Guard Your Heart
For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” (John 12:39-40 NIV)
The words Jesus quotes were spoken many centuries earlier by both Moses and Isaiah. Jesus gives a fuller explanation of them in Matthew 13 where he explains to his disciples that they are able to hear and receive what he is teaching because their hearts are open. What we are seeing is the consequence of a hard heart. The inability to receive and live in the truth. The words of life Jesus is speaking are not having any effect on the people because of the hardness of their hearts. They are blinded to the truth of the gospel.
As we open our heart we are able to receive truth. That truth will change us and lead us into the fullness of life promised by Jesus, it will cause streams of living water to rise up within us and flow out to a hurting and broken world.
In opening our heart we need to recognise how sensitive it is. It is easily wounded and therefore we must take steps to protect or guard it. Solomon highlights this for us - “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23). A guarded heart is very different to a closed heart. I see a closed heart as one that keeps love out and the stuff of life in. A guarded heart is one that keeps the love in and the rubbish out! Spending time with our Heavenly Father, the lover of our soul, is the best way to foster a guarded heart. It will enable us to live from our heart and in doing so we discover the joy of walking in relationship with him.
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