Tuesday, August 15, 2006

"Looters of Our Lives"

“Looters of Our Lives”

We guard what we value.
Walk through a parking lot. To the left, an old, “seen way better days” pick up truck, more body putty than paint. Windows open, keys in the ignition, maybe even running. The owner as much as put a sign on it, “Take me, take me, PLEASE, somebody take me!” To the right, a late model Mercedes Benz, Corvette, Jaguar and Cadillac. BREATHE within three feet of them and an irritating, squawking horn erupts to make you the horrified object of passerby’s laughter and gawks. What’s the dif? We guard what we value.
Tell me what you lock, protect, guard, insure, defend, and I’ll tell you what you value.
Why is it, then, that we don’t guard our hearts?

Military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan wear body armor and helmets. Why? To guard their most vital organs, to protect their lives as much as possible. Why? We guard what we value.
Why is it then that we do not guard our hearts?

Why? Is it that we don’t value our hearts? Must be, because we do not guard them?
Is it possible we don’t know what we have?
Is it possible we allow them to be trampled like yesterday’s newspaper, because we do not realize they are the very key to our lives? Listen to the words of the wisest man who ever lived.

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)

“Above all else,” = more than any other possession, as our most valuable asset in all the world, as that which we would defend to the death, protect with every ounce of strength. “Above all else” said Solomon. Yet we don’t… because we do not realize it is the source of all that matters.

Instead …
we give our hearts, or in the very least, open our hearts to so many things that steal, plunder, ravage – we allow our hearts to be turned into playgrounds for activities we would never admit except under duress.
we open the door of our hearts just enough to allow them to be polluted, thinking it is still clean and end up with toxic hearts, not realizing a little poison destroys.
we sometimes resist the intruders of our hearts at first, but allow them to keep their foot in the door until they talk their way into our hearts.
we sometimes allow the neighbors to convince us to open the door of our hearts. Even when we can see the devastation the intruders have caused in others’ lives when they cannot.
we sometimes believe the pleasant sounding promises of the intruders to fool us, even when we the angels of God are shouting that they are all lies.

How often do we wade through the aftermath of the raiders of our hearts, view the havoc wreaked, the mess made, the filth flowing to feel the regret of allowing such to tramp on our hearts, vowing “Never again!” Only to foolishly unlock the door of our hearts once again?

Is the problem that we do not realize the treasure we possess as owners of our hearts?
Is the problem we do not value the Presence of Christ more than the marauders? Do we forget that to allow the marauders into our hearts is to expel Christ? Only one can occupy the heart. When the intruders walk in the front door, look to the back door. You will see the sad face of Christ, a tear slipping down his cheek as He shakes His head and walks out.

There is another option. If, at the appearance of the intruders, we call to Christ, He will join us at the front door of our hearts. At the nod of our heads, He will close the door, lock it and stand guard over it. And no intruder, marauder, looter, barbarian can come through with Him there. Appealing, but He only aids if we ask.

So, how’s your heart? Guarded or given to pollution? Not sure? There’s a sure fire way to know. Hear Jesus’ words.

Mat 15:18-20 (NIV) "But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'""

So how’s your heart. No time like right now for some house cleaning.

Boldly, Herb

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