Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Heart

During my Bible reading the past few months I keep finding references to the heart and what's in the heart and how it shows up in my life. You know what I've discovered? It really matters how I talk to myself! What I say to myself matters. What I think about matters. That's why I try to have the right focus with my thoughts; we've talked about that before. I'm just going to step through where my study led me. This first verse started the whole study because I had never considered what I spoke in my heart.

1. I am to speak the truth to myself. 
Ps. 15:1-2  "Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart." 
God abides or dwells with those who have the right lifestyle, the right actions, and the right meditations or thoughts in the heart. Truth always equals the Bible. What does the Bible say about me? What does the Bible say about my marriage and children? What does the Bible say about that person? This situation? What does the Bible say about my shortcomings and sins? What does the Bible say about anything? That's what I want to think about it so I must know the Bible!! Get in there and read it! Study it. Listen to preaching. Read good books about the Bible. Memorize it.

2. What I think about (or speak to myself) should be pleasing to God. 
Ps. 19:14. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." 
3. God gives me guidelines for my thoughts. 
Phil. 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." 
He's very practical and always enables me to do what He commands.  Am I thinking on what He tells me to? It takes a long time to retrain thoughts so I need to constantly be checking my thoughts against this list. 
  • Am I dwelling on someone's negative habits? 
  • Am I imagining worst case scenarios and freaking myself out? 
  • Am I contemplating hurting another individual? 
  • Am I preparing myself to sin when I am confronted with a certain situation?
These are all wrong thoughts. I need to confront my sin. I frequently say to myself, "That thought is not lovely." Then I must purposefully find something else to think about. 

4. God also tells me to meditate on His Word. 
Ps. 1:2, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." 
Josh. 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." 
I need to be soaking my heart in the Bible and meditating on the Bible is a great way to do this. I want to be so saturated with the Bible that it just comes out of me in every situation. Just like water comes out of a sponge when it's squeezed. I want to know it. I want it to be in all my thoughts. 

5. My thoughts define who I am. They shape me. 
Pro. 23:7, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:" 
I am what I think about! That makes my thoughts critical! I am to safeguard my heart and what I put in it. What's in my heart will color every situation. What's in my heart will impact how I respond. What's in my heart will determine my decisions, my habits, my lifestyle. 

6. I am to protect my heart. 
Pro. 4:23, "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." 
I am to protect what I put into my mind because I will think on it and it will becomes part of my heart. What do I watch on tv? Am I absorbing anti-Biblical thought patterns in tv shows? What do I listen to? What do I read? What do I think about? Do I combat the lies of the enemy with Scripture? Once again, I must know what the Bible says. Why?
  • To change my thoughts when they are incorrect
  • Because the more I read and study it the more it gets into my heart. The more I think about it the more it becomes part of me. 
7. Listen to myself. It's an easy, if convicting, gauge of my heart. 
 Luke 6:45, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." 
The abundance of the heart! What abounds in my heart? What do I cram in there? Is it the Bible? 
Matt. 15:18, "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man." 
Everything that I speak has its root in my heart. Do I yell? Anger and frustration are in my heart. Do I gossip? Hate lives in me. Do I run others down? Envy is probably growing somewhere. I want the fruit of the Spirit to flow out of my mouth and life: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Those come by yielding my life (and my thoughts) to God's control. I want to be like God's lady in Proverbs 31 and speak words of wisdom and kindness(v. 26). Yes, because I want my speech to be wise and kind but I also want my heart to be wise and kind. 

What do I think on? Am I filling my mind with the Bible and Biblical principles or am I overwhelming myself with sin? Truth must be spoken in my heart for others to hear Christ in my words and see Christ in my life. 

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