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.
I’ll never forget the look on the Crock Hunter’s face one time when he was unexpectedly bitten by a small, non poisonous snake he was holding. He was explaining that the creature would only strike if it perceived movement…and so, he held very still. That is, except for his lips, which moved as he explained himself…and then the little thing quickly bit him right on the mouth!
(Prov 4:24) "Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee."
Froward has to do with that which is bad. It speaks of uncontrollable, perverted, dirty, or foul language.
A. Your Mouth Will Have A Bearing On Your Heart.
Evil speech is a sure indicator of an evil heart. 1 Cor 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."
People can somewhat control their speech when they want to, when it is in their best interest to do so. A foul-mouthed man will control his language in the presence of a boss who will not allow foul talk. But James says “the tongue can no man tame.” Only God can totally fix this problem, and He does it by changing out heart!
Prov 6:2 "Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth."
Prov 6:12 "A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth."
There is a connection between our tongues and our hearts.
B. You Will Become Like What You Talk About.
(Mat 12:34-36) "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."