“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Every day brings to even younger and older folks the confrontations we all have to face at one particular time or another. The Bible stresses how important it is to move our hearts and minds away from the daily battles and more toward the end results of loving and serving Christ.

We find that doing and thinking right is a battle to be determined every day to win. It can only be done through trusting and following Christ. Once we wake up and get moving in our thoughts and minds, we are reminded about the prayers and concerns we need to bring forward every day.

Paul writes in Ephesians 6:10-11, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Noah Webster defines the meaning in his 1828 dictionary that “wiles” are “sly and ensnaring deceptions that are meant to deceive and beguile us” in our thinking and decisions. This world confronts us every moment, and it involves very often the decisions that absolutely need to direct us closer to the Lord.

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It has 176 verses, and each one stresses how important it is for us to use God’s Word. Verse one says: “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” The next verse defines more about the most important thing in anyone’s life: “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” Every verse in Psalm 119 instructs us about the eternal testimonies, statutes, laws and precepts that we each greatly need. If we do not understand it all, at least we are understood by God to have open, willing and obedient hearts that seek Him more each day.

The issues of life that confront our heart every moment are so important to be thought about and guarded above all else. Paul writes in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (like our minds).”

The source for the “issues of life” is so important to be Jesus Christ for each of us. He tells us that either good or evil treasures will show themselves from our lives “for of the abundance of the heart his (our) mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45b). Consider how very important are the results and determinations of our hearts! That is why Bible study and hearing sound preaching are extremely important. When we yield our hearts and seek God’s heart in each day, we are so encouraged and enlightened about God’s truth!

Mr. Edward H. Plumptre wrote five verses for the old song that encourages “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart:”

“Rejoice ye pure in heart, Rejoice, give thanks, and sing:
Your festal banner wave on high, The Cross of Christ Your King.”

The refrain is then to:

“Rejoice, rejoice. Rejoice, give thanks, and sing!”

The necessity is that our heart be pure. We need to guard and keep it with the determination that is known to come down to us from Christ above. That wonderful truth is possible only because He paid the price for each of our sinful positions.

The third chapter of Romans informs us the truth that: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (verse 23). That is a very sad situation that we cannot work through on our own. Without Christ, we find that we would be headed for Hell to forever try to pay for our sin debts.

Verses 24 and 25 are outstanding truths of God’s love: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

Thank you, Lord! We cannot understand it all fully, but we should desire to rejoice and magnify in our hearts what wonderful truths we have come to hear and to believe.

Our second and third verses in the song today say:

“With all the angel choirs, with all the saints on earth,
Pour out the strains of joy and bliss, True rapture, noblest mirth!
Still lift your standard high, Still march in firm array;
As warriors through the darkness toil — Till dawns the golden day.”

The spiritual heart is absolutely the major key to our lives, here today and then forever in either Heaven or Hell. The Bible tells us that, if we seek God with all of our hearts, we will find Him (Deuteronomy 4:29 and Jeremiah 29:13). It is then true that we must believe the Bible truth with our hearts in order to actually be saved (Romans 10:9). We find it written in Matthew and Mark at least: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30).

Again, our song in its last two verses encourages:

“Yes, on through life’s long path, Still chanting as you go;
From youth to age, by night and day, In gladness and in woe.
Then on, ye pure in heart; Rejoice, give thanks and sing;
Your festal banner wave on high — The cross of Christ your King.”

As we approach the abounding days of thanksgiving here and now, let us carry forth the marvelous message of living now for Jesus Christ and one day living forever with Him! The refrain for our song today is to “Rejoice, rejoice. Rejoice, give thanks and sing!”