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 (things we want). Everything we do flows from what we desire; everything flows from our heart. That is why the book of Proverbs says this about your heart:
Proverbs 4:23. Keep your heart…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 guard our heart from things that would tempt us away from 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.
That is why God sent Jesus to die for us. By dying on the cross for us Jesus offers us forgiveness for all our sins. But he also offers us a new heart. A heart that has all that it wants and needs. When you have everything you need from Jesus then you don’t need to sin anymore. When you are fully loved, then you don’t need to be selfish anymore. With your new heart you can love God and others. Now you can guard your heart by trusting how much God loves you, and how well he takes care of you. 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 by remembering how much God loves us.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Watch the “Let it Go” scene from the movie Frozen. Talk about how Queen Elsa isn’t guarding her heart from selfishness. How is she being selfish?
Jesus, 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. Amen.