Caretakers of the Heart

7/23/2007

"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." - Hebrews 3:12-13

I take care of my car. I get the oil changed every three-thousand miles and make sure the tires are in tip-top shape. I attack the carpets with a vacuum, the outside with soap and water, and the dashboard with some sort of cleaner that leaves a greasy film . When I hear strange, moaning noises coming from within, I take it to the mechanic. Every six months I receive a new shiny plastic card informing me that I am a privileged member of Automotive Association of America (AAA). I keep diligent watch over my car. Yet as I read this passage of scripture, I'm forced to ask myself, "Do I watch over my heart with the same diligence?"

In these verses we hear God Himself exhorting us to "take care" of our hearts. Why? Because dwelling within each of us is an enemy of our souls. Sin lurks within our hearts, always watching and waiting for an opportunity to ensnare us. Our battle with sin doesn't end at the moment of our conversion. The power of sin has been broken, yes, but the presence of sin remains entrenched in our hearts. And sin hates God, and it hates us. It is always seeking to tempt us and to lead us away from God. It doesn't sleep, doesn't rest, is always seeking to harden and deceive us. Sin doesn't take breaks.

Therefore we cannot rest in the battle of sin! We would be wise to heed the words of Proverbs 4:23, which says, " Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." The very springs of spiritual life flow within our hearts, and we are called to guard those springs passionately.

Christian, are you taking care to guard your heart? Are you a scholar of your heart, taking time to study it carefully that you might know its sinful tendencies? Sin is deceitful and it has a distinctly hardening effect. Are there any areas where you are not carefully guarding your heart? Television? Relationships with the opposite sex? Work?

Christ is supremely glorious and worthy of our deepest affections. Let us guard our hearts against anything that might steal those affections.

Posted by Stephen Altrogge at 9:02 AM  

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