Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Guarding Your Heart

Guarding Your Heart

Our heart determines the outcome of our life, therefore we all should learn how to guard our heart.

Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

1.   Why should we guard or keep our heart?
Because out of it comes the issues or outcome of our life.
Issues: outcome, result, decision
Our decisions come from our heart, therefore who we become as a person comes from our heart.

Matthew 15:18-19 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

        We don’t want to be defiled.
“Garbage in, garbage out”=If you put good things IN your heart, good things will come OUT, if you put BAD things your heart bad will come out.

2.   How are we to guard our heart according to Prov. 4:23?
With diligence: Steady, earnest, energetic effort, painstaking
Steady-Have daily time with God in prayer and Bible reading
Earnest effort-Memorize verses (This puts good garbage in)
Painstaking-Cut out things that hurt your heart (bad garbage)

3.   How else can we guard our heart?
Prov. 4:24 “Put away a forward mouth and perverse lips” 
Forward=disobedient, willful, intentional
Perverse=Corrupt, turned away from what is right or good

James 1:26-27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Guard our words (You can say things that aren’t true about yourself until you really believe its true but in reality its not who you are, you are deceiving yourself).

Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
        Don’t go by feelings, trust God.

Psalm 139:23-24 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Ask God to show you your heart.  And then be willing to change when He shows you your sin.  Do this self-checkup often.

4.   How can we guard our heart while dating?

Song of Solomon 3:5 I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

Don’t stir up love before marriage (ex. When dating a week saying ‘Are you gonna marry him? Have you kissed him yet? Talking of your future life together too soon is NOT guarding your heart.)
Staying pure.  Not asking how far is too far, but how pure is too pure?  “Kiss” means to ignite, arouse, awaken.
Watch what you talk about, dream about, think about. Be careful what kind of movies you are watching.  Do they leave you daydreaming about an unrealistic Prince Charming?

5.   How can we guard our heart while married?
Be open and honest with your spouse about everything.
Pray over your marriage for protection daily.
Date your spouse and keep the fire burning.

6.   How can we guard our heart as a Christian?
Garbage in, garbage out.  Watch what you are putting in your heart through media, television, movies, magazines, books and put good things in your heart through devotions, godly influences, etc.

Prov. 4:25-27 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.
26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

        Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Don’t get distracted.

“You will be the same ten years from now as today except for what books you read and the people you hang out with.”

1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”  Bad company corrupts good character!

So let’s guard our hearts by guarding our mouths and minds.  Guard what is coming into your life so that there will be purity flowing out of your life. 😊

Proverbs 31 Woman

Proverbs 31 Woman

Have you heard of the Proverbs 31 woman?  What do you know about her?  What are your thoughts of her?

Prov. 31:1The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.”  This is King Lemuel’s mother’s advice of what to look for in a woman, so single women must possess these qualities.

Prov. 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. 

Virtuous: strength, courage, chastity, able, capable, mighty, efficient, valiant, morality, wealthy, worthy, active power to accomplish a given effect

This word is used 200 times in the Bible to describe an army (soldiers have to have mental toughness and physical energy).

We all want to be priceless, valuable, rare and exquisite like a ruby.  Rubies surpass diamonds.  When you are virtuous you are the jewel in God’s eyes and your husband’s eyes.

Name a lady you know who is virtuous.  Imitate her, let her mentor and teach you.  Learn from people you want to be like who model the Bible.

Prov. 31:11 “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Her husband’s heart trusts her: become trustworthy, loyal and capable so he can depend on you.
Get married to give to him, not to get from him and drain him and cause him to worry.  Don’t be high maintenance, men don’t like it.
Be strong so he can build his life around you and not worry about you.

“He has no need of spoil”: spoil was the wealth and treasures the winning army took from the defeated.  She didn’t want him to have to go to war to make money so she contributed financially.

Prov. 31:12 “She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Do your husband good at every opportunity, spoil him, pamper him and help him, be good to your man…
ALL days of your life (while single be good to him by staying pure and praying for him and preparing to be a good wife) (while sickness and death come be good to him).

Prov. 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.”

Wool kept her family warm in winter with no heat.
Flaxseed is healthy for women to eat daily.
Wool and Flax were used to weave clothing (dry, peel, beat, comb, spin).
Work with your hands (holding babies, groceries, etc).
Work willingly (have a right heart Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;).

Prov. 31:14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.”

She gets the best products from afar with good quality.  She’s creative in shopping (farmers markets, internet herbs).  Be frugal.

Prov. 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

She’s not lazy but up and taking care of others (this was a rude awakening when I got married and had kids) You will be in charge of feeding breakfast and getting clean clothes on the family, etc.

Prov. 31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

She spends money wisely and earns investments.  She is a wise businesswoman, thrifty and frugal (shop yard sales, find deals).

Ex. Shoshanna gathered produce from her garden and sold it to buy what she wanted.
Ex. Girls made bracelets and sold them to give money to help people in Africa.

Prov. 31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

Loins: she gathered her long skirt and tied it with a belt between her legs so she could work hard.  These days we may put an apron on!

Prov. 31:18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.”

She perceives: taste (by trial, take risks, new ideas)
Ex. I taught myself how to bake bread from whole wheat, grinding the flour and the whole process.
I taught myself how to use herbs for medicine and make tinctures.

Prov. 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.”

The spindle and distaff was used to spin wool and flax into yarn and thread.
She worked into the evening.  Don’t waste your time each night but do one productive thing each night instead of just watching television.

Prov. 31:20  “She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She makes an effort to reach out to the poor.

Prov. 31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She is prepared for the future, be thinking ahead, prepare to be a wife now.

Prov. 31:22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.

Silk and purple were rare and costly, she took care in her appearance and in furnishing her home (tapestry, quilts).

Prov. 31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

Behind every good man is a good woman.
We are a reflection of our family.  Honor your parents and respect, praise and encourage your husband.
The man can do his job well because she does her job well.

Prov. 31:24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.”

She can make things, entrepreneur, starts a business!

Prov. 31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

She chooses to put on strength and honor each day like we choose what clothes to put on.

Nehemiah 8:10  The Joy of the Lord is your strength!

Prov. 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Talk with wisdom and kindness.  What you say and the tone you say it in matters.

Prov. 31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Guard your home, keep the emotional barometer.
Don’t be idle or bored which can lead to trouble.

Prov. 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

What good things do you want your kids and husband to say about you when they grow up?  Become those things.  Her kids and husband praise her because of all she’s done for them.

Prov. 31:29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

Dare to be different and excel!

Prov. 31:30  “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Charm and beauty don’t last and you can’t build a life upon them.  The Proverbs 31 woman does all she does because she fears the Lord and takes God and His Word seriously and obeys it.

Prov. 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

Prov. 31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
She has fruit and her life produces good things, what will your life produce?  Desire to be these things and start one step at a time with one quality you will work on and then move to the next.  Dare to be a Proverbs 31 woman one step at a time!

True Beauty

True Beauty

What makes a woman beautiful?  Is it her hair, her eyes, her character?  What does our culture say beauty is?  An air brushed face and size 0?  What does God say beauty is?  Have you ever thought about what God says about beauty?  He talks about it in His Word.  Do you find yourself striving for a certain kind of beauty?  It’s ok to want to look nice and take care of yourself.  After all, we only have one body.  But we should also strive for the beauty that God defines.

Proverbs 31:30  says, “Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Outward beauty is vain and fleeting, but there are rewards for inward beauty (praise, good works, pleasing God).

Romans 10:15  And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Aren’t you always glad to see someone who is bringing good news and positive words?  They just make you smile.  They are beautiful.  People who bring peace put you at ease and they are pleasant to be around.  Being positive and peaceful are beautiful to God.  Complaining and sowing discord are ugly.

1 Pet. 3:3-5  says, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Don’t let your first focus be on outward adorning.  Here is the definition of adorning.

Adorning: to enhance the appearance with ornaments

This does not mean that we cannot wear jewelry and braid our hair.  In that same verse it says, “or of putting on of apparel” and we definitely aren’t going to stop wearing clothes!  It just means don’t only focus on the outward appearance without focusing on the inward heart.  If we are going to spend an hour doing our hair we should spend some time each day with God reading His Word. 

The only way to get the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is precious to God is to spend time with Him.  Learn from Him what it means to be meek. 

“Meek and quiet spirit”: patience and longsuffering, moderate, have control over our emotions, be calm and not out of control with a temper and speaking before thinking, etc.  THIS IS HARD, especially with our PMS hormonesJ

Be still before Him and quiet your heart from the race of this world.  Proverbs 31:10 says that a virtuous woman’s price is far above rubies.  Having virtue is better than wearing a ruby!

Another way to adorn yourself is by submitting to your husband.  The world thinks this is ugly but God describes it as beautiful.  It truly does make for a beautiful marriage.

1 Timothy 2:9  says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

“In like manner”: like the men pray with holy hands…it is just as serious a matter in how we dress.  Pray about what you wear.  Is it holy?  Holy means set apart.  We are to be different from the world.  When everyone else is wearing bikinis we are to cover our bodies up!

“Modest Apparel” (clothes) What does modesty mean?
Modest: appropriate dress or behavior, reserved

Why should we be modest? To protect our brothers eyes, to not stumble others, to be a good example for others, to obey God’s Word

“With shamefastness”: ashamed (don’t draw attention to your body to cause lust) This is the opposite of what the world tells us…they say ‘don’t be ashamed to show it off’

What does sobriety mean?

“Sobriety”: self control, seriousness, sound moral judgment

1 Timothy 2:10 says, But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Don’t rely on these outward things to make you beautiful…Focus on the inward beauty, your character and your heart which will never fade and is precious to God.

1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

1 Tim. 4:8  “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

These verses tell us to adorn the inside which won’t fade. But we want to look pretty on the outside too…so try to spend the same amount of time on your outside appearance as you do for your inside appearance (ex. 30 minutes of hair and makeup so have a 30 minute devotion and prayer time).  This may be easy for some of you and harder for others.  It is not a set standard but rather an exercise so you can start putting this into practice. 

Practical application: Pay attention to the world’s message around you as it tries to conform you to its image of beauty. (Magazine pictures at the store, Hollywood actresses/models, fashion clothing.)

Compare this to what the Bible says about beauty and evaluate your life.  Do you look more like the world or more like what the Bible says beauty is?

How to cultivate inward beauty:

Pray-talk to God out loud or in your head (or in a journal), while driving, while sunbathing or getting dressed, anywhere!

Read the Bible- read a Proverbs a day and/or a Psalms a day or start reading through the Bible starting in Genesis or Matthew and read a chapter a day, or do a topical study by picking a topic like holiness and looking in the concordance for all the verses with that word in it.

Memorize a Verse  Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
This helps us LIVE out the Christian life.  Hide God’s Word in your heart!

Have accountability Pick a friend who wants to grow in the Lord with you or someone who is ahead of you spiritually and ask them to pray with you and talk with you once a week or so about God and what you are learning.

Remember what TRUE BEAUTY is.   :)