How is your Heart today?

Picture courtesy of Louise Stanger

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186,000 people in New Zealand are suffering from Heart Disease. Usually thought by the general public to be something mainly men suffer from, in truth it is the #1 killer of women globally. A woman is 5x more likely to die of heart disease than breast cancer. Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from Heart disease.

The Bible tells us a lot about the heart. God has used some pretty shonky people over the years to represent Him. Moses was a murderer, King David was an adulterer and a murderer, Paul murdered Christians and yet God used them all. But God has consistently not used those who were half-hearted.

I incline my heart to perform your statutes for ever, to the end. – Psalm 119:112

What happened to your New Year’s Resolutions this year? Those good intentions don’t seem to last too long sometimes. That’s because we need to INCLINE OUR SPIRITUAL HEARTS to achieve lasting change.

You are in charge of your heart, you have to keep leading it, where you want it to go, and not just let it wander, because it can often lead you right into trouble. You need to assess your Spiritual Heart on a regular basis like getting a Spiritual Warrant of Fitness and most important of all, you need to guard your heart. The Living Bible puts it this way:

Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life. – Proverbs 4:23

So how do we guard our hearts?

We have to realize our spiritual heart speaks to how we manage and control our emotions. Are you controlling them or are they controlling you? Do you suffer from depression and despair, is that black dog visiting you? That’s an unhealthy spiritual heart. It is nothing to be ashamed of because the best of us, including some of God’s prophets have suffered it. But what can we do about it?

My psychologist told me, depression is Automatic Negative Thinking. We need to control our thought life more. To start off with, a complaining spirit is contagious, moaning about things all the time, meant the Hebrews trip through the wilderness with Moses, turned into an extended stay. But a positive spirit is also contagious. So smile even if you don’t feel like it and soon you might. If you have got someone who is always negative in your life, you might have to tell them to cut it out or avoid them. Go and see that annoyingly positive friend.

The biggest help of all is taking it back to the manufacturer, invite God’s Spirit to take control of your heart, He will help, after all Jesus came to heal the broken-hearted. See our New Testament Reading today at Compline and remember - Celebrate what is right, instead of worrying about what is going to be hard. Nothing is too hard for God to handle.

From notes on a Sermon by Carmel Malcolm

EMANCIPATION DAY, TONGA, 1862
QUEEN’S OFFICIAL BIRTHDAY