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Chains of Spanish Silver: The Church in the Modern Culture

  Chains of Spanish Silver: The Church in the Modern Culture "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." - Joshua 1:8  The old craftsman ran the links slowly through his stubby, dirty fingers. He felt the smooth texture, the solid weight of each loop of precious silver mined from the hills of Peru. He gazed at the noble metal's sheen through squinted eyes, drinking in the chain's beauty. The silver chain was a precious piece from the collection of the silversmith Aragon. The old craftsman ran it time after time through his hands, remembering when he, as a much younger man, had been an artisan of the silver from the Cordillera districts. He had formed the malleable metal into ornaments for tableware and jewelry. But never had he seen or touched anything as lovely or perfect as this chain. But something wasn't righ

What’s in Your Heart?

 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” - Proverbs 4:23

This verse is crucial to understanding life because in it God informs us that people and situations are not the controlling factor in our words and actions. God informs us that our heart directs our behavior. In Luke’s Gospel (Luke 6:43-45) “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” Jesus speaks to the truth of Proverbs 4:23 by using the metaphor of trees and fruit.

Just as there’s a systemic and organic relationship between a tree and it’s fruit — there is a systemic and organic relationship between my heart and my life; my heart and my behavior! Sin is not rooted outside of me. Circumstances and relationships are merely the location that the sin in my heart is revealed.

APPLICATION: If the heart is the source of sinful behavior, any genuine and lasting change must begin with my heart and work its way out into the fruit of my life. If my heart isn’t changed, any change in my words and actions will only be the result of some external pressure (If I don’t change I’ll lose my marriage, my girlfriend or my job). And that kind of change is only temporary. When the external pressure is gone, or if my incentive to change goes away (the spouse leaves, the job is terminated) the apparent change vanishes.

That’s why the heart is the target of all ministry. Any transformation of behavior passes through the heart.

By the way — this is the core difference between religion and Christianity. Religion imposes a set of external religious/moral demands upon men and women that are supposed to change the heart. Christianity is all about Jesus radically transforming the hearts of men and women — God giving to us new life — God working in us a desire to do His will and the empowering to do it — producing the fruit of a radical new set of values and way of living.

Bottom line — If you’re careless with your heart, your life will get messy. We are going to see time and time again as we go through the Book of Proverbs the relationship between a man’s heart and his words, his actions and his life.


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