DEVOTION – DAY 112

Proverbs 4:23 “Always Guard Our Heart”

 

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

 

Our heart determines our actions. If we allow our hearts to be influenced by worldly matters, our actions will become worldly. If we guard our hearts and allowed it to be focused on the Lord and His Word, our actions would become pleasing to God because we will behave more and more like the Lord.

This truth could be seen in the case of a well-known Pastor in US by the name of Carl Lenz. Pastor Carl was a very popular Pastor in New York and he headed the US Branch of Hillsong Church. Hillsong Church is a famous church in Australia and has branches in a few cities around the world. It is popular amongst the younger generation because its worship is like a rock concert. Pastor Carl is young and looked more like a rock star than a pastor. He would wear leather jackets and have tattoos and he attracted celebrities who come to his services. Amongst those who followed him were Justin Beiber, Kim Kardarshian and Beyonce. Pastor Carl was influenced by worldly views. In order to have Hillsong Church attract people and gain popularity, he preached a message that everyone was welcome, whether they were gay, transgender, divorced and so on. The problem with such an inclusive message was that people could keep their sinful habits and be welcomed in church and that worldly view is not what God says. God welcomes all sinners to His Church but God wants us to deal with ours sins which is not acceptable to Him because God is holy and wants nothing to do with sin.

But Pastor Carl had allowed his popularity and his success and world views to affect him personally. He met a Muslim woman and he was attracted to her. He secretly met her and began an affair with her until his own wife found out about his unfaithfulness and confronted him with it. Pastor Carl had to confess to his wife and also to his church. He had started to believe that he could hide and keep his sin of marital unfaithfulness and be accepted by God. He had failed in guarding his heart. In the end, Pastor Carl had to break off his relationship with the woman and resign from Hillsong Church and his position as Pastor. He has to face the consequences of his sin. That is the danger of failing to guard his heart.

Prov.4:20-27 warns of the importance to guard our hearts and tongue and keep it pure so that what we do will honor and please God. The world we live in is full of influences that are tempting and is often against what God teaches in His Word. So, we must guard our hearts always because our heart affects our actions.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for warning us to always guard our hearts. Please grant us wisdom and the will to guard our hearts against worldliness. In Jesus Christ precious name we pray. Amen.

 

Questions

  1. What worldly thinking do you need to guard your hearts from? Discuss.
  2. How can you guard your hearts and minds from worldly thinking? Discuss.
  3. The world tells us that size matters, the bigger the church, the more successful it is? Do you think that is right? Discuss.
  4. How can we guard our own church from worldly thinking? Discuss.