the central issue

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been engaged in a discussion with our Tuesday night gathering centered around the life (true, abundant, ‘better life than you’ve ever dreamed of’ life) that Jesus comes to offer us, and how that life is opposed. Why? Because there is a thief. In the same breath that Jesus tells us that He has come to offer us life (John 10:10), He also tells us that it is, and will continue to be fiercely opposed by the enemy, the thief, Satan himself.

Take a careful look around you, and you’ll see a world at war. Good things like marriages, families, friendships and whole church communities, excitement about big news and big dreams – all under attack in some way, whether through discouragement, disagreements, divisions, disappointment, etc. To put it clearer, anywhere you find something good (of God) you’ll find something opposing it in some way, whether big or small. Think about your life and the lives of those around you. Where do you see this happening?

No other topic in Scripture (Old & New Testament) is discussed more than ‘the heart.’ This seems to point to something significant that God is trying to say to us all; that our hearts are central to life and that our hearts matter to Him. It’s almost as if the words of Proverbs 4:23 sums it all up: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” And Jesus comes to restore our hearts from the brokenness we’re born into so that we may HAVE life. Therefore, because of the importance of your heart, you can bet your heart (the center of who you are, including your passions, desires and ambition for God) WILL be opposed.

Here’s the point: to lay hold of this life that Jesus speaks of means that you must fight for it with all your heart. Our community has not been exempt from the opposition of the thief, bringing various struggles, doubts and discouragement along the way, including frequent attacks on marriages and hearts. But as I have to remind myself of daily, this is a fight that is SO worth it, because once you’ve tasted of this life of Jesus, you want others to taste as well, and that’s why this new church community exists.

I challenge and encourage you to fight for this life that Jesus makes available with all your heart, not only for yourself, but for the sake of those depending on you. And as we continue our journey, pray that we’ll have the strength daily to focus on and claim the good of God, to fight for our hearts well as a community and to see the hearts of more and more come alive to the Good News of the Risen One, Jesus.

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