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A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. - Acts 16:14 NASB

The Lord is still in the heart opening business, and He still uses us to speak.

Lydia was a Jew, and worshiped God in her own way. Paul didn’t let her alone with the attitude that she was in a good place as a worshipper of God, even though He worshipped the same God.

He preached Christ to her.

As Lydia pursued God, He found her.

Paul spoke - Lord, lead me to those who are seeking you. Give me words to speak into someones life today.

The Lord opened her heart - Lord, open the hearts of those I cross paths with that they might respond to Your call.

benheadshot1That’s enough.

See you again soon.

Ben

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During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, - John 13:2

So how does the devil gain access to a man’s (or woman’s) heart?

The two big access points that come to my mind are eyes and ears – right?

Pretty straight forward.

I learned a song in Sunday School.

Be careful little ears what you hear.

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Ears

"If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." And He was saying to them, "Take care what you listen to. By your standard of measure it will be measured to you; and more will be given you besides. - Mark 4:23-24 NASB

This came as Jesus taught them parables.

Two parts to this instruction:

If you have the capacity to hear – by all means listen to what Jesus says.

At the same time, be careful what you do listen to.

You must guard your ear gates.

Jesus was a listener.

He only spoke what the Father gave Him to say.

"For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. "I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me." - John 12:49-50 NASB

Eyes

"If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. - Matthew 5:29 NASB

Well – that’s motivation to guard what I see!

Earlier, in the Beatitudes Jesus says:

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. - Matthew 5:8

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in “The Cost of Discipleship” says

When you have made your eye the instrument of impurity you cannot see God with it. [Tweet This]

What a brilliant link.

Paul’s advice on the matter:

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. - Philippians 4:8 NASB

So I say again today:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. - Proverbs 4:23 NIV

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.

Don’t forget to shine – that’s why you’re screwed in.

Ben

If you missed yesterday's post "All Access Pass to my Heart" - you might want to check it out.

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During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, - John 13:2

Who has access to your heart?

I’m not talking about God’s great blood pumping invention.

I’m talking about that part of you where discussions are made, feelings are felt, thoughts are thunk.

You know that place:
The place that tingles with anticipation.
The part of you that forgets to eat when you are in love.
The part that doubles up on the comfort food when your stress rises.
The part that pushes salty tears down your cheeks when you are moved.
The place where the big decisions are made – your personal board room.

Train Your HeartWho gets to write on your heart?

having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; - 2 Peter 2:14 NASB

Who decides on your heart's training routine? [Tweet this]

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. - Proverbs 4:23 NIV

Think on this – will you?

Ben NelsonShine today.

Ben

I am constantly putting things down on my way to do something, and struggling with their retrieval. It can be very frustrating, so I am trying to learn to think about where I place things. When I put my glasses down, I say out loud (so my ears are in on the project) “My glasses are on the radiator cover,” or “the TV remote is in the refrigerator.” You get the idea.

Jesus says:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NASB)

Today I want to highlight the tail end of this little passage. Where is your heart?

You control your affections. You are the one who places your heart. I know this runs hard against western thought. After all we are a people who fall in love, are driven crazy, and inherit tempers.

I get that there are emotions that can take us by surprise, and that our feelings can get ahead of us. But feelings ARE NOT REAL! Don’t tune out here. I am not saying they don’t exist, I am just saying they are known liars, or at the very least exaggerationists.

Have you ever said (or thought) “you make me so mad!”?

WRONG! Until you take responsibility for your heart, your life will always seem out of control. [Tweet This]

Peter actually tells us that a heart can be trained! Did you know that?

…having a heart trained in greed… (2 Peter 2:14 NASB)

This tells me we can train our hearts in compassion, in forgiveness, in love, in generosity. We could train our hearts in the fruit of the Spirit.

How you ask?

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9 NASB)

Train your heart – choose what you treasure wisely.

Thanks for coming by today.

Ben

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