Page 1 - Good News August 2010 paper
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hat if I told you that I just found out I have a   Please understand that you are in   look better… then, surely you can spend some time
                   heart condition… What would your reaction      charge of guarding your own heart -   checking your heart?
          Wbe?  Most  likely,  you  would  respond  with          and it's pretty much a full-time job -   Taking time to check your heart is similar to taking the
          gasps of "Oh no!" You would probably feel sorry for     because  we  don't  know  on  any    time to clean your basement or attic. Once you turn on
          me. But the truth is, I do  have a heart condition… and   given  day  what's  going  to  take   the  lights  there  and  start  looking  around,  don't  be
          so do you.  Everyone reading this article has a heart   place in our lives.                  surprised to find some things you didn't expect!
          condition  of  some  sort.  And  the  quicker  you  can   You  don't  know  what  somebody
          detect a wrong heart condition and get it straightened   may say to you that may hurt you.      WHAT DID JESUS TEACH ABOUT THE HEART?
          out, the better off you are. The longer we leave wrong   Suddenly, there's a wound in there   Jesus said some pretty strong things about the heart.
          things in our heart unattended, the deeper they are     that  needs  to  be  dealt  with.  You   He said if you see a woman and lust after her, then you
          rooted and the harder they are to deal with.            don't  know  when  somebody's        have already committed adultery as far as your heart
                                                                  going to disappoint you, or betray   is concerned. Lust has a tremendous effect on the
                    GIVE YOUR HEART A CHECK-UP                    you, or let you down. You just don't   heart, which is why we all must guard our hearts and
          I  get  a  medical  examination  once  a  year  and  they   know, so you have to constantly be   keep lust out. Look what lust is doing to all the people
          always  check  my  heart. As  Christians,  we  need  to   working with the Holy Spirit to keep   today who sit and look at the pornography that's so
          check  our  hearts  a  lot  more  often.  Because  many   the attitude of your heart right.   easily available all over the Internet - it's alarming how
          times,  Christians  can  go  through  the  motions  and                                      destructive it is to people's lives!
          keep doing the "Christian thing," yet, something has      THE MOST IMPORTANT THING           Another  fiery  dart  the  devil  tries  to  shoot  into  our
          crept  into  their  hearts  and  it's  hurting  them  and   There's  nothing  more  important   hearts is hate. The Bible says if you hate your brother,
          hurting other people.                                   than your inner life (what's in your   it's no different than if you murdered him. We must
          The  things  you  allow  into  your  heart  form  your   heart).  One  of  the  biggest  revela-  "raise  our  shield"  to  keep  our  hearts  pure  (see
          thoughts and attitudes and shape the deepest part of    tions I've received from God is that   Genesis 15:1).
          your being. No matter what your circumstances are       my real life is the life that's   me.   I have found that if I can capture my thoughts for God
          (the outside), if your heart (the inside) is right, you're   Life is not your circumstances. Life   early in the morning, through prayer and meditating
          going to be okay. You can have great circumstances      is not the kind of house you live in,   on Scripture, then it's easier to protect my heart than if
          and  a  stinky  heart  and  you're  still  going  to  be   or the kind of job you have, or how   I  wait  until  the  afternoon,  when  I've  already  let  the
          miserable. We need to pay more attention to what's      much money you have in the bank.     enemy use it as a garbage dump for a while and then
          going on in our hearts. So how do we do that? The       You can have all these things and    try to get a handle on it.
          answer is in God's Word.                                still be miserable!                  You must be proactive to keep your heart pure.
                                                                  There's nothing wrong with enjoy-
                     HOW TO GUARD YOUR HEART                      ing  the  better  things  of  life.  God          HERE'S THE BOTTOM LINE
          Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else,   wants  to  bless  us.  But  that's  not   If you want to be a victorious Christian, guard your
          for it determines the course of your life"  (NLT). Notice   your real life. Your real life is the life   heart - even when you don't feel like it. In fact, you
          that  it  doesn't  say  somebody  else  will  guard  your   that  is  in  you!   It's  amazing  how   don't get to do what you feel like anymore. Actually,
          heart. It doesn't say God will guard your heart, your   happy you can be in the midst of the   your feelings don't even get to vote.
          neighbour will guard your heart, or your pastor will    lousiest  circumstances,  and  how   I'm  not  saying  that  you  should  totally  ignore  your
          guard your heart. It says you  need to guard your heart.   peaceful you can be despite all the   feelings. We need to take care of our emotions too. I
          This is a responsibility that each one of us must take.   turmoil that's going on in the world   believe that people make a mistake in denying their
                                                                  today if you know how to keep your   emotions. I tell God how I feel. But then I also tell God
                                                                  heart in the right condition.        what I will do through His strength and power. So, in
                                                                  Matthew 5:8 says, "Blessed are the   this  way,  you  develop  self-control.   You  keep  your
                                                                  pure  in  heart,  for  they  shall  see   commitments, you keep your word, and you do what
                                                                  God"  (NIV). I love that! Do you want   you know God wants you to do. And every time you
                                                                  to hear from God? Keep your heart    feel like doing the wrong thing - choose to do the right
                                                                  pure. Do you want to know God's      thing. I want you to understand this: Every time you
                                                                  secrets? Keep your heart pure.       feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do
                                                                  1 Peter 3:3,4 tells us how important   the right thing, you are growing - and God is smiling.
                                                                  the  inner  man  is  to  God:  "Your   That  is  victory. And  that's  what  you  get  when  you
                                                                  beauty  should  not  come  from      guard your heart!
                                                                  outward  adornment,  such  as        [Joyce Meyer, Enjoying Everyday Life, August 2010].
                                                                  braided  hair  and  the  wearing  of
                                                                  gold  jewelry  and  fine  clothes.
                                                                  Instead,  it  should  be  that  of  your
                                                                  inner self, the unfading beauty of a
                                                                  gentle and quiet spirit, which is of
                                                                  great worth in God's sight"  (NIV).
                                                                  Think  about  how  much  time  you
                                                                  spend on your appearance - getting
                                                                  your  hair  ready  and  picking  out
                                                                  your  clothes,  putting  on  make-up
                                                                  and  various  other  things  women
                                                                  and  men  do  to  make  themselves
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