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“Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware,  like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth.  Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:34-36 NLT
http://bible.com/116/luk.21.34-36.NLT

OBSERVATION

He tells us:
1) Don’t let our hearts be dulled
2) Don’t be caught unaware
3) Keep alert
4) Pray for strength

1) Guard your heart
So first and foremost, Jesus is talking about our heart. Scripture tells us many things about our heart. Do we know there are different types of hearts?

Deceitful Hearts

Jeremiah 17:9 ESV
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Matthew 15:18-20 ESV
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.

New/Clean Hearts

Psalm 51:10 ESV
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Ezekiel 36:26 ESV
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Pure Hearts

Matthew 5:8 ESV
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

And God’s Word tells us that He must be the one to replace our deceitful hearts,  our hearts of stone and replace them with new hearts of flesh. And then He gives us instruction for guarding that heart and for exercising it and “getting the blood flowing”, for getting the living waters active in our lives, for activating His Word in our daily lives.

HOPE: Trust in Him

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

FAITH: Walk Faithful to His Word

Hebrews 4:12 ESV
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

LOVE: Walk in His Spirit

Luke 12:33-34 ESV
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

1 Timothy 1:5 ESV
The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

2) Don’t be caught unaware
And we should know why our heart is so important.

Examine your own heart

Proverbs 21:2 ESV
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.

Romans 1:21 ESV
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Know the kind of heart Good seeks

Psalm 51:17 ESV
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Find the brokenness through Repentance

Acts 8:22 ESV
Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

Believe in your Heart

Romans 10:10 ESV
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

Pursue God

2 Timothy 2:22 ESV
So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

3) Keep Alert
And we are to keep alert, ever vigilant and awaiting His triumphant return. Running this race to the end, and being aware of the distractions of this world which seek to dampen our light,  which seek to darken our testimony, which work in opposition to His will.

Do not let yourself become hardened / complacent

Romans 2:5 ESV
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Find Assurance in Faithfulness

Hebrews 10:22 ESV
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

4) Pray for Strength
And if we try to accomplish  this under our own strength So that we might claim victory for ourselves in prideful vanity,  we will encounter mountains that we cannot move. But if we have faith,  if we pray to God in that faithful brokenness of humility,  relying upon His strength to deliver us – we will know His strength and His victory.

Precious,  heavenly Father,  who rains down upon us your many blessings and your glorious favor out of the very nature of your being as creator and give of life. We ask you to help us examine our hearts in the light of your Word and to have the discernment to see those things in our own life that need to be cut out and removed by your forgiveness,  healed by your loving touch,  and strengthened by our repentance to follow your will. Let our reliance upon you be a testimony of your strength,  Lord. Let your name be glorified by our lives today. We lift our prayers to you Lord, we receive your Holy Spirit by the blood of Jesus Christ she’d upon the cross, and we ask that your Holy Spirit living in us who knows better than ourselves how we might pray would lift this prayer as a wonderful incense and testimony to your glory, we trust that Jesus Christ who is raised from the tomb and sits triumphantly upon the throne as our advocate has pleaded for our lives and forgiveness of our sins and that c we are yours, Lord. Keep us mindful of your Kingdom work today,  as your will is done on earth through our lives loving and serving others and spreading this Good News of the reconciliation of men to your glory through your grace and by our faith, made possible by the way,  the truth,  and v the life of Jesus Christ. Let us lean not on our own understanding,  skills,  or talents for these are creations – let us instead rely upon the source,  the giver of life, the creator,  the one true God for our strength. We love you,  Lord – teach u, guide us, equip us, use us as you see fit,  Lord. Your will be done. Amen.

PUT IT IN ACTION
Let Christ be our example.

Every day Jesus went to the Temple to teach, and each evening he returned to spend the night on the Mount of Olives. The crowds gathered at the Temple early each morning to hear him.
Luke 21:35-38 NLT
http://bible.com/116/luk.21.35-38.NLT

Teach daily about Christ who lives in you in the testimony of your life – your actions,  your words,  and by taking captive your thoughts and the desires of your heart. Do this relying upon His strength,  not your own, and experience the victory of a blessed life, walking in His will and purpose for you.