Rachel Olsen, Co-Editor of Online Devotions, proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
Matthew 22:37-39, “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NKJ)
Tomorrow, February 3, is the national “wear red day” as deemed by the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign. Many women are surprised to learn that cardiovascular disease claims more women's lives than the next six leading causes of death combined! About 500,000 women's lives are lost each year due to heart disease. And yet, that doesn’t have to be.
Women need to be aware of a few vital numbers: their blood pressure, their cholesterol levels, and their percentage of body fat. Your physician should be able to provide you with this information and counsel you on how to improve these numbers.
There are several things women can do to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease including adhering to a healthy diet, lowering “bad” cholesterol levels, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and refusing to smoke.
Symptoms of a heart attack in women start slowly with mild pain or discomfort and increase to:
- Shortness of breath (can occur without chest discomfort)
- Nausea and light-headedness
- Flu-like symptoms, including chills and cold sweats
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pain, tightness or pressure in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms (especially the left arm), the back, between the shoulder blades, the neck, the jaw, or the stomach
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Extreme fatigue
To be safe, call 911 if you experience or witness any of these symptoms in others.
Saving hearts from cardiovascular disease is very important, but there is another disease of the heart that is even more deadly: SIN. Sin lurks inside every human heart, inflicting its damage and seeking to snuff out life.
Heart disease is often called the silent killer because most women develop it over years, and yet do not know they have it until a heart attack occurs. Sin can work in the same way… bitterness, pride, selfishness, or unforgiveness take root and grow silently beneath the surface of our carefully constructed exterior image. Soon, however, it will erupt in an ugly fit of revenge, rage, jealousy or greed. Unless we are washed in the scarlet red, forgiving blood of Jesus Christ, sin will cause our ultimate death – separation from God for all eternity. It is written, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23, KJV)
Women need to be aware of a few more vital numbers: John 3:16-21, which reads, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. There is no judgment awaiting those who trust him. But those who do not trust him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants." (NLT)
Jesus addressed the crowds of people gathered around him in Mark 8:36 and posed this question, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (KJV) While each of us should take care of our physical heart and life, what good is that if we lose our soul to sin? Let us also take care of our spiritual heart by “wearing red” daily as we confess and wash our sins in the cleansing red blood of Christ.
My Prayer for Today:
Dear Lord, I thank You that when I put my trust in You and confess my sins, I am saved and washed by Your atoning blood. I confess today that I am a sinner with serious heart disease, and I need a transfusion of your blood. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Before you go to bed tonight, pick out something red to wear tomorrow. As you do, pray to the One who can use red blood to wash you white as snow.
Make an appointment with your doctor to get a check-up and get your blood tested.
Are you taking care of your physical heart?
When was the last time your received a spiritual blood transfusion from Christ?
Do you have sins lurking the in dark of your heart? Bring them to the light of Christ today!
Psalm 32:5, “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.’ and you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (NLT)
Hebrews 8:12, “And I will forgive their wrongdoings, and I will never again remember their sins.” (NLT)
1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” (NLT)
Do You Know Him?
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst
Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Ministries