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Devotionals 2002

Guard Your Heart
October 7, 2002By Ed Wrather

You shall not murder. - Exodus 20:13. 

The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. - Psalm 10:4,8. 

You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. - John 8:43-44. 

This morning in the United States, we are again shocked at an apparent random shooting of a 13-year-old boy just dropped off at school. The shooting occurred in Prince George County, Maryland. Last week, five people were apparently shot randomly to death in neighboring Montgomery County, Maryland. On Thursday, a sixth victim was killed in Washington, D.C., and Friday a woman was shot and wounded in Virginia. It is a horrible development, but in the United States there is someone murdered in some way every minute. 

The fearful thing about the current rash of murders, is that there seems to be no logical reason for the murders. It appears random, and now the killer is even striking at children, which demonstrates the callousness of the heart of this murderer. We must pray that this murderer is caught before another innocent person becomes his victim. 

The heart is really the issue here, for it is out of the heart that murders, and all manner of evil comes. Jesus says, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man (Mark 7:21-23).” Jesus allows us to see that before the action is taken, there is the thought, the attitude of the heart that proceeds the evil. Those evil thoughts and attitudes, come straight from the pit of hell (John 8:43-44). 

The murderer does not think of God, he does not consider what God thinks of his actions (Psalm 10:4). In fact, the murderer elevates himself in his mind to the position of God, because it is God who gives and takes life. The murderer sees himself as deciding life and death for those around him. His heart has grown so cold and callous, that his victims include the helpless and the innocent (Psalm 10:8). 

Since murder comes from the heart, it is clear that the admonition of Proverbs 4:23 is vital to our spiritual well being. We are told in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep (or guardyour heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” Jesus says in Matthew 5:22, “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” Do you have hate in your heart for someone? In 1 John 3:14-15 we are told, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer....” 

What is the attitude of your heart? What is coming out of your heart? Good things, or evil? Hateful thoughts, or thoughts of love? 

Guard your heart!

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