One key to experiencing all Jesus has for our lives is taking care of our hearts. When we don't we can miss God's best for our lives because our hearts have become hard.
Each night this week I’ve been reading to one of our daughters from Ephesians. It’s a great book on how to walk out your life with Jesus and we’ve been discussing Ephesians 4:18 and how important the condition of our hearts is.
Ephesians is pretty to the point and cautions us about our heart condition. It says people grow distant from God because, “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of hearts” (Ephesians 4:18)
If we don’t keep our hearts soft, free from unforgiveness, pride, hurts, and offense, instead of being full of light they can become darkened, causing us to wander far from the life of God, primarily because we close our minds and harden our hearts against him.
Our hearts are what make us feel and think, and therefore dictate what we do. But if we allow our hearts to become hard, the result is eventually thinking and acting as though God does not exist or that who He is and what He says does not matter.
Jesus confronted the consequences of hardened hearts when he was admonished by religious people for healing a man with a shriveled-up hand. “He, (Jesus) looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored." (Mark 3:50
Jesus performed a miracle right in front of everyone, yet those with hard hearts in the crowd rejected his works and even resented the wonderful things he was doing to help and bless others.
If you don’t want to miss what Jesus is doing right in front of you and his best life then I encourage you to learn from the religious leader's mistakes and don’t allow yourself to become hard-hearted.
1. Look at your input - who or what you are listening to and spending time with, as what you surround yourselves with is who and what you will become.
"He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm." (Proverbs 13:20)
Our hearts are like sponges and will soak up whatever we are around the most.
The Bible says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (Proverbs 4:23)
2. Forgive quickly – keep short, let go of grudges, and try not to allow the sun to go down on your anger.
Forgiveness is more about you being free than the person you are forgiving. Holding unforgiveness and resentment hurts us the most. (Colossians 3:13)
Jesus knows you and understands that sometimes we can get a little smashed around in the heart department. He says he will heal your brokenness and “give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19)
“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].” (Psalm 147:3 AMP)
Today I encourage you to do a quick check-up on your heart condition. An easy way is to listen to what you are saying because out of our mouths, the heart speaks. (Matthew 12:34)
It's your choice, but I encourage you to actively seek to allow Jesus to heal you and to help soften your heart. He promises He will strengthen you daily and help you be the person you were always created to be, enlightened in your understanding, and being fulfilled in who you are and what you do.
You can also listen to my brand new podcast Deeper. Check out this week's episode- "Don't Let Your Heart Be Troubled" live now
Prayer: Lord, please help me to choose wisely the things I "soak up" into my life and to take care of my heart's condition so that it will be soft towards you and others. Thank you that out of my life and heart flows good things. In Jesus' Name Amen.