Your Greatest Stewardship – Keeping Your Heart

Guarding our hearts is a command and a responsibility for every Christian.  It’s found in the book of Proverbs.  Keeping one’s heart truly is our greatest stewardship responsibility because, we are told, from out of the heart come all life’s issues.

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

What Does it Mean to Keep Our Hearts?

What does it mean to keep your heart?  The Hebrew word, translated keep, is “metaschematizo.”  Some translations translate this word as guard, and, while that is a reminder to protect our hearts, the Hebrew word really implies much more. 

Strong’s Dictionary defines the word as: 3345. metaschematizo, met-askh-ay-mat-id’-zo; from G3326 and a der. of G4976; to transfigure or disguise; fig. to apply (by accommodation):–transfer, transform (self); to change.

As Christians, we should understand that keeping our hearts is an active duty that we are called to perform.  It truly is a work we do in our sanctification (not our justification.  Read: The Gift of Salvation: Justification & Imputation and What you need to know about Sanctification & Glorification )

When we came to Christ in faith, we turned from our own ways and asked for His forgiveness of our sins.  We died to our old man so we could live for Jesus according to His will and ways.  When Jesus saved us, He made us a new creation.  He regenerated (made alive) our souls and gave us a new heart. That is the heart we are to keep, to protect, and to let guide our lives.

The New Heart and the New Mind

We are told in the Old Testament that the heart of unregenerate man is “wicked and deceitful above all things” (Jer 17:9).   In Jeremiah, it says the heart is “desperately wicked” and asks, “who can know it?”

That does not describe the new heart that Christians have.  Jesus has given us a new heart, capable of feeling and expressing the love of God, and a new Spirit, His Holy Spirit.  While it may not be “desperately wicked” it is capable of sin, so we must keep it from sin.  Additionally, we have a new mind, “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16), which is a transformed mind, capable of knowing God, following the Spirit, and filling our hearts with the love of Jesus.  So we can know our hearts and we are called to discern our heart’s intent.

Our Lives Move in the Direction of our Most Dominant Thoughts

That statement is a principle I defined in my first book, “Why the Butterfly? Rightly Remembering Jesus.”  It’s a book about remembering the riches of Christ that we have received.  Remembering is what Paul spoke about when he said that being “full of goodness, filled with all knowledge” we are “to admonish one another.” (Rom 15:14).  To “admonish” means to “put into the mind.”  It means to feed our minds because our minds and our hearts are what direct our words and actions.  Our hearts and minds are “tied together” in ways we can’t fully comprehend but we know are God’s perfect design.

Keeping our hearts means keeping them pure. And, keeping our hearts can only be done by keeping our minds (pure).  Whatever we to feed our minds will fill and fuel our hearts.  Once again, Paul instructs us when he tells how to keep one’s mind:

“…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy; meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8)

Proverbs 23:7 warns that “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he.”  So our hearts can “think”?  That reveals the connection between our hearts and minds that God has hardwired us with. 

The Answer to Keeping One’s Heart and Mind

Once again Paul reveals and instructs us.  In Philippians 4:7, Paul writes about “the peace of God, which passes all understanding” and he says it “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:7) 

How do we keep our hearts and minds?  By receiving God’s peace! 

We already have peace with God, but the peace of God is different [Read: What is the Difference Between Peace WITH God and Peace OF God?].  The peace of is a received peace of rest and calm.

So how do we receive the peace of God?  I suggest it is accomplished by doing three things:

    1. Prayer:  Casting our eyes upon Jesus (Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…)
    2. Reading our Bible: Renewing our minds in His Word (Romans 12:2 do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…)Living 
    3. Receiving the power to live godly among all people by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Zec 4:6 Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, Says the LORD of hosts, Phil 3:10a that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…)

Receiving the Peace of God 

The peace of God is a gift from God who is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).  [Read: What is the Difference Between Peace WITH God and Peace OF God?]

God desires to generously give us His peace.   Therefore, feed your mind, fuel your heart, and always be cautious of what you see and hear. Both the eyes and the ears are entry-point gates that lead to the mind and heart (Read about the importance of protecting the eye and ear gates)

By keeping your heart and mind, and by guarding your “gates” (what you see and hear), you will receive the peace of the Lord, find rest in the riches of Christ, and be empowered to walk in the newness of life.

“Be content with such things as you have. For He, Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb 13:5)

Be “confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6)

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Additional Reading:
The Gift of SalvaTION: Justification & Imputation 
What you need to know about Sanctification & Glorification
What is the Difference Between Peace WITH God and Peace OF God?
Is the Monkey at Your Gate? The Importance of Protecting the Eye and Ear Gates

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

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