Today’s Bible Reading:

Genesis 48:1-49:33
Matthew 15:29-16:12
Psalm 20:1-9
Proverbs 4:20-27

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT): “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

It doesn’t take a Bible student very long to realize how deeply God cares about the state of our hearts. Over and over, the Scriptures clarify that God doesn’t merely focus on what we do. He is much more concerned with what is going on in our hearts when we do it.

Let’s get honest for a moment. Sometimes, our words and actions don’t match the state of our hearts. Nowhere does this occur more often than when we show up to church services. We put on our “Sunday best” and appear so holy. Yet, it is often the case that while we are doing that, our hearts harbor things like unforgiveness, or jealousy, or lust, or anger. In other words, we are hypocrites. We are presenting ourselves to be something that we are not.

One thing is for sure. We wouldn’t venture outside our house if a massive sign above our heads perpetually told of what was going on in our hearts. Yet, in the absence of such a sign, we leave our homes regularly and put on a good show for others while hiding a sinful heart. We don’t feel the gravity of this inconsistency.

This is why we desperately need to regularly expose ourselves to the healing truth of God’s Word. We need to remind ourselves that God sees things much differently than we do.

1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’”

I have intentionally chosen Proverbs 4:23 as our verse for the day. It compels us to guard our hearts. We should keep the impure out and only dwell on the good and holy. We should spend much time in God’s Word so that it begins to change what is going on in the privacy of our hearts.

Why? Because we tend to act like who we are in our hearts. Our words and actions will generally be consistent with what we are dwelling on in our innermost being. Sure, we can put on a hypocritical show and appear holy while harboring a sinful heart. Yet, it creates tension in our spirit. We know we aren’t being honest. So, while we continue to act hypocritical, it doesn’t give us the inner peace we long for.

Do you want to be more like Jesus? Do you want to experience God’s blessings? Do you want to experience inner peace? Then focus on getting your heart right. Your actions will follow.

Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash