry it for you.

Please join us in our Free Conference Call Lessons. Date: Every Monday after the First and Third Sundays. Time: 7:00 p.m. Call in number—1-515-604-9094, ID is 831-588-444#

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