❝ Therefore I am going
to persuade her,
lead her to the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her vineyards back to her
and make the Valley of Trouble
into a gateway of hope.
There she will respond as she did
in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came out
of the land of Egypt.
— Hosea 2:14-15
❝ All things as they move toward God are beautiful, and they are ugly as they move away from Him.
— A.W. Tozer (via peterdwebb)
❝ Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
— John 15:13
❝ In the midst of a troubled day or night, your light can still shine because Jesus never changes.
— (via sonofhislove)
❝ Grace isn’t leniency when we’ve sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon.
— John Piper (via littlethingsaboutgod)
❝ God has infinite attention… You’re as much alone with Him as if you were the only thing He’d ever created.
— C.S. Lewis (via worshipgifs)
❝ Love is sacrificial. Love is selfless, not selfish. Love is hope for humanity. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love rejoices with the truth. Love is relentless, uncontainable, unfailing. Love will go to the ends of the earth. Love is full of grace and endless mercy. Love is constant through every season. Love walks with you in the valleys. Love climbs with you to the mountain tops. You just need to go to the source of love. God. Is. Love. (Paraphrased from 1 Cor 13)
— Marc Phun (via marcphun)
❝ Oh, Aslan,” said Lucy. “Will you tell us how to get into your country from our world?”
“I shall be telling you all the time,” said Aslan. “But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder.
— C.S. Lewis (via buttondownsandbackpacks)
❝ Christianity is not about not swearing. It’s not about not having impure thoughts. Really, it’s not about not at all. Christianity is about Jesus.
— Judah Smith (via littlethingsaboutgod)
What does it mean to guard your heart?
This phrase is so often thrust upon those prone to wearing their heart on their sleeve, like me I suppose. But for so long I have tried to ‘guard my heart’ by what I assumed to be the correct way, suppressing feelings or attempting to be a pessimist. Some people think they are quite good at it, they may be introverted, closed-off, protective… others feel like they constantly fail at it, setting themselves up for heart break over and over.
Jesus never closed himself off to people. He never ‘loved less’ in order to remove himself from the possibility of getting hurt. This is seen ultimately at the cross but also through his close relationships. Jesus’ was aware that some of his closest friends would betray him, yet still loved them unconditionally and shared his life with them. Though it may be different in the context of relationships, it is clear through Jesus’ life that ‘loving less’ is never the right thing to do, and therefore is never the way to guard our hearts.
Amongst a flurry of other confusing Christian jargon, the phrase ‘guard your heart’ is often pulled out of context, dampening its meaning. The original verse that the phrase comes from is Proverbs 4:23, but to understand how to live out the proverb, the surrounding verses are of great necessity.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
The biblical context reveals a plea in the surrounding verses which is, in short, to keep the words of God in our hearts and to fix our gaze directly before us. And there you have it - the way to guard your heart is to focus on God. Keeping your heart safe is the flow on effect of focussing on living life for Jesus. Your decisions, through the spirit, will become heavenly focused and, whatever the outcome, you will remain fixed on what is firm.
❝ It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you.
— Timothy Keller (via proverbs31v25)