I keep thinking about Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it."

Above all else! Wow. Is that really what God means? That's a profound thing, if it is. And what does it mean to guard your heart? How do you guard it? Guard it from what, exactly?

As I've been thinking about this lately, I found myself in Luke 8 and a conversation Jesus has about seeds bearing fruit based on the condition of the soil. The seed is the Word of God - powerful stuff all on it's own. Yet the soil determines the impact of the seed. Here'a how:

- Some soil is like a pathway. So heavily traveled and walked upon that the ground is hard and compact - no seed can penetrate it, nor water to grow it.

- Some soil has so many rocks in it that the roots of the plant can't go deep, thereby making the plant vulnerable to heat or drought because it doesn't have deep roots to draw nourishment.

- Some soil grows everything and is un-tended by a gardener, so it's full of weeds that compete for resources with the fruitful plant. Those weeds, we are told, are worries, riches and pleasures of this life.

- And some soil is a "good heart" that receives the seed, feeds it, nurtures it, and produces a massive crop.

I don't have to take you any further. Reflect on this and guard your heart with  all diligence, for from it flow the very issues of life!!!