“Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.” Luke 10:41
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
As the virtue of a strong spirituous liquor evaporates by degrees in a vial which is not closely stopped, in like manner the life and power of the Spirit will insensibly vanish away if the heart is not kept with all diligence. Therefore many must be tried and sifted, that they may know, like Hezekiah, what is in their hearts (2 Chronicles 32:31).
What then is more necessary than to take heed to our own spirit and to keep close to the written word? For as the latter times draw nearer, the more plausible will errors and seducements appear, both on your right hand and on your left. Beware of being drawn off from the truth, either by the worldly prudence of half-hearted professors or by pretenses to merit in the self-righteous Pharisee.
Gracious God, do keep my heart and preserve me from being led away by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, lest Your word in me be choked, and so become unfruitful. Give me a quick discernment and a tender sensibility, that I may detect error and tremble at the approach of sin. May I never trust my heart — but keep my eye upon it, as upon a thief, and hold it in check, as with bit and bridle.
Be earth, with all her scenes, withdrawn.
Let noise and vanity be gone;
In secret silence of the mind,
My Heaven, and there my God, I find.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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