“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it springs the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23 NKJV
What happens to you when you hear that a close friend has had a heart attack? More than likely, you are concerned and hope that your friend has been spared of any major heart damage. Because, we all know the physical struggles that a person must go through when their heart’s been damaged.
The best way for us to avoid a heart attack, and subsequent heart damage, is by doing our best to keep our hearts healthy through a healthy lifestyle and healthy choices. Today’s text is not speaking of our natural hearts-- but of our spiritual hearts. It speaks of the importance of being intentional to “keep,” or really “guard,” our spiritual hearts the same way that we do our natural ones.
Why is that so important? Well, it tells us right here in the text-- “...for out of it (our hearts) springs the issues of life.” The New Living Translation says it this way, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
I want to share with your three ways to keep your spiritual heart healthy:
(1) Eat Right
Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (NKJV) In the same way that we can’t eat junk food all the time and expect to stay healthy, we need to always be feeding on the pure and healthy Word of God.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t read other things, but just think of those other things as snacks, or a dessert, but our main course should always be the Bible.
“Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16, NKJV
A daily diet of God’s word brings us spiritual strength and helps us to maintain a spiritually healthy heart.
(2) Be Forgiving
Nothing brings on a heart attack and ultimately heart damage faster than unforgiveness. People can mess with us, so we really need to diligently guard our hearts from unforgiveness. While we can’t stop people from saying things or doing things that hurt us, we can protect our hearts from it.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:25, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive them, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” (NKJV)
So make it a point to be forgiving-- forgive quickly, and forgive often. If someone hurts you or offends you, loose them and let them go. Your heart will be thankful that you did.
(3) Exercise Through Worship
We all know the importance of exercise. Some of us are great at it, others--- and you know who you are-- are not so great at it. But again, just like we need physical exercise, we need to spiritually exercise on a regular basis. One of the best ways to engage our hearts with the Lord is through times of daily worship.
“So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may daily perform my vows.” Psalm 61:8, NKJV
This is just another reminder that every day is a good day to worship God through song. It’s a great way to keep your heart healthy.
Jesus said in Matthew 22:37, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.'” (NKJV)
So let’s make today a heart healthy day, by reading God’s Word, being quick to forgive, and experiencing a bit of worship throughout the day.
Say It: “God I thank You for a strong and healthy heart. Today I will do what it takes to keep my heart in good shape, I will read Your Word, I will be quick forgive when others wrong me, and I will worship You with my whole heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen!”