Have you ever wanted something that you knew was bad for you?
In your body, your heart is the blood pumping muscle that is in your chest. Can you feel your heart beating? Your heart is very important. If your heart stops working correctly, you can become very sick or even die.
In the Bible the word “heart” is used to mean that part of you that feels, and makes choices, and has desires. Do you know what desires are? Your desires are the things that you really want. And everything we do flows from what we desire; everything flows from our heart. That is why the Bible tells us to love God with all our heart. And that is why the book of Proverbs says this about your heart:
Proverbs 4:23. Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Keep your heart.
The word “keep” means to protect, or guard.
God want us to know that if we aren’t careful, if we aren’t wise, then our heart will start to want very bad things. Very selfish things. And so we have to constantly protect our heart from things that would tempt us away from God.
Because of sin, our hearts are easily tempted to love ourselves and our things more than we love God. We trust in what we can do more than we trust in God. What is your heart tempted to love more than God? When is your heart tempted to stop trusting God? Do you whine when you don’t get your way? Do you get angry when you lose a game? Do you have a hard time sharing? Are you ever selfish? If the answer is yes, then it means you didn’t guard your heart.
But how do we guard our hearts? How do we keep ourselves from being selfish, or angry, or mean, or pouty?
The Bible’s answer is that we can’t. No one can keep themselves from sinning. No one can keep their heart from wanting bad things. No single person can protect their heart on their own.
And that is why God sent Jesus to earth to die for us. By dying on the cross for us Jesus offers us forgiveness for all our sins, even the sins that are in our hearts. But Jesus does much, much more than just forgive us. He also gives us a brand NEW HEART! A hear that has all the love it needs.
And when you have a heart that has all that it wants and needs, then you don’t have to want sin anymore. When you have a heart that is fully loved, then you don’t need to be selfish anymore. Now with your new heart you can love others, and you can love God. Now you can guard your heart by remembering how much God loves you, and how well he takes care of you. And now you can let God’s love be the “spring of life” that flow out of you.
Because of Jesus we have a new heart that loves God and others.
With Jesus we can guard our hearts from temptation by remembering how much God loves us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch the “Let it Go” scene from Frozen. Talk about how Queen Elsa isn’t guarding her heart from selfishness. How is she being selfish?
Thank you for giving me a new heart that loves you the most. Help me to be a spring of kindness and helpfulness as I love others like you do.
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