How’s Your Heart? - Encouragement for Today - July 12, 2016

Boyd Bailey

July 12, 2016

How’s Your Heart?
BOYD BAILEY

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

“How’s your heart?” This is the question he asked me almost every time we talked, which was often. But I will not hear these words from him anymore in this life.

Recently after a 2-1/2 year battle with cancer, Scott — my friend and coworker — went to be with Jesus. I miss him, and selfishly, I need to hear his loving question: “Boyd, how is your heart?”

To me, Scott was a spiritual doctor who cared about my heart’s condition. He knew the quality of my life depended on the health of my heart. He reminded me of my need for the Great Physician.

Today’s key verse says everything flows from your heart — your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your anxieties, your anger, your forgiveness, your humility, your peace, your greed, your generosity, and your love. Yes, everything that makes you who you are is in your heart. So above all else, your heart needs a guard — and God is your guard.

When the Holy Spirit fills your heart by faith, He flushes out sin and leaves enough room for the Fruit of the Spirit. Only a heart guarded by God can bear up under the influence of ungodliness. A heart submitted to Christ in prayer is protected by Christ with peace.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NIV).

Unhealthy heart conditions include:

  • Faintheartedness
  • Loss of heart
  • A broken heart
  • A foolish heart
  • A hard heart

The remedy for these spiritual ailments is a whole heart for Jesus.

You may feel fainthearted today — weary in your faith and work. If so, take time to slow down, rest and allow the Holy Spirit to restore your heart to wholeness.

A loss of heart is a reflection of hope deferred, which creates a sickly soul condition. But hope in Christ gives your heart peace and reassurance.

Perhaps your heart is broken by past hurt or present rejection. Seek your heavenly Father to be forgiven and to forgive.

Be on guard! A foolish heart forgets God or even stops believing God. Excessive worry can act like a form of atheism. When we are paralyzed by fear and anxiety, we sometimes behave as if God does not exist. So, we must guard against a foolish heart by gaining a heart of wisdom.

Most disturbing is a hard heart — someone jaded by injustice and/or the lack of integrity in others. Fortunately, by faith in Jesus a hard heart can be replaced by a heart born from above. A heart from the Lord gives us a heart for the Lord.

So, in honor of Scott, let me ask you, friend, “How is your heart?”

Heavenly Father, I ask that You would give me Your heart of love, grace and forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Luke 6:45, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
For daily guidance and words of wisdom in an encouraging and easy-to-read format, don’t miss Boyd Bailey’s book Two Minutes in the Bible Through Proverbs: a 90-Day Devotional. Visit Wisdom Hunters for more resources to inspire and strengthen your daily walk with God.

Enter to WIN a copy of Two Minutes in the Bible through Proverbs by Boyd Bailey. In celebration of this book, Boyd's publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one, by Monday, July 18.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Which spiritual ailment in your heart needs you to apply God’s remedies?

Read and meditate on these Scriptures for more encouragement:

© 2016 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House for their sponsorship of today's devotion.

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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