Guard Your Hearts

24th October

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

PROVERBS 4:23 (NIV)

In Biblical times, the heart was considered the hub of our lives; Decisions, emotions and being. After Greek Dualistic ways of thinking were introduced, we now separate our hearts and minds as two different things. Our hearts for emotions and minds for thinking, acting and contemplating. Yet according to the writer of today’s key verse, all that we do, the very core of our lives, flows from our hearts. When we ignore our heart’s voice, as mere emotion, we ignore the very core of who we are. Our hearts are not just, physically speaking, pumping blood around our bodies. Our heart is the center of our lives.

If the above is correct, then why do we give our hearts out so cheaply, make rash decisions, leave it open and don’t protect the one thing we should guard above all else? Guarding our hearts, isn’t simply just inviting Christ to live in it and that’s it. It is a daily discipline of surrendering, and asking God to protect it. It is like your house. You might care about what’s inside, but if you don’t lock the door, you are open and vulnerable to a burglary or so much worse. You need to shut and lock the door, so no unwanted person can enter. The same is with our hearts. Although Christ lives in it, we still need to put disciplines in our lives to make sure, He is the sole resident and ruler of it.

When we do this, Christ’s peace will fill us, and this peace ‘will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus1’. Our daily surrendering to Jesus, will protect our hearts from the storms around us, keep us safe from the distractions that want to enter it and fill us with Heavenly peace, blessing and direction.

1Philippians 4:7

The Growing Kingdom Of Jesus

23rd October

Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she only put a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”

MATTHEW 13:33

What is the Kingdom of Heaven? Well, as one preacher says, ‘the Kingdom of Heaven is everywhere and in anyone, where Jesus is recognised as King, He rules and is allowed to reign, that is to abide in sovereign authority.”1 This means that the Kingdom of God, is not confined to a church building and its four walls, or in another strategic place, it is in all of us and everywhere. There is no end to His Kingdom, it cannot be stopped and we are part of it.

Jesus, in His parable of the yeast, highlights the point, that His Kingdom is a Kingdom that just keeps growing. When He said this, perhaps the disciples didn’t realise the significance or the role that they would play in His Kingdom, too occupied with thinking that finally the Kingdom of Israel would be restored from the hands of the Romans. But Jesus was talking about a Kingdom that would out last both the Romans and Israel. He was talking about the Kingdom of Salvation, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus used yeast to show the disciples, just how much influence His Kingdom can have. Just a little bit of God’s Kingdom can change societies, countries and even this world. We have this yeast in our lives. We have God’s Kingdom living in us and it is spreading. Our communities and workplaces are the perfect temperatures and environments for the yeast to ferment and grow. The harvest is ready. Surrender all of our lives to Him so that firstly His Kingdom can grow in us, and then spread out to all around us. His Kingdom is growing and we are part of it. Isn’t that GOOD NEWS?!