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“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” — Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” — James 1:15 (NLT)
SO, EVEN OUR THOUGHTS ARE SUBJECT TO GOD’S JUDGMENT?
Well, Jesus was pretty clear about it in Matthew 5 (27-28), when He said that it’s not just a sin to commit adultery, but that if any man or woman looks upon another person with lust in their hearts, that person “has already committed adultery” (NKJV).
Does that mean it’s not enough that we not do harmful things … or make derogatory comments …we can’t even think those thoughts even if we don’t say or do them?
Isn’t that a bit much?
Who can go through a whole day without thinking sinful thoughts? It’s tough enough avoiding the actions and comments.
MAYBE THAT’S THE POINT.
God knows our sinful hearts. He knows how we work. After all, He created us, and He knows our rebellion.
There’s a well-known misquote of a Bible verse that says “money is the root of all evil,” when the actual verse says it’s “the love of money” that is the root of evil and that “through this craving,” many have wandered away from the truth and faith in Jesus (1 Timothy 6:10 ESV).
James reminds us that it’s our desires that “entice us and drag us away” (James 1:15 NLT).
God knows that as soon as we start harboring thoughts, whatever they may be, those thoughts will overtake us and begin to drive our comments and our actions … a little at a time … until they completely take us over.
Our Lord Jesus Christ warned us again in Matthew 15:11, when He said it’s not what goes into our bodies that defiles us but what comes out of our bodies.
What defiles us is what comes out of our hearts … and our thoughts.
GOD, IN HIS MERCY, has given us the way out.
He tells us what we should be thinking about:
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).
How do we do that?
Paul tells us:
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).
Amen! God is good!
PRAYER: Our Heavenly Father, You know our thoughts are impure. You know we wander from the truth. We stay connected for a short time, then go astray. You keep pulling us back … through reading Your Word, through worship, through fellowship. Thank You for Your mercy. Change our hearts, O LORD, to hearts that seek the Risen Lord, that witness to the life-saving power of the Holy Spirit, that spread the message of redemption. We lift this prayer in the name of Jesus, Amen
Are there thoughts that you’ve been struggling with that you would like to turn over to the Lord? He says He’s faithful and just and will forgive us when we own up to them. What stops you from confessing your sins to Him right now?
Why do you think our Lord insisted that our thoughts (and hearts) defiled us? Do you agree with the Bible’s teaching that our sinful behavior comes from our desires? Do you believe our sin is solely traceable back to Satan or the world’s pull on us?
Do you believe that harboring only pleasant thoughts is something you can control on your own, or do you recognize that you need the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, both to convict you and to instruct you?
Would you like us at LoveAndGrace to pray for you? If so, please indicate in the Comment field. God bless!