The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:45, NASB) Jesus shares, in Mark 7:21-23, “And Jesus said, “The things that come out of people are the things that make them unclean. All these evil things begin inside people, in the mind: evil thoughts, sexual sins, stealing, murder, adultery, greed, evil actions, lying, doing sinful things, jealousy, speaking evil of others, pride, and foolish living. All these evil things come from inside and make people unclean.”(NCV)

The heart (mind) is the driving force behind all that we do, say, or think. No one, aside from those who may have some type of limiting intellectual disability, can use “I wasn’t thinking” as an excuse for displaying some type of inappropriate behavior. As the above passages indicates, the actions of a person are a reflection of what his or her heart is filled with; therefore, one who is wicked has a heart that is full of evil, while one who strives to be righteous has a mind that is focused on pleasing God and doing what’s right (Rom 12:17-21). If you find yourself struggling to consistently have good thoughts and to display good behavior before others, the culprit is your heart. Make more time for God; for the reading and studying of His word, and for fellowship with those who strive for purity of heart and righteous living. In addition, stay away from those who are likely to try and fill your heart with greed, lust, hate, anger…wickedness. Don’t deceive yourself, brief and sporadic attempts at trying to get encouragement from the word of God will lead to spiritual impotence and frailty; on the other hand, a sincere commitment to God’s word and His will, will continuously fortify your heart, which in turn, will lead to thoughts, words, and action that are pleasing in His sight. Remember Christians, Jesus is our example. The Apostle Peter shares in 1 Peter 2:21, 22 , “To thisyou were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps; He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” An application of this passage is that Jesus committed no sin and did not lie because His heart was saturated with God’s word and He was always focused on pleasing God the Father; as Christians, shouldn’t ours be the same?

To sum it all up, tune-in to God and tune-out the sinful ways of the world. Put down the remote (or controller) as well as any other stumbling block and cancel those plans…give attention to those things that will be a positive influence on your life! Concentrate on the word of God.

MD 5/24/12

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