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  • Writer's pictureGracie Berney

Finishing Strong (Part III)

Above everything else, guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.

Prov 4:23 [ISV]

Image Credit: Wix


Welcome to another post! The past week has been very hectic and based on the number of views from last Sunday's post, I'm assuming that a lot of you are busy as well.


In any case, I would like to encourage you to keep been faithful. Please feel free to share these posts to anyone that might find it helpful. Thanks again :)


Today's post is going to be a little bit shorter than the last few weeks. I've been praying and thinking about what to write about; and to be honest with you, I felt pulled in several different directions.


I was reading this morning from the book of Judges and my attention was drawn to Samson's end, which is why, even though the title for this series is finishing strong, the theme for today's post is: Guarding your heart.


One of the very first verses I learned and memorized as a young child growing up is from Proverbs 4:23 which states: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life."


Even though every part of the human body is important; the heart is a vital organ for survival. Research indicates that it pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood every single day and that it can still beat even when disconnected from the body. Unlike some of the other organs in our body like our skin, the heart is tucked away between the lungs and behind the sternum which provides external protection from damage.


The point I'm trying to make is that the Lord took a lot of time to protect it and He definitely did not underestimate its importance physically or spiritually.


As the year is slowly [or quickly] coming to a close, and you strive to finish strong, how is your heart? Is it in the right place to finish strong? Is it right with God?


Here recently, I have been finding myself examining a lot of the reasons I do certain things. As a people pleaser, I often find myself saying yes to things I probably shouldn't, but because of fear of hurting others, I usually go along.


However, lately, the Lord has been dealing with me in this area. I feel as we strive to finish strong, this is an area I need to work on. And frankly, I feel like a lot more people might need to work on as well.


Back to the story of Samson's end which I mentioned earlier on; it is evident that somewhere along the way Samson forgot to guard his heart and it was displayed in some of the choices he made.


In Judges chapter 14, the Bible tells us that Samson went to Timnath and saw one of the ladies of the Philistines. When he came back home, he asked his parents to get him that lady as his wife. The backstory to this is that the lady was a Philistine. Understand that the Philistines were enemies of the people of God. So, the fact that he wanted to marry someone from the enemy's side speaks volume.


Two chapters later, he is noted as sleeping with a harlot; and then in that same chapter [Chapter 16], he marries Delilah who evidently brought his demise.


Let's back up, while it is true that Samson was attracted to a lot of the traps by the enemy, personally, I believe his main problem was his lack of guard over his heart.


Did you know that your choices, beliefs, motivation, inspiration , determination, mindset... all come from your heart?


A lot of times, you hear people say, " I said that, but I didn't mean it." The truth is, what we say, or how we live reflects what is in our heart. Luke 6:45 states: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." 


So as we strive to finish the year strong; I implore you to watch out for temptations and traps that might be assigned against your heart. Guard the gate to your heart and let your outward reflect the beauty of Christ's work in your heart.


Conclusion

I understand that none of us are perfect. In fact, I'm no stranger to mistakes, misspeaking or desiring things that were for my own heart's pleasure and not for God. But I am learning that this organ is too precious to waste on things that have no eternal gain.


So today, my encouragement for this week is this: Take some time to search your heart. What are some things that you have let in, that needs removal?


Quick Prayer

Dear Lord, Thank you for the caution about guarding my heart. I'm sorry for the times I haven't guarded it like I should. I'm sorry for the things I have let in that shouldn't have come in. Please purify, sanctify and protect my heart from now on. I constantly and permanently place it in your care so that I can finish this year strong and move into the new year strong as well. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Stay Blessed

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