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Guard Your Heart

Better health continues to be the number one resolution at this time each year. It seems that most everyone can find one area in their overall health that can be improved. And as we move into a new year, we look for ways to better ourselves, especially when it comes to our health.

I recently did some research on my heart, which is the most important organ we have been given to sustain this live we live. And keeping it healthy is vital. I read some interesting facts about the heart.  Did you know:

  • Your heart beats 100,000 times per day

  • In an average 70 year life span, your heart will beat 2.5 million times

  • It will pump five quarts of blood through your body over the next minute, and 2000 gallons in just one day

  • Your heart is the size of both of your hands clasped together

  • Your heart pumps blood through 60,000 miles of vessels in your body.  Yes, that is 60,000 MILES – long enough to stretch around the world twice!

Amazing! And those facts simply scratch the surface of the astounding facts that characterize this most important, life-sustaining organ we possess. Daily, without much thought, our heart beats continuously, doing what God designed it to do – sustain life.

Most of us living today are well-versed in what’s required to keep our heart strong, even if we fail at times to do it. We know what foods to eat, what exercises to do, and how much rest we need. We take great effort in keeping that muscle strong. But most of the time we don’t give a second thought to our other heart, the ‘seat of our soul,’ as Aristotle described it. This second heart is our spiritual heart, the center of who we are. Solomon spoke of this in Proverbs 4. In his great, God-given wisdom, he wrote these words:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Each day we are faced with choices that will either give life, or take it. Our choices will either produce a positive, joy-filled, peaceful life, or those choices will produce bitterness, negativity, or a soured and stained lens by which we view the world. We are surrounded by a wealth of things that, if left unchecked, can sneak in and rob the ‘seat of our soul’ of its life-giving qualities. Guarding our heart is difficult work.

Exercise will strengthen our physical heart, and is a healthy practice to apply to our weekly routine. But what practices do we weave into our lives that will strengthen our spiritual heart? Reading the rest of Solomon’s advice in Proverbs 4, we see some simple application to add to our lives. He says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your eyes directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

In my simple view, I believe that Solomon is saying to stay focused. Don’t let your guard down. Be aware of the things around you that desire to steal your heart. Be intentional with the choices you make. Don’t give in. Because when you do, you are robbed of the life God designed you to have, and the life you are to give to those around you.

Starting today, seek to guard your heart, above all else. Make a resolution not only to strengthen your physical heart, but to make the health of your spiritual heart a priority as well. Be intentional about making the choices that will produce light to your soul, providing the abundant life of Christ in you, and spreading life those who are closest to you.

“Jesus said, ‘The thief comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy.  But I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.’”

- John 10:10

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About the Author

Bruce has served in full-time ministry for over 25 years and has served as chaplain at the YMCA at Pabst Farms since August, 2006. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, he served as Associate Pastor of Missions and Evangelism at Alpha Baptist Church in Morristown, Tennessee as well as Minister of Activities and Recreation. .. Read More »

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