Hi sweet friends! I hope that if you are Joining in on learning to Love the Lord with more of our HEART this week that He is speaking to you and lovingly correcting you in the deepest of ways. I pray that today we learn to guard our hearts like we would a garden for Him.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23
Do you know what my least favorite chore growing up was? PULLING WEEDS! I seriously despised my parents for making me pull weeds in flower beds that I could care less about!
I remember wondering how in the world they grew so fast! Some were so tall and so hard to yank up out of the dirt. The worst part was when I would use so much effort pulling on one and it would break off above the roots.
I knew then it would just be there again to deal with the next week.
What I didn’t know, was that this weekly weed pulling would be used by God to give me this analogy for
Guarding Your Garden:
Pulling lies up by the ROOT in your heart!
(God seriously wastes nothing.)
On this journey to LOVE the LORD with ALL our HEART this week, we stop and learn how to GUARD it for Him today. The verse today teaches us to “guard” our heart. The word guard here means “to protect, maintain, obey.” We are going to be focusing in on the word “maintain,” thinking of the heart as a garden, as it is referenced as such many places in the Word.
Here’s how this looks in my life
The same stinking weed pops up weekly or more (usually out of my mouth) and I see it is UGLY -defintley not a beautiful flower intentionally planted to glorify the Lord.
Usually I just break it off at the ground level, ask the Lord for forgiveness and apologize to the person I’ve wronged.
BUT GUESS WHAT? I END UP DOING THE SAME tHING AGAIN! (yelling at your kids anybody?)
It’s because I’m not taking this to the ROOT with the LORD.
Here’s an example:
I get frustrated with the kids for not doing their chores. I yell.
I ask the Lord to forgive me, ask the kids to forgive me.
But then tomorrow, I do it again.
Why? I have not chased this ugly weed down to the source – the root:
The “Way down WHY.”
We have to dig deeper and follow the stem of the weed all the way down to find the WHY for our behavior and ask the Lord to meet us there to teach us and change us, so we can love Him with ALL of our HEART, even the way down deep.
Jesus taught this to the religious people in his time.
15 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.[c] And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition.7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
8 ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 Their worship is a farce,
for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’[d]”
10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand.11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”
13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted,14 so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”
16 “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked.17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”
On the surface level, the pharisees looked great. They were washing their hands and following all the religious traditions. But they were more concerned with behavior than heart.
Love the Lord your God with ALL of you HEART.
The real down deep where either weeds from sin or fruitful flowers from His Word originate.
How do we GUARD THIS GARDEN? How do we maintain this HEART from where our life flows?
Ask the Lord to help you get down to the
Out by the root
Over analyze – find the lie
Truth planted instead
Recognize weeds – This is usually pretty easy. What is unlovely in your life? Let’s start there. What is not bearing life and fruit, but instead thorns and pain? (Yelling at the kids).
Out by the root – Ask the Lord to show you why you are behaving this way on the outside. What is the belief system this behavior is rooted in? Where is it stemming from? (I want the chores to get done quickly!)
Over analyze to find the lie – Now find the lie contrary to the word of God. Why is this not a good thing rooted in truth? (Because training my kids up in the Lord is the most important, over the swiftness of the chores).
Truth planted instead: Search His Word for truth to plant in your heart instead. (“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6). Believe that the Lord is doing a good work there through that WORD He has given you to replace the lie, which will grow life and beauty instead of sin and death.
A garden (Heart) grown from His WORD will be full of Him and full of life!
Guard your garden from the ROOT friends, let’s really love the LORD from the depths!
New Here? See what’s going on below.
What if you could ask Jesus what the most important thing is?
Wouldn’t it simplify your life? Wouldn’t it help you narrow your focus, time and energy?
Wouldn’t it help you truly live?
I’ve got good news, sisters! He has answered this question already in His Word, and His answer is just as much for us today as it was for those who asked it when he walked the earth.
Here’s the Story:
“One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
Love the Lord with ALL of your HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH
But how? What does that mean in real life?
This is a question I’ve been asking myself for years, so I sat down searched His Word for direction, put it into a devotional format, and I want to journey through it with you!
Tell me about the Study!
It’s a four week study
Week 1: Heart
Week 2: Soul
Week 4: Strength
Each week has 5 days of study that you need just 15 minutes to complete
Each day of the study consists of two pages. The first page starts with a short prayer, a short passage of scripture to read, and reflective questions. The second page is a beautiful display of His Word, with a sequence of receiving His Word in love, Giving God love in return through applying His Word to our lives, and making a plan to love others, helping us to be intentional about fulfilling the greatest commandment!
I’ll be blogging through the study right here everyday, so don’t forget to follow the blog to receive emails on weekdays.
I will also be posting one video a week on Sundays to get you motivated and keep you ready to start the next week with some insight and encouragement to help you along the way!!!
Can’t buy the study? No worries! I’ll be posting a free scripture writing plan that correlates to the material and posting it here on Monday.
We want you here to engage in God’s Word in a personal way and know Jesus more intimately!
Other ways to connect:
Join the Facebook group where I post daily questions on the study: https://www.facebook.com/groups/190148844667205/?ref=bookmarks
Facebook: Like Refocused Bible Study Page,
Instagram: Follow @RefocusedBibleStudy
The downloadable, printable ebook is below! Thank you for your support of this ministry to encourage and equip women to engage in God’s Word in a personal way, and know Him more intimately!
After you purchase, click “Return to Merchant” and you will be taken to the page for the download! So excited to journey through loving Him more! ❤️🎉
All of Me: Loving God with ALL your Heart, Soul, Mind & Strength I hope you will join us as we journey through the greatest commandment!