“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23, Amplified Bible). Our hearts are absolutely amazing! The average heart pumps roughly 2,000 gallons of blood through the body daily to supply our bodies with oxygen and nutrients and it even carries away waste. When the heart isn’t working properly the body does not get the oxygen or nourishment that it needs to thrive and operate properly and eventually it can lead to death. It’s amazing that all this happens from something the size of your fist, but those are only the physical things that the heart does.
The heart also has an emotional and spiritual side and it operates much like the physical side. Most people have had their heart broken at some point in time or another and can testify to the fact that the heart holds emotions. Most of us have also been angry at people and hurt by others as well and our hearts feel hardened because of this. On the flip side when we feel great joy our hearts can feel as though they are fluttering or floating. Our hearts are extremely complex and they can guide our actions depending on how we feel and thus we must guard them with diligence to keep them healthy. We must keep out the things that will cause them harm while allowing them to be open to love people and care for others just as Christ loved the church.
Our actions are determined by the motives in our heart and when our hearts are bad our actions are either bad or they are not all that they could be if our heart has been nurtured. The way we treat others is determined by our motives and thus we must watch over our heart with all diligence if we want to honor God in our actions toward him and others.
2 Corinthians 8:10-15, New Living Translation
10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
Giving up our time, money, and possessions is something that is extremely difficult to do because in our hearts our love for our own safety and comfort is so great and our trust in others is so small that we can hesitate in our giving, even if we know God is urging us to give in a certain way. Our giving reflects what is going on in our heart and when we are nurturing our hearts and loving God properly we will love others properly. No one wants to be without and often times because we fear we will be without we fail to give in order to help others as God is leading us to do, but God has told us that when we give eagerly out of what we have rather than out of what we don’t have then we will always have enough. This is completely contrary to what the world tells us to do. We are told that we need to save, save, save, or spend, spend, spend on ourselves depending upon what we are listening to, but God tells us to give and to give cheerfully.
God has blessed me and my family greatly since we started giving freely to Him. We have never been without and in fact we have always had plenty. There are times we have not felt we were supposed to give a certain amount and were fearful because it was more than we desired to let go of, but God has always been faithful and we have always had plenty. Our giving boils down to our relationship with God and whether or not we trust what he tells us. If we trust ourselves over God then we will never have enough, but when we put our trust in the Lord we will always have what we need.
May God bless you as you faithfully and lovingly follow Him. May He provide for your needs as you give freely as He has told you to give. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’