Littered Road, Littered Heart

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Our land is divided into a weird triangle shape with a good portion of road footage.  Sadly, because of the road footage, we unfortunately accumulate people’s careless litter on our property.  We try to keep it picked up but just like cleaning your home, it doesn’t STAY clean. We have to keep working at it.  Last night as I was somewhere between sleep and awake I felt God telling me that our hearts are similar to my beautiful land littered with the trash of this world.  We have to work at keeping the trash out and cleaning up what enters in.  The Bible says in Proverbs 4:23 “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”  I remember a lesson from my childhood in which our children’s pastor and my dad, who was like an unpaid second children’s pastor for our church, did an object lesson with a big poster of a face.  The mouth was cut out of the face on the poster board so they could “feed” the face.  They talked about how when we allow “bad” things in our hearts (filthy shows on TV, gossip, lies, etc.) we are feeding our hearts garbage.  They demonstrated “garbage in, garbage out” by having this disgusting, slimy, vomit type substance to come back out of the mouth of the poster when it was fed “bad” things.  To demonstrate the “good” coming from our lives when we feed our heart with God’s word they had yummy, sweet things like wrapped candy bars shoot out from the mouth into the audience for the kids to catch.  I’m very much a visual learner and this object lesson stuck with me throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  What an incredible visual of what happens when we allow the gunk from this world to infiltrate our hearts.  By allowing negative thoughts, lies, filth from TV and internet to make itself at home in our lives, that same garbage will come out of us in forms of fear, hate, ungratefulness, jealousy, etc.  If I work at keeping that stuff out of my heart and fill my heart with God’s word and promises, the things that will flow from me will be love, joy, peace, kindness, and hope.  If I don’t keep picking up the trash off my land it would begin to look like a dumping ground.  It would become filthy and nothing close to beautiful and peaceful like I desire.  I have to work at keeping it clean, beautiful, and pure from the garbage the world throws at it.  So I encourage you today to guard your heart.  Keep it clean, beautiful, and pure.  Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

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