Bible Reference: Proverbs 4:20-22
Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
Bible Text: ^20 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. 21 Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, 22 for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. 23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
OBSERVATION: From deep within our heart, words spew from our mouths, and actions that may either make us proud, or ashamed, when we stand before the Master of this universe. God knew this would happen, so in His Word He warned us to be careful of what we allow into our lives. With so much emphasis on the things of this world bombarding us every day, we must stop and analyze how we are doing in this critical aspect of our lives.
APPLICATION: There are sayings that we hear from time to time that are aligned with this Scripture today: ‘from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks’; ‘garbage in, garbage out’; ‘actions speak louder than words’; etc. Each of these sayings indicate that you could expect no better from a person than what is bottled up inside of their heart. So from where is the heart ‘fed’? Allow me to suggest that hanging around a bar will feed your mind, soul and heart with things that the frequent attenders say; the way they act; and the priorities they display while in your presence. Spending 8+ hours per day around your coworkers, will influence your life with certain attributes of theirs, and you will find yourself with some of their words and/or behavior. Spending many hours around God’s people at church or church events, will do the same as already shared. Studying God’s Word and allowing it to saturate your mind and your heart, will draw you closer to God, and will energize you to follow His instructions and share His goodness that becomes more and more obvious as you learn more about Him. Friends, it is very obvious that we are influenced by those we spend time with, or have a desire to imitate. So I believe the key takeaway in this devotional today, is that we evaluate what our priorities are. That we stop making excuses and strive for the image of God to be displayed through us. Never fool yourself into telling someone the lie that you just didn’t have time for something that really should take a precedence in your day. Try replacing the words ‘I didn’t have time’ with ‘it just wasn’t a priority for me’. Consider time with the Lord – imagine telling God at the end of the day that you are very sorry, but spending time in His Word, and in prayer to Him, just was not a priority. Friends, we choose what we will do. You may have chosen to sleep in, or go to the gym, or have breakfast with the guys during the time that you had set aside for a devotional time with God. However, if it was really a priority in your life, imagine how you would have moved things around to accommodate. So let me encourage you today to prioritize what goes into your heart. Fill it with the goodness of the Lord, and the awesome promise of His return. Can you imagine what will come out of you in words and actions? Can you imagine how God will be glorified? It’s all up to you my friend!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, may our hearts be so filled with You and Your goodness, that our whole outlook on life will change, and others who cross our paths will be infected by Your love being extended through us. Oh that You might be lifted up because of all that You will accomplish through us today, for this is my humble prayer and sincere plea, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. AMEN!