Let’s Guard Our Hearts


Every now and then someone tells me that they’ve had to have their heart checked out by the doctor. Our hearts are very important – it’s important to look after our hearts.
And what is true physically is also true spiritually. The Bible frequently flags up the importance of the heart in our spiritual lives:

· The LORD wants to be our hearts’ desire (Deuteronomy 6:5)
· He has put a yearning for eternal things in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:9)
· He cares about what’s going on in our hearts (Psalm 7:9)
· Jesus said our hearts are the thing that make us the kind of people we are (Matthew 12:34 and Mark 7:21)

Of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about our physical hearts but our ‘internal control centres’; my heart is the person I really am at the core of my being. It’s more than my mind and thoughts – it also includes what I love and desire. One writer puts it like this, “Whatever captures the heart’s trust and love also controls the feelings and behaviour. What the heart most wants, the mind finds reasonable, the emotions find valuable and the will finds doable.”

Which is why wise old Solomon advised that you should “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23). If our spiritual hearts aren’t in great shape, then we can’t live healthy Christian lives.

So in February we’re going to get our hearts checked out. We’re opening St. Andrew’s Cardiology Department and in a short series of sermons we’re going to learn what some of the Bible’s best consultant specialists have to say about three heart issues:
1 – How can we guard our hearts? If the ‘wellspring’ gets polluted, then unhealthy spiritual diseases will spread in our lives.
2 – How can we change our hearts? The Bible diagnoses various heart problems – divided hearts, hard hearts, proud hearts, unbelieving hearts, cold hearts, and unclean hearts. We need help!
3 – How can we strengthen our hearts? We need to learn how to cultivate ‘inner lives’ that lead to fruitful and Christlike living.

Search me, O God, and know my heart. (Psalm 139:23)
With love in Christ,
Joe Dent

PS – the Church Council recently agreed to purchase a defibrillator for the church; perhaps that’s what got me thinking…

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