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Guarded Hearts: A Father's Advice

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Christian living. This sermon is about why you should guard your heart, and how you do it.

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Intro:

Summer is quickly approaching! It’s the time for travel. Time for going places. It’s time for doing new things. Time for doing new things. You’ve been stuck in school and now it’s getting close to that time to just…GO! Exciting right?
Sometimes nav
Have you ever just gotten bored and went? You didn’t know where, you just started going. I had no plan, no direction, just the desire to move from where I was. I’ve made it to interesting new stores or I’d never go to otherwise.

Guard your heart

Guard your heart
Protect what’s coming in. That's a pretty big deal.
I have to make sure whenever I have something to drink that I keep it out of his reach. If not, he will grab it and take a swig. Not always a problem.
As you guys know, I have kids. They’re awesome. I love them. They’re amazing and they enrich my life. That being said, they get into everything! My wife can attest to that! They do. I have to make sure and keep an eye on things. Especially with Noah right now. He gets into everything! Especially drinks.
I have to make sure whenever I have something to drink that I keep it out of his reach. If not, he will grab it and take a swig. Not always a problem.
You don’t want to take in something that’s dirty. We do though. We enjoy it. We want to do it.
We do that all the time. Music, movies, conversation, jokes, Social Media.
I have to make sure whenever I have something to drink that I keep it out of his reach. If not, he will grab it and take a swig. Not always a problem.
When I was a kid I wanted to listen to the music my siblings did. I really liked rap. That’s especially what my brother was into. I remember recording on of his tapes. It was a group called Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. It was their very first album. I can still sing the chorus of their first single. The album was filled with really bad language, violent topics, sex. Not really good for anyone to listen to, especially a fourth grader. Consequently, I found myself sneaking into my bedroom with headphones to listen. OR outside in the back yard. I would hide the tape when I wasn’t using it. I knew it wasn’t good. I kept doing it anyway. Consequently, I had a pretty nasty mouth on me at that age because I heard that music and thought that made me tough and cool. I wasn’t so tough I’d use around my parents though. I would have been backhanded.
Anyone ever find themselves in that situation where you were letting stuff in that you knew you shouldn’t have been? Anyone willing to share?
What happened with you?
Why guard our hearts? It affects what comes out.
Preparing food. Break eggs. Careful to get no shell. Leave shell in you have crunch, grit and bad taste. Don’t want that. That’s what happens when you put something in that you’re not supposed to. The product isn’t good.
This same thing happens spiritually. The verse says what goes in, does in fact come out. Have you ever seen this in your life? What are some examples.
As you guys know, it’s I have kids. They’re awesome. I love them. They’re amazing and they enrich my life. That being said, they get into everything! My wife can attest to that! They do. I have to make sure and keep an eye on things. Especially with Noah right now. He gets into everything! Especially drinks.
I have to make sure whenever I have something to drink that I keep it out of his reach. If not, he will grab it and take a swig. Not always a problem.
When I was in the beginnings of my teaching career I came into contact with someone. They were a great teacher. Really nice person. They were also very cynical. We’d be at a football game and they’d only see all the bad the head director was doing. We’d be at rehearsal, they’d focus on all of the negative. I was listening to all of it. I buying into all of it. I was just taking it all in. Pretty soon, I started to be the same way. I was only seeing the negative aspects of what I was doing. Sadly to say, as long as I worked with that person I never got any better. It’s probably good that I only had a short stent with them.
We still do that kind of thing today don’t we? We have that thing we know is sin, yet we let it in. Then we find stuff we don’t like coming our of us. Sometimes it’s relationships and we find ourselves angry, or like me music makes you speak like a sailor or your first reaction anger, porn, bad friendships, laziness in not doing homework so we cheat, or pride so we end lying about our accomplishments, or just about anything. We let it fill us up, and then we wonder why we pour out this crap that gets us in trouble, or causes people not to like us.

How to Guard your Heart

Keep yourself in check
Keep your mouth in check. - “put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far away from you.”
Our words hold great power. James says the tongue is like a ships rudder. It’s small, but steers the whole ship!
Your words can greatly affect your life. Your words influence what people think of you. Your words influence how people talk to you. Your words shape how you will be treated. Word are a big deal.
Do any of you know someone who runs there mouth a lot and always seems to be getting into fights because of it? What do you think their future holds for them if they continue in that?
In a relationship, words can make or break you. If I told my wife she was unattractive and dumb, do you think she’d just accept it? We’d fight, she’d cry, I’d lose her, I would lose! Words hold power.
As a Christian, your words hold even more power. They don’t just influence what people think about you, they influence what people think about our church. They influence what people think about your parents. They influence what people think about God.
Make sure you speak truth. Make sure you don’t gossip. Make sure your speech is clean. Make sure you’re not perverted in speech, or angry, or something that is less than acceptable. Make it kind, make it helpful, make it loving, make it truth.
Keep your eyes straight ahead and think about where you’re going! “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. “
and your gaze be straight before you.
26  Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
This isn’t just saying you shouldn’t watch bad things on T.V. or on the internet. That is mostly certainly true. This means to keep focused on right.
As a christian we should be looking toward becoming more like Christ. How do I get there? What do I do. What steps are needed to make it? We should focus in on living the way a Christian should. We don’t get distracted. Live deliberately. Think about where your next step will take you. Will it change your christian walk? If it does will it help it or hurt it? If I take this job, will I be able to go to church?
When Morgan switched jobs from working with the school to working at the hospital, that was one of our questions. How will this affect you as a Christian. On one hand, Morgan be leaving a friend who was very strong in the faith. They helped each other grow. They encouraged each other. They were good friends, and they were good for the others faith. They still are by the way. At the hospital we knew she’d have the chance to share her faith with more people. She’d have the opportunity to be an example. That was also kind of scary. She took the job and the hospital, and as God would have it, He moved in another strong Christian woman that Morgan, and the other woman, can draw on for strength and encouragement.
Morgan’s eye was focused on the living and doing the right thing. The summers off looked nice. The good friend was a draw. She was able to look ahead and see the right path. Now, there were also other factors, but that was definitely discussed at length.
When you’re moving forward in life you have to look where you’re going and keep your eyes on what God wants you to keep looking at!

Conclusion:

If we’re not careful with the things we let speak to us in our lives. If were not careful of the voices we let in we’ll fall. We have to be careful what we let into our hearts. We have to guard them. Once something gets in, it’s difficult to get out! Keep your eyes on the right path, pursue right, and keep out the wrong. Don’t be distracted by what’s around us.
verse 27 says, “Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”
There have been times where I was driving in scenic country. New areas I’ve never been to before. There is so much to look at. There are these big brown and green things everywhere. I think people call them trees. There’s water that on the ground that isn’t in a swimming pool. Stuff is amazing!
Imagine this! As you’re driving you find yourself driving and looking at the pretty things around you. As you keep looking over to the right, you don’t realize it, but your drifting. You’re thinking about taking a boat out and doing some fishing. Maybe a nice tent, a campfire, some s’mores. Sounds amazing! Coming from the other direction is a truck. He’s carrying a load of supplies to the town you just left.
While thinking about all the fun you could be having, you drifted into the trucks lane. You didn’t realize it until you heard the honking and the squeal of the breaks. You hit your breaks and try to swerve out of the way, but it’s too late. You just had a head on collision with a semi truck. You’re severely injured. You spend weeks in the hospital, more weeks in rehab. Lots of weeks out of work. You lose your job, your health, almost everything. Why? Because you didn’t keep your eyes on the right thing.
That happens to us in life. We get distracted by the things of the world and let the wrong stuff in. We make bad decisions and veer off God’s path. Things start to unravel. We wonder why? Because we made a lot of funky choices.
So, Guard your hearts! Do that by watching your actions and keeping your eyes on God and the path he has laid out for you. If you don’t know what that is, you should ask Him to show you. He will!
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