Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.  Proverbs 4:23

Work your heart – Get your heart rate up through exercise

     God wants us to take good care of our hearts on every level. Exercise is good for our heart, we know. I admit I am terrible at this. I have to make myself exercise, although I do love walking. But it’s the strolling kind of walk that takes in the sights and sounds; it doesn’t really work my heart. So I have a treadmill for two reasons: I can get exercise done early even before it’s light outside. And, I can measure how long and how fast and not kid myself, which I do when it comes to exercise. Also, I have my treadmill in a small room off my garage, so no one else hears me when I yell at myself, “stop being a big baby” when I want to get off.  Something that helps me is listening to sermons or to music as I do my treadmill. I hope you can find a way to get your heart pumping that you really enjoy. We all need it!

Guard your heart- Protect yourself from toxic attitudes and influences that weaken your faith and diminish your impact.

     Susie Larson describes her view of guarding your heart this way: “God wants us to cherish our heart and the course of our lives with such care that we protect ourselves from toxic attitudes, unhealthy associations and besetting sins. We need to treasure our life, our purpose, and our influence enough to carefully discern what strengthens us and what weakens us.”

     This is hard to discern sometimes. It seems obvious to not expose ourselves to things that make us unhappy with our lives, but the thoughts I allow to go through my mind can derail my faith, whether it’s bitterness and unforgiveness or watching the news and getting into a deep despair.

     I want a healthy, joyful heart, and that takes intention and discipline, but it’s worth it!

*Choose one small thing you will do to focus today on these disciplines.

Lord, help me to make choices that are good and life-giving. Strengthen me, Lord, in mind, body, and spirit. Where I’m broken, Father, restore. Where I’m weary, Father, refresh. Where I’m fearful, O Lord God, revive my faith. I pray that my coming days will be far more blessed than my former days. May I fully embrace this day, for Your mercies are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness. Amen.

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