1 Peter 4:1-2, Depart? or Enter in?, Galatians 5:16 &25, Galatians 5:22-24, How about your heart, James 1:22, James 2:14-20, Lord, Many will SAY Lord, Matthew 12:34-37, Matthew 15:16-20, Matthew 6:16, Matthew 7:13-14, Matthew 7:20-23, Psalm 141:3-5, Saying or doing?
Bible Ballistics: Vol. 19 No. 13 How About MY Heart???
It seems that we are living in a world gone amuck with power, money, and disregard of The Lord God Almighty, HIS Word, and HIS SON! But the real question is, “What about “MY” heart?” I think Jesus’ words make it clear what we need to consider—and notice that Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders in this first passage.
“O generation of vipers,
how can ye, being evil,
speak good things?
for out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart
bringeth forth good things:
and an evil man out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you,
That every idle word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment.
37 For by thy words
thou shalt be justified,
and by thy words
thou shalt be condemned.” Matthew 12:34-37
And as Jesus said in another place:
“And Jesus said,
Are ye also yet without understanding?
17 Do not ye yet understand,
that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth
goeth into the belly,
and is cast out into the draught?
18 But those things which proceed
out of the mouth
come forth from the heart;
and they defile the man.
19 For out of the heart proceed
20 These are the things
which defile a man:
but to eat with unwashen hands
defileth not a man.” Matthew 15:16-20
The Psalmist reminds us that what comes out of our mouth is under our control, and as we avoid the evil, we are to appreciate and desire the correction of the righteous—to both receive it, and to be that “iron sharpening iron” to others!
“Set a watch, O LORD,
before my mouth;
keep the door
of my lips.
4 Incline not my heart
to any evil thing,
to practise wicked works
with men that work iniquity:
and let me not
eat of their dainties.
5 Let the righteous smite me;
it shall be a kindness:
and let him reprove me;
it shall be an excellent oil,
which shall not break my head…” Psalm 141:3-5a
So, what is in my heart? In yours? Only God knows all about me, but what comes out of my mouth, according to Jesus’ words, will reveal what is truly in my heart. I’m not talking about a stray word when someone bangs his thumb, but I am talking about the evil, vile words of hatred, spite, and cruelty that spew from many who claim the name of Jesus. And there is a difference between what the Psalmist is describing as the reproof and accountability of the righteous toward one another. James contrasts it as real faith and vain faith—that which is confirmed by a righteous, holy lifestyle, in contrast to a lifestyle of nothing but words! Jesus talked about this in Matthew 7, (And just let me clarify, I don’t think Paul and James disagreed on faith and grace—James isn’t denying faith, but simply distinguishing the difference between “just saying so”, and “being so”!)
“What doth it profit, my brethren,
though a man say he hath faith,
and have not works?
can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister
and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them,
Depart in peace,
be ye warmed and filled;
ye give them not those things
which are needful to the body;
what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith,
if it hath not works,
18 Yea, a man may say,
Thou hast faith,
and I have works:
shew me thy faith
without thy works,
and I will shew thee my faith
by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well:
the devils also believe,
20 But wilt thou know,
O vain man,
that faith without works
is dead?” James 2:14-20
And as James also said (in the same vein):
“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves.” James 1:22
Jesus makes the delineation clear:
“Enter ye in at the strait gate:
for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be
which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life,
and few there be
that find it…
…. 20 Wherefore by their fruits
ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father
which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many
23 And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you:
depart from me,
ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:13-14, 20-23
We are impowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit to live in The Spirit and not the flesh if we will but yield to HIS work and obey!
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered
in the flesh,
arm yourselves likewise
with the same mind:
for he that hath suffered
in the flesh
hath ceased from sin;
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time
in the flesh
to the lusts of men,
but to the will of God.” 1 Peter 4:1-2
Paul gives us a key to walking in victory over our heart and mind, which leads us to victory over our tongue. Are you and I heeding The Holy Spirit as we should? Or going our own way? As I’ve said before, it’s your choice (and mine), but remember there is a test!
“This I say then,
Walk in the Spirit,
and ye shall not fulfil
the lust of the flesh…
…25 If we live in the Spirit,
let us also walk in the Spirit.
26 Let us not be desirous
of vain glory,
provoking one another,
envying one another.” Galatians 5:16 & 25
And in closing, Paul’s amazing reminder of what The Spirit’s work looks like in us! I encourage you to spend some time and memorize these verses (at least 22-23) for your good and God’s glory!
“But the fruit of the Spirit is
there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s
have crucified the flesh
with the affections
and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24
So, the question we all must answer is, “How about my heart?”! It’s what Jesus calls us to, and scripture is replete with the call to us is to be “salt…and light…” to a world lost in sin and darkness! What will you do with your “light”?
“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 6:16
Amen and Amen!!!