Summary: Steve Irwin--Crocodile Hunter: If ever we expected him to have a great injury we would think it would be his leg, his hand, or maybe his head…but no, it was his heart. Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Template.
Guard Your Heart
We were all shocked to hear about the tragic death of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. We were stunned, not that he died, for he faced tremendous dangers on a daily basis…we were, rather, surprised by the way that he died. About the only way that a Stingray could kill you is to stab you directly in the heart with his barbed spine. Who would have thought that the great Crocodile Hunter would go in this fashion? If ever we expected him to have a great injury we would think it would be his leg, his hand, or maybe his head…but no, it was his heart!
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” The word “issues” is defined in Strong’s Concordance as - “boundaries” - “sources” - “outgoings”; We could term it as “Central Focus”. We use the phrase “the heart of the matter”, meaning the same.
Irwin was keenly in tune with nature, and knew his boundaries. He was very ‘centered’ and ‘focused.’
The word heart has reference to the center of an object. In the Hebrew it means the “kernel of the nut”. It has to do with one’s feelings, the will, and even the intellect. It is that object that does the decision making for the individual.
Today most of the health education is focused on keeping the heart healthy. Tomorrow my wife and I will have cholesterol checks. Why? More people die from a heart attack than any other killer. The same is true spiritually.
God always begins with the heart, then works outward. The heart comes first. This speaks of the inner life.
“Keep” is a personal responsibility. God would not give us an assignment that we cannot keep, or accomplish. All excuses are removed.
“Keep thy heart”--This is not optional. This is not speaking about a certain conviction. This is a direct command from God. Therefore, our action is to begin immediately “to keep thy heart”.
The heart is to be guarded at all cost. In armed warfare the vital part of the body is always protected. In our Christian realm that is always the heart. The reason we have so many casualties spiritually is because the heart is ignored.
David writes about a “fixed heart”. (Psa 112:7) "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD."
Notice also the term, “with all diligence.” The heart should receive the greatest effort. We protect our homes with security alarms, and dead bolts locks. We have security lights. Some have a weapon on guard, yet we ignore our heart. Too many Christians try to live their Christian life with no effort. The instructions “with all diligence” tell us it is a constant warfare and will require much spiritual energy.
If an athlete ignores his training and discipline and partakes in the wrong social life and diet, he will not be a very good athlete. If he lets his body follow the desires of the flesh, his athletic days are over.
The success of your Christian life depends upon following the principles that God has given us, and He gives those principles in Vs. 24-27.
I. KEEP YOUR MOUTH RIGHT Vs. 24.