“Above everything else, guard your heart; for it is the source of life’s consequences.” Proverbs 4:23 (CJB).  The word “guard” in this verse is a verb, which may not seem important, but we must remember that a verb always requires action.  This word, guard, in the Hebrew means; to watch, to watch over, to keep, to preserve, guard from dangers.  I want you to notice the last two parts of the definition; to preserve, or to guard from dangers.  Unless you are someone who never leaves their dwelling place, or never interacts with other human beings, guarding your heart ultimately means to not be careless but rather guard from dangers, or preserve it.  Just for fun the exact opposite of this would be to “damage, or neglect”.   What is the “heart”?  Simply put, our “heart”, is made up of our soul (mind, will and emotions) and our conscience.   Over the years of ministry I have heard many times, from many individuals “it’s just a show silly TV show, or just a movie, it isn’t real life, it’s just a song, it’s just entertainment, it won’t hurt.  What if someone came up to you said I have a drink for you to try, you ask what’s in it, and as they tell you all the ingredients then they say, “o, and there is a little poison in it, but don’t worry it’s just a little.”  A bit extreme, yes, but understand that the things we participate in, watch, or listen too, can be poison and we just don’t know it, and this isn’t just something for younger people to be aware of, we all must “guard our hearts”.  Entertainment has a way to dress up things in such a way where we don’t see the signs that say “danger, poison, do not consume.”  Some will argue that the scriptures say, “it’s not what goes in us that defiles us but what comes out.”  While true, Luke 6:45 says “for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.”  Not to be gross, but just like our body, what goes in will eventually come out.  Have you ever noticed that the more someone is around a group of people, good or bad, the more they will talk like them, and even act like them.  Just as you are the one that decides who you hang out with, where or what you eat, you too decide what you will watch, or what you will listen to.  All these areas have an ability to impact our lives, and it is up to us, not God, to guard our lives from these types of dangers.  Yes, God can and does protect us, yet at the same time we are the ones that decide what we watch, listen to, or participate in.  He Wants us to guard our hearts to save our lives from unnecessary troubles.  This world has enough challenges by itself, so if by guarding our heart keeps us from more troubles then why not take this scripture to “heart.”  Much love, Pastor Michael

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