Keep the Heart

Life has issues, and the Bible has the answers.
Francie Taylor teaches the relevance of
Scripture to daily life through these brief
Bible application studies.

When We Don’t Want to Forgive

August 15th, 2022

Have you ever dragged your feet on forgiving someone because you thought they deserved to suffer? Or were you so hurt by their words or actions that you felt they deserved punishment? Human nature is painful like that. We don’t like people to hurt us, but we’ll cancel that rule when we’re hurting someone in revenge. We’re not the first to struggle with the issue of not wanting to forgive. Listen to this passage from Matthew 18:21-22:

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

I love the realness of Peter. Obviously, someone had done him wrong enough times that Peter was starting to keep track! Oh no, this brother is up to number six. Let me go and ask Jesus if I have to go beyond seven because I’ve had enough of this. I sure am grateful that God doesn’t have a rule of “seven strikes and you’re out.” We’d all be disqualified before we graduate from kindergarten!

Has someone done or said something that offended you to a point where you don’t feel like forgiving them? This is a risky position. It’s human to want to delay a pardon, but it’s not biblical. It’s carnal.

Our human nature leans toward behaviors and solutions that are the opposite of God’s Word. We have to be on guard for this hazard, because we can deceive ourselves into believing that everyone else has issues but we’re the only clean ones. Failure to forgive someone is rooted in this type of mistaken thinking.

Let’s consider four things that are side effects of failing to grant forgiveness, and how we can avoid the consequences of choosing the wrong course.

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Build Your Bible Habit-Proverbs Chapter 30

August 11th, 2022

BONUS BIBLE SERIES: Welcome to Proverbs chapter 30 on Build Your Bible Habit. Chapter 30 is unique in that it begins with an introduction from a man named Agur. Strong’s concordance translates his name as “gathered,” but also calls it a “fanciful name for Solomon.” The chapter opens with notable humility, and closes with a warning not to “lift ourselves up.” Many important life observations are included. 

We need to be careful about thinking too highly of ourselves. The scripture calls it the “churning of milk.” Churning the milk leads to butter, and forcing wrath brings strife. As soon as we get the attitude, “Who do they think THEY are,” we’re in trouble. Someone is going to do or say something that will irritate us, and this will be our pop quiz. Will we keep talking when we can tell that things are heating up, or will we do as Scripture says and cover our mouths? Forcing wrath leads to conflicts. The wise choice is to apply Scripture.

Don’t rush through these chapters. Treat them like slow cooking, not fast food.

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Teachback Tuesday-When You Can’t Talk About It

August 8th, 2022

Welcome to Teachback Tuesday, where you'll hear the most popular episodes from the previous season. Today’s episode, "When You Can't Talk About It," is still being downloaded at a rapid rate, even a year later. Going through things that seem unusually hard and uncommon doesn't mean that we're the first ones to walk the rough road. Tough problems and embarrassing circumstances are as old as the Old Testament. Remember David and Bathsheba?

Grab a notebook and pen to jot down four ways we can get the help we need, even when our situations are difficult to discuss. It's not true that we can't talk about hard things. It just means we'll need greater wisdom and discretion.

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In Christ Unconditionally: Heart Conditions Bible Study

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Build Your Bible Habit-Proverbs Chapter 29

August 4th, 2022

BONUS BIBLE SERIES: Welcome to Proverbs chapter 29 on Build Your Bible Habit. This chapter reminds me of a class in character-building. When we are growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we grow in wisdom and understand, which improves our integrity, personality, and even our disposition. Without spiritual growth, we run the risk of developing destructive habits that make our lives harder, as well as affecting the lives of those we influence.

We are steps away from completing a month’s worth of Proverbs, and I hope you’ll keep this habit going. It takes humility to admit that we need God to guide us, especially since pride comes naturally to our human nature. As you’re continuing to study the book of Proverbs, pray and ask the Lord to reveal any areas to you where He would like to begin make changes. We know some of our weak spots, but God knows even the secrets of our hearts, so He is way better at transforming us. It helps if we are willing to allow God to work in our hearts.

As it says in Proverbs 29:23, "A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit." Humility wins over pride every single time.

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Teachback Tuesday-Backsliding Looks Like This

August 1st, 2022

Welcome to Teachback Tuesday, where we play the most popular episodes from the previous season. “Backsliding Looks Like This” received thousands of downloads over the year. I wonder if it's because backsliding is such a common temptation? It could happen to any of us.

Have you been making changes in your life that are weakening your faith and causing you to question biblical living? The process of backsliding is often slow but methodical. Skip a few church services, treat Bible study as optional, overindulge on popular movies and other media and before long, your Christian life is unrecognizable. Backsliding is the act of falling from our faith back into habits and behaviors that are selfish and biblically off-base. This episode covers three telltale signs of backsliding, along with suggestions on how to avoid this counterfeit lifestyle. 

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Build Your Bible Habit-Proverbs Chapter 28

July 28th, 2022

BONUS BIBLE SERIES: Welcome to Proverbs chapter 28 on Build Your Bible Habit. This chapter shows the contrasts between the wicked and the righteous. The term “wicked” means someone who is “criminal” and “hostile to God,” but it also carries the meaning of someone who is guilty of sin against God or man. That could be any of us! It is possible to stray into a zone that is very hazardous for our spiritual health. God wants the best for us, so it pays for us to learn these contrasts so that we can aim for upright living.

Are you getting into a good routine with building your Bible habit? The longer you keep this up, the closer you’ll grow to God, developing a genuine bond. Part of building a real relationship is being honest. Keeping our sins confessed protects us from becoming hard-hearted, and keeps us open and honest with God. As it say in Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." It doesn’t work to live a wicked life while pretending to be righteous. Be honest with yourself and with God. You’re not just building a Bible habit. You’re building a lifelong relationship with God.

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Teachback Tuesday-How to Give Wise Counsel

July 25th, 2022

Welcome to Teachback Tuesday, where you'll hear the most popular episodes from the previous season. Today’s episode, “How to Give Wise Counsel” was meant to guide those of us who are not trained counselors. We never know when someone may come to us and say, “Can I talk to you about something?” In fact, maybe we’ve been the ones to approach a friend for guidance with a tough situation. Giving counsel is a very serious matter. After all, we surely don't want to make matters worse. Grab a notebook and pen for this five-point episode. 

Call Upon Him: An Examination of Prayers Throughout Scripture

Rough Patches: Temporary Marital Tensions

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In Christ Unconditionally: Heart Conditions Bible Study

In Christ Unconditionally: New Testament Bible Study

In Christ Unconditionally: Old Testament Bible Study

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Build Your Bible Habit-Proverbs Chapter 27

July 21st, 2022

BONUS BIBLE SERIES: Welcome to Proverbs chapter 27 on Build Your Bible Habit. This is one of my favorite chapters in the book of Proverbs. Did you know that the word “friend” occurs 53 times in 49 verses within the Old Testament, and 5 of those are in Proverbs 27? We could call this the friendship guide, but it also has additional instructions, including financial advice at the end of the chapter. 

By now you’re hopefully beginning to see the relevance of Proverbs to daily living. When we read these verses with an intentional plan to apply them, we become better at every area of our lives, including in our relationships with God and others. By this point, you’ve also come a long way towards building your own personal Bible habit. The Bible improves us, making us better equipped to help others. 

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Teachback Tuesday-Signs of a Controlling Person

July 18th, 2022

Welcome to Teachback Tuesday, where we replay the most popular episodes from the previous season. "Signs of a Controlling Person" was downloaded thousands of times over the past year. Could it have anything to do with the reality that this is a common struggle? The desire to control the outcomes and people in our lives truly is a frequent temptation. It’s a flawed thread that runs throughout the fabric of our lives, making us tense and anxious. Why would anyone want to be high-strung and controlling on purpose?

I don’t think we really want to be controlling. It’s a tendency that comes with our carnal nature, and it feeds off of imaginations that we think we know what’s best.

We can trick ourselves into believing that if we manipulate situations just right, things will turn out according to our desires. The problem with this plot is that we’re out of line. People with control issues also have major trust issues, and the lack of trust starts with God and then works its way down into other relationships. 

How can we learn to let go of our controlling tendencies? Let’s just consider three signs of a controlling person, followed by suggestions on ways to abandon this draining habit.

In Christ Unconditionally: Heart Conditions Bible Application Study

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Encouragement for Women: 30-Day Devotional

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Build Your Bible Habit-Proverbs Chapter 26

July 14th, 2022

BONUS BIBLE SERIES: Welcome to Proverbs chapter 26 on Build Your Bible Habit. This chapter is filled with commentary about the fool. The term “fool” seems harsh, but it’s more like a diagnosis than a label. One of the plagues of a fool is imagining that they are wise. 

Did you know that the word “fool” also carries the meaning of an arrogant person? We tend to think of a fool as someone who is a simpleton or silly, but arrogance is woven into the word as well. This makes sense when we remember that beneath any foolish action is a root of pride. The absence of Scripture creates a void that is often filled with self-centered philosophies. 

The less time we spend in Scripture, the more opportunities we have to make things up as we go along. Beware of our own human tendencies to think that we are wiser than God. This chapter is full of word pictures, and as usual, we’ll find additional instructions about other issues of life as well.

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PERFECT GIFT: Pink & Brown Compact Bible

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