e-book Protect Your Purity: Four Keys to Guarding Your Heart

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Most importantly, they did not understand this passage to have anything to do with Americanized dating. While we view the heart as the seat of our emotions and our will, Israel understood the heart to be the center of the whole person—not just the source of emotions and will but also of wisdom and perspective. In essence, the heart referred to who you are as a person. Solomon rightly realized that what you do flows from who you are.

Therefore, it is essential for you to guard your heart in dating because what you do in a dating relationship flows from who you are in a dating relationship. Most books on dating treat the idea of guarding your heart as if it merely involves protecting yourself from too much intimacy with someone of the opposite sex. But guarding your heart is so much more than this!

Why Guarding Your Heart ❤️Is Important? - Proverbs: 4

Unless you catch this kind of vision for why you need to guard your heart, it will remain a legalistic, minimalistic endeavor in your life. Since most Christian dating books put such a premium on guarding your heart, the result is that it often leaves people paralyzed as a relationship develops. Am I saying that building boundaries into a relationship in order to guard your heart is wrong? What I am saying is that these boundaries should flow from your relationship with God.

Paul tells us in Philippians that prayer, not boundaries, is the means of guarding your hearts. How you approach your relationship with God is going to directly impact how you approach your relationship in dating. How long do you guard your heart? You share a burden with another animal. You lighten a load. And Jesus wants us to learn from him. Many people act as though their education ended at their last graduation. I have met some pastors who have not cracked a book since seminary.

They have never studied anything else.

The Purity of Childhood

They have never taken another class since finishing school. Are you kidding me? To be a disciple means to be a learner. All leaders must first be disciples. So leaders must first be learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading. Growing churches require growing pastors. The moment you stop growing, your church stops growing.

You can learn from anybody if you just know the right questions. In other words, you can learn from anybody if you just learn to draw out his or her knowledge. And how do you do it? You draw it out by asking questions. But if you are going to really learn, you need one quality in particular: humility. Why does God resist the proud and give grace to the humble 1 Peter ?

Because the humble are teachable. You can learn from anybody. I learn from churches larger than Saddleback. I learn from churches smaller than Saddleback. I learn from guys older than me and from guys younger. I learn from critics.

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I learn from people who totally misunderstand me. Learning from your enemies is a way to be smarter than your enemies, because if your enemies learn only from themselves, but you learn from them, then you will know more than they do — what they know plus what you know! In Scripture, knowledge is the only thing we are supposed to store up. Jesus says we are not to store up money. But store up knowledge because knowledge is far more important than money.

You can always get more money, but knowledge is something you are going to take with you to heaven.

You will leave all your material wealth behind, but a wealth of knowledge goes with you. One of the ways you can store up knowledge is to start a family library — a godly family library — and leave it as a legacy to the next generation. In my family, four generations back gave their library to three generations back, who gave it to two generations back — my dad — who gave it to me. I began collecting books when I was sixteen years old. For many years, I read a book a day. Today I have over twenty thousand volumes in my library.

And when you begin to build a library of godly, Christian books, you are leaving a legacy for the next generation. If you are going into eternity, you are going to take that with you. A lot of people know all the contemporary books and none of the classics. Jesus did not just begin building his church in the year He has been working in and through his body for two millennia, and you can save yourself a lot of time if you will avail yourself of the whole tradition.

It is wise to learn from experience, but it is wiser to learn from the experiences of others.

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Protect Your Purity: Four Keys to Guarding Your Heart

It is also easier! It saves a lot of time and saves us from making the mistakes of others. Every year I read through the complete works of a great thinker. In I read through twenty-six volumes of Jonathan Edwards. There really is nothing new under the sun.

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It was true a thousand years ago. It will be true a thousand years from now. Truth is never invented; it is only discovered. And if God has shown it as truth, somebody else in the church has seen it before. Plan it in your life.

EA: What’s The Condition of Your Heart?

Strategize for a balance between doing and thinking. We need both of them in our lives. I believe you can judge the health of a church not by its seating capacity but by its sending capacity. You judge the health of an army by how many are on frontlines doing battle in the world.

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We want to be able to bring them in, build them up, train them forward, and send them out. And to do so, we must be able to teach people not only to love the Word but also to do the Word James — The first two have to do with knowing.

The second two have to do with being. And the third one has to do with doing. First, we need to learn knowledge. And we need to know not only the Bible but also church history. Also, we have a theological word of the week on the back of our bulletin because we want the people to know theological words and the great saints of church history. Sadly, you can learn the Bible without really knowing it; in other words, you can know all the facts without really knowing the content.

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Think about what a rebuke that was to the Pharisees who had memorized the Pentateuch — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. They needed to teach others their knowledge, teach others to love knowledge, and get rid of anti-intellectualism. By the way, we need great Christian intellectuals today more than ever before — people a lot brighter than I! The second thing we need is perspective.