Monday, May 5, 2008

With ALL Diligence

From our family reading last night:

Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.

Put away from you a deceitful mouth
And put devious speech far from you.

Let your eyes look directly ahead
And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you.

Watch the path of your feet
And all your ways will be established.

Do not turn to the right nor to the left;
Turn your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:23-27

Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. All of Scripture is powerful, but last night this verse brought on a good conversation about keeping your heart with "ALL DILIGENCE".

Dil"i*gence\, n.

1. The quality of being diligent; carefulness; careful attention; -- the opposite of negligence.

2. Interested and persevering application; devoted and painstaking effort to accomplish what is undertaken; assiduity in service.

-Webster's Revised Dictionary

This Proverb is for all of us, especially for the young. As our children become wiser and gain more independence, they begin to question, "Did God really say...?" Especially those brought up in Christian homes, they will wonder and question, and that is good. We want them to be able to THINK on their own. They need to sometimes wrestle with the Holy Spirit so that their convictions are THEIR convictions.

As our oldest child is wrestling with the Holy Spirit, and we watch our two youngest changing into women before our very eyes, I just want to say to them CONSTANTLY, "Watch over your heart with all diligence!!!!!!!!" There is so much that pulls at them. So much that says "Come over here, I'll make you happy, I'll make you beautiful, I'll make you popular, I'll make you important, etc..."

In the beginning of this chapter (Proverbs 4) it says:

My children, listen to me.
Listen to your father's instruction.

Pay attention and grow wise, for I am giving you good guidance.
Don't turn away from my teaching.

For I, too, was once my father's son,
tenderly loved by my mother as an only child.

My father told me, "Take my words to heart.
Follow my instructions and you will live.

Learn to be wise, and develop good judgment.
Don't forget or turn away from my words.

The sad truth is they don't always listen to their parent's instruction, just as we don't always obey our Heavenly Father, and THAT is when you have to remember that God is faithful to finish what He has begun in them (and us).

The only way to keep your heart with all diligence is to WORK at it, painstakingly devote yourself to the Lord, die to yourself and live for Him. Then and only then will you have true beauty, true peace, true importance in this world. Watching over your heart doesn't just happen, you have to work at it!

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