Why Guarding Your Heart Is So Important

Why Guarding Your Heart Is So Important

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What we put into our heart, comes out. It’s the production centre of our lives, which is why guarding your heart is so important.

Proverbs 4:23 NKJV says:

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

Another version (TPT), says it this way:

So above all, guard the affections of your heart,
for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being,
for from there flows the wellspring of life.

You are the doorkeeper of your heart and in charge of what you allow to penetrate it. No one else is responsible for that. In fact, it’s important that you give careful and persistent attention to all that’s going on in your heart.

If out of our heart flow the issues of life, it can mean that we’re potentially allowing good things to flow into it, or evil things. What we feed our hearts will come out.

Luke 6:45 NKJV says,

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

What we put into our heart comes out. It's the production centre of our lives, which is why guarding your heart is so important.  + FREE 30-Day Guard Your Heart Scripture Challenge Printable

Why Do We Need To Guard Our Hearts?

There’s so much that goes on in life.

We’re bombarded by social media suggesting how we should look, what we should be, and that we’re not good enough or have enough in some capacity. Or there’s challenges we’re facing or could face in our health, finances, marriage, or relationships.

The enemy wants to attack every part of our being, bringing about fear, stress, worry and anxiety. The enemy’s goal is to steal, kill and destroy. The purpose of this is so that we question who God really is and begin to doubt who He is to us personally.

This world also offers many things, including peace, but it can never satisfy us. It brings a temporary feeling of safety and security wrapping all the things we think we want in a beautiful, enticing package. And when we give into the tactics of this world and the lies of the enemy, our hearts can become distant toward God.

So then, with all that we face, this is why guarding our hearts is so important.

How Do We Guard Our Hearts?

To guard our hearts, we all need discernment on what to allow or not allow into our lives. Not all good things are right things for us, so we need to be mindful of what we fill ourselves with.

In Philippians 4:4-7 NKJV it says,

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Here we find that the Bible says we should be anxious for nothing. In other words, anxiety might come, but it’s what we do with it matters.

The next line says in Philippians 4 says what we should do not only with anxiety, but in everything. We are to let our requests be made known to God by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving. We are to roll over what we can’t do on our own, over to the Lord.

As we do that – as we release our anxiety (the unknowns, the what-ifs, the uncertainty in life that we can’t control or do anything about) and make them known to God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, the peace of God, which surpasses human perspective, reasoning and thought, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

30-Day Guard Your Heart Scripture Challenge Printable

Reminding ourselves of what God says about our hearts helps us to see that protecting it is crucial.

Be sure to grab the free 30-Day Guard Your Heart Scripture Challenge Printable below!

What we put into our heart comes out. It's the production centre of our lives, which is why guarding your heart is so important.  + FREE 30-Day Guard Your Heart Scripture Challenge

Don’t let anything have your heart — you’re too precious to allow just anything to fill it. You need to know why guarding your heart is so important and what to fill it with.

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

Why Biblical Affirmations For Kids Are Important

Why Biblical Affirmations For Kids Are Important

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Positive affirmations are not enough when it comes to the words your kids speak about themselves and to themselves. Find out why Biblical affirmations for kids are important.

Speaking Positive Words Is Not Enough

There are many good words to speak over ourselves. The world has wonderful and positive affirmations that we can speak about ourselves to ourselves. Although this is good, as a believer in Jesus, we acknowledge that there’s a heart from which words must come from.

Luke 6:45 says,

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Speaking positive words alone isn’t enough. What we fill our heart with is also just as important which is why Biblical affirmations are key. The world can still speak words that involve striving instead of surrender or wishfully thinking good things instead of being anchored in Biblical hope.

Positive affirmations are not enough. But, Biblical affirmations are! Find out why Biblical affirmations for kids are important.  Includes FREE Printable Biblical Affirmation Cards for Kids!

We Speak Because Of Jesus’ Finished Work

As children of God, we learn that because of who God is and the finished work of the cross, we identify and find our being in Christ, not ourselves. To acknowledge that we are in Christ, is to say that we have access to all things that pertain unto life and godliness. We can also say that because of Jesus’ broken body and blood shed that we are made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.

Our responsibility as parents is to teach our kids about the finished work of Jesus so that we can help them find their identify in Christ as they speak Biblical affirmations over themselves.

Positive affirmations are not enough. But, Biblical affirmations are! Find out why Biblical affirmations for kids are important.  Includes FREE Printable Biblical Affirmation Cards for Kids!

FREE Biblical Affirmation Cards For Kids

Be sure to grab these free Biblical affirmation cards for kids from my guest post at In All You Do!

If you’d like to have access to additional printable cards that are Biblical affirmations for kids, let me know below!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

FREE 30-Day Strength Scripture Challenge Printable

FREE 30-Day Strength Scripture Challenge Printable

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

“You got this, girl!” It’s definitely been said. And it’s meant in the best way possible… as in, you can do this, you can push through and achieve what you set your mind to do.

But…what if that’s not enough.

What if, “You got this, girl!” is only able to help you to the degree of your own strength?

Is that enough in life? To operate from your own strength physically, mentally, or emotionally?

Grab your FREE Strength Scripture Challenge Printable below!

What if your strength alone isn't enough? You can tap into an endless supply of strength. Be sure to  grab this FREE 30-Day Strength Scripture Challenge Printable!

Why Our Strength Not Enough

To do anything out of ourselves using our own strength is not enough.

When we use our own strength it’s like tapping into a limited resource or supply.

It’s like a maple tree: when you tap into a maple tree to draw out the sap (to make maple syrup), eventually you need to move onto the next tree. Why? There won’t be an endless supply of sap available for you. We are the same.

We can encourage ourselves, draw out of ourselves and motivate ourselves, but only for a limited time.

As humans operating in the earth, we are a limited resource. On our own, we don’t have everything we need to live and operate in this life. In fact, we can disappoint ourselves.

But what if we don’t have to live in a limited way.

What if we can tap into an unlimited and unending supply for our lives?
What if we could tap into a Source?
What if the only way that we could find strength that’s supernatural is not because we are strong, but because the Lord is our strength?

We’re Just Not Enough

We’re not meant to live this life alone or do life alone; we’re meant to live in communion with God, our Father.

To commune with the Lord is to spend time with Him reading His Word, in prayer, fasting, living a life that’s dependent on Him where we trust Him in everything. In fact, without Jesus, we can do nothing of ourselves (John 15:5).

We need the Lord in all we do and when we say, “You got this girl!” we’re leaving God as a last resort. We believe that we can do anything we set our mind to do and we do it (and this is all true), until we feel we can’t do it anymore.

When The Battles Rage

Let’s say you’re facing a battle financially.It can sound amazing to hustle, to work hard and give it all you’ve got, but it can get tiring.

What if you’re facing a battle in your health with a report that’s not positive from the doctor? A positive attitude is good, but bearing our battles on our own saying, “You got this, girl!” might not be appropriate or even right.

In fact, we may actually find ourselves at our weakest, without strength, helpless and even hopeless as we face the various battles of life. It’s often at this point where we find ourselves in a position where we see that we need the Lord.

Our supply of strength is limited, but when we look to the Lord seeing that we are nothing without Him, and that through Him there’s a supernatural strength and power that He’s able to work through us, we can’t help but find our refuge in Him.

He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Isaiah 40:29 AMPC

 

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7 NKJV

 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

The Lord Wants…

The Lord wants our whole hearts, not divided hearts.

He wants us to want Him, to need Him and rely on Him. When we do this, He’s able to work in and through us by His strength and power, a supernatural grace, that we don’t have. This, however, takes us seeing that we are God’s workmanship created to do what He’s called us to do and not what we’ve called ourselves to do.

So then, doing something on your own without surrendering to God’s plan and purpose for your life could mean that you’re operating without God’s supernatural strength. Instead, you could be operating on your own strength.

BUT, if we acknowledge that we haven’t relied on the Lord as our strength, He’s so gracious to help us when we turn to Him and repent.

What if your strength alone isn't enough? You can tap into an endless supply of strength. Be sure to  grab this FREE 30-Day Strength Scripture Challenge Printable!

Because God’s Got This!

Whatever we face in life, it’s not a surprise to God. He hasn’t fallen off of His throne. He’s still our loving Father who knows and see what we’re going through and what we will yet go through.

The Lord allows what we face in life so that we cling to Him as our strength. And then we’re strengthened by nature of us surrendering our lives to the Lord.

Finally, if your heart is, “I’ve got this, because God’s got this!”, you’ll find that you’re being strengthened by the Lord because He is your strength!

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Ephesians 6:10 AMPC

FREE 30-Day Strength Scripture Challenge Printable

One way you can encourage yourself in the strength of the Lord is to take in a scripture a day with a 30-day Strength Scripture Challenge.

Be sure to grab the FREE printable below!

What if your strength alone isn't enough? You can tap into an endless supply of strength. Be sure to  grab this FREE 30-Day Strength Scripture Challenge Printable!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

How To Help Your Kids Study The Bible

How To Help Your Kids Study The Bible

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

Ever wonder how to help your kids study the Bible? But do you wonder where to start and how to go about it?

Why Teach Your Kids To Study The Bible

Often we don’t know where to start.

The Bible is a big book and where to start can be daunting, let alone how to go about helping our kids study the Word of God.

Our kids need our help to lead them in how to study the Bible. You are discipling your children when walk them through this process. Since studying the Bible is learned by your children, it means that it’s also taught by you as the parent.

No one else is responsible for this all-important job — not the Bible school your children might attend, the Sunday School at your church, or the Christian kids club they’re a part of; it’s no one else’s responsibility except yours.

How To Help Your Kids Study The Bible

The best way in how to help your kids study the Bible is to teach them with various methods:

READING THE BIBLE

The Bible is filled with stories that are real and children love stories.

The most challenging or perhaps hard-to-believe truth for kids when it comes to the Bible is really taking in that these stories are not just any stories — they’re real life stories that actually happened.

So, beginning your Bible reading with your kids at creation, Genesis chapter 1, is a great place. Or follow this Bible reading plan for kids that’s printable and it’ll help with what to read for a year!

QUESTIONS FROM YOUR KIDS

You may naturally find that your children are asking questions as you’re reading the Bible. Those questions are so important.

Questions from your kids tells you that your child is beginning the role of independent learning. They want to know more and they need (or are asking) you to help them discover the answers.

So, if you know the answers to their questions, provide them. If you don’t know the answers, tell them that their question is important and that you don’t know the answer yet but are willing to research it and let them know. Your kids will feel satisfied in knowing that what they are asking is being treated with care and love.

NARRATION

Have your kids tell you the Bible story in their own words.

This will tell you what they drew out of the Bible reading and what’s impacting them. Through this method, you’re able to dig deeper with them from what’s been revealed to their heart.

And never dismiss what a child says about what they’re sharing with you in terms of what’s stood out to them in the Bible reading. God is speaking to them just as much as He’s speaking to you. You may even find that what God has revealed to your child is fresh revelation for you!

QUESTIONS TO YOUR KIDS

The Bible is alive and for our guidance today. As a parent having the desire to connect the Bible readings and our life is important in helping our kids navigate who God is, the world around them and how they’re designed to work together with God for His plan and His will to be accomplished on the earth.

A great way to open up discussion with your child about the Bible reading is to ask them questions for reflection. We can so often tell our kids what to think, how to do things, etc. but what if our kids are intelligent enough to ponder the questions so that they have a thought for themselves.

Today’s society is filled with what to think and every possible way to think it. So when we’re asking our kids questions, we’re inviting them to ask God about those questions, to connect with Him and dig deeper. This allows your child to think for themselves and not be told what to think. This foundation is solid because it comes from within your child instead of outside your child, while they link the Word of God to their life.

VOCABULARY

Often there’s words in the Bible which we don’t understand.

Sometimes we need more context or even simply finding out the definition of a word, the root word or it’s synonyms or antonyms are extremely helpful.

The best way to find the meaning of words in the Bible is to identify if what you’re reading is from the Old Testament of the Bible (which are English words translated from Hebrew) or the New Testament of the Bible (which are English words translated from Greek).

Below are amazing resources to use when it comes to vocabulary:

BIBLE VERSE MEMORIZATION

When it comes to your kids learning the Bible, a great way for them to take in the Word of God is through memorization.

Kids are amazing at memorizing facts and it doesn’t take much to memorize something as long as repetition is involved.

Begin memorizing scripture with smaller verses. Either choose a verse within the Bible story you are reading, or perhaps a scripture that relates to it.

Here are 24 short Bible verses kids that they can memorize.

ACTIVITIES

Kids love to connect the dots with activities whenever possible. It’s so helpful to do this as it reinforces what they’ve learned and how it can possibly apply to their life.

As you help your kids study the Bible, include some activities like the ones listed below to help enlighten their learning journey:

  • Coloring pages
  • Scripture writing
  • Crosswords
  • Word Searches
  • Drawing
  • Writing
  • Games
  • Experiments
  • Songs
  • Skits based on the Bible story (this is a way of narrating what they learned)

BIBLE STUDIES FOR KIDS

It can be a challenge to think of all that’s needed to supplement helping your kids studying the Bible. Perhaps it’s the questions to ask them to begin a discussion, the scripture to memorize or the activities that relate to the Bible story.

A great way to guide you through teaching your kids to study the Bible are these Bible studies for kids. They have everything you need in how to help your kids study the Bible, including:

  • Big idea that’s being studied
  • Bible reading
  • Bible discussion questions and reflections
  • Vocabulary – writing out definitions, synonyms and antonyms
  • Scripture memory and writing
  • Activities
  • Songs

BIBLE STUDY FOR KIDS GUIDE

Another great tool to help focus in on studying the Bible is to use a Bible study guide for kids like the one below. It’s printable and perfect for study that’s done daily or weekly.

Bible Study For Kids FREE Printable Guide

What a privilege it is to guide your kids through the start of a life-long journey that’s so precious and deep with our Lord and Saviour.

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

24 Short Bible Verses Kids Can Easily Memorize

24 Short Bible Verses Kids Can Easily Memorize

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

Have you spent time helping your kids memorize Bible verses? Often we don’t help them because:

Do any of these resonate with you?

24 Short Bible Verses Kids Can Easily Memorize + FREE Printable Scripture Cards

Scroll down to grab your free printable!

Lack Of Planning

I was inconsistent with helping my kids memorize Bible verses. I found that it was because I didn’t have a plan of which Bible verses we should memorize.

I was all over the place.

One week we memorized scripture. The next week I wasn’t sure which one to memorize and wondered if the Bible verses were too long to memorize.

I froze and procrastinated instead of following through on one of these most important things I can do to disciple my kids, which was help them memorize the Word of God. With my insecurities of what to do, I felt like I was failing my kids.

After having no plan, I decided it was time to create one.

Repetition Is Key

Starting off with short Bible verses is helpful in building confidence for you and your kids, but one thing I cannot stress enough is that memorization requires repetition.

Repetition can become tiring, boring or uninteresting for kids, but I’d encourage you to change it up to make it exciting.

SIDE NOTE: We’re posting our scripture memory work on Instagram… come find us here!

Here are 5 ways to change up repetition in memorizing scripture:

  • add a reward for having them say it correctly 3 times
  • have them change the tone in their voice each time they recite it
  • decide together on actions to use while saying it
  • add a melody to make the scripture a song
  • add a dance, jumping jacks or stretches after each time the scripture is said

Whatever you do, change things up by incorporating something new and unique. Just this alone creates excitement and spontaneity which is helpful for keeping boredom at bay and learning the Bible fun!

24 Short Bible Verses Kids Can Easily Memorize

I’ve created 24 short Bible verses kids can easily memorize. The free printable (below) is in a scripture card format and perfect for the entire family to work on together.

I pray it will helpful to your family’s Bible verse memorization plan!

Feel free to share if these scriptures cards were helpful!

Anchored in Christ,
Melanie

How To Teach Gratitude To Your Kids

How To Teach Gratitude To Your Kids

*This post contains affiliate links. Please read disclosure policy.*

We tend to think of gratitude like a warm greeting card, a kind sentiment sent to someone special or a journal entry listing 5 things we’re grateful for.

Although gratitude certainly includes these things, it can also be more.

What if gratitude is a response of faith? A posture during times that aren’t easy? A trust in the Lord that goes beyond natural comprehension?

Find out how to teach gratitude to your kids and help your kids develop a deeper relationship with the Lord.

What Is Gratitude?

The word gratitude is not used in the King James Version (KJV) or New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible.

That said, if we do some digging, we find that gratitude is defined in the 1828 dictionary as this:

  • An emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness.
  • An agreeable emotion, consisting in or accompanied with good will to a benefactor, and a disposition to make a suitable return of benefits or services, or when no return can be made, with a desire to see the benefactor prosperous and happy.
  • A virtue of the highest excellence, as it implies a feeling and generous heart, and a proper sense of duty.

If gratitude means thankfulness, thanks and thanksgiving and we go back to the greek meaning of the word thanks, it means to be grateful; to express gratitude towards.

Looking up scriptures with the word thanks, thanksgiving, or thankfulness, there are an abundance.

Find out how to teach gratitude to your kids + FREE Bible Study Guide for Kids

How To Teach Gratitude To Your Kids

Gratitude is a learned behaviour; it isn’t something that comes naturally.

One of the first things we as parents teach our kids is manners.

We prompt them to, “Say please!” or “Say thank you!” Or in our family’s case, I chose to teach using sign language first when they couldn’t speak words yet.

Now just because we teach our kids to say, “Thank you”, doesn’t mean they’ve connected the dots to know when to respond with gratitude. And though we’ve taught them doesn’t mean they’ll respond as they should. Gratitude an ongoing process of prompting and reminding.

Helping Our Kids Understand Gratitude

As our kids grow older and into the elementary years, we move on from prompting our kids to show gratitude, to helping them understand and show gratitude.

Teaching our kids gratitude comes as a result of not seeing our kids express it when we feel they should.

Kids can do what they’re told, but when they’re given an opportunity to show what they know and we don’t see it coming from them naturally, we teach. And this is where we can share the importance of gratitude helping them gain understanding. From there, we pray for gratitude to become a personal revelation as they get to know our Father more and more.

The World vs. The Bible

The world teaches gratitude, too. But is the world’s gratitude different than the Bible? Absolutely.

The difference? Biblical gratitude is about putting our eyes and our focus on Jesus instead of ourselves, others, things or the universe.

The world doesn’t recognize that it’s God who created and provides all the things for us to enjoy, experience and embark on.

Want to focus on the Bible verses that are related to gratitude, thankfulness and thanksgiving?

This 30-day Thankfulness scripture calendar may be helpful! It’s perfect for scripture writing, declarations and scripture memory.

How to teach gratitude to your kids

Biblical Gratitude

We wouldn’t be on this earth if it wasn’t for God’s master plan.

In recognizing that God is Creator, we then also see our need for Him. He’s not just God; He’s Father, Lover, Provider, Sustainer, Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, and so much more.

The Foundation Of Gratitude

The correct foundation is necessary. And as children of God, our foundation is built on the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s about Him being glorified and not ourselves, others, things or the universe.

We’re not just teaching our kids gratitude as a way of life to help them with a healthy and good habit and to be good people… gratitude is a spiritual discipline to help us grow and deepen our personal relationship with the Lord.

Why Is Gratitude So Powerful?

Jesus, being the Son of God is our example of how God provides so powerfully when we look to Him with gratitude.

And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of. Matthew 15:36-39 NKJV

What does Jesus do with what God has provided knowing it’s not enough in the natural? He gives thanks. He shares His gratitude to the Lord for providing in the midst of a challenge.

The kind of gratitude that’s in the Bible is also not about whether you’re looking at life from the negative or the positive, seeing the glass half-empty or half-full, what you have verses what you don’t have or seeing the bright side of things. No, in fact, gratitude is being able to thank God in the midst of hard and challenging times, which means Biblical gratitude doesn’t necessarily come as a result of something, but Someone. It’s about our dependency on Jesus and not ourselves.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says,

…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

How Can I Express My Gratitude To God?

The ways that we can express our gratitude to God is by:

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works. Psalm 26:7 NKJV

We don’t want to be thankful for something without recognizing the One who gave and provided. Otherwise gratitude is empty and void and becomes about about us, instead of God.

 

  • Gratitude is not just saying thanks for the gifts and not recognizing the Giver.
  • Gratitude is not just saying thanks for the healing and not recognizing the Healer.
  • Gratitude is not just saying thanks for the money and not recognizing the Source.
Help your kids discover Biblical gratitude with scripture, scripture writing, memorization, activities including gratitude prompts, thankfulness tree and gratitude cards.

How To Help Your Kids Grow In Gratitude

If there wasn’t an expression of gratitude towards our Father, we would have an entitlement mentality. We might find ourselves being prideful and arrogant lacking humility and our need for God.

To help our kids understand thankfulness and gratitude to God, first have them consider what surrounds their life. This is a natural way to help our kids. When they do this, they can begin to see God’s goodness – what He provides, how He creates, what He does when we don’t expect it, etc.

For example: looking around at nature is THE best way to begin with gratitude.

Have your kids complete these sentences:

“Thank You, Lord, for _______________________ because ______________________.”

“Thank You, Lord, that _______________________ because _____________________.”

Another way you can dig into gratitude with your kids is a gratitude Bible study designed for them! 

Maturing in Gratitude

As kids continue their walk with the Lord learning gratitude and sharing what they’re grateful to Him FOR, ultimately, we want to help our kids progress in seeing that gratitude is deeper than being grateful for something. Gratitude that’s maturing learns that it’s about surrendering and yielding ourselves to God recognizing that without Him, we are nothing.

To help your kids dig deeper into the Word, grab the FREE Bible Study For Kids printable below:

FREE Printable Bible Study Guide for Kids

There are different ways in how to teach gratitude to your kids, however, these are ways we’ve found that it develops over time.

I pray that your kids are deepening their relationship with God through the spiritual discipline of gratitude. May they experience Him in ways they haven’t before.

Anchored in Jesus,
Melanie