Today I want to talk about the consequences of the choices, falseness or truth and purity of heart. We cannot sit back and decide NOT to make a choice, because then we give away our freedom and the choice will be made for us.
Our previous sessions on the heart looked at:
- God knows your heart
- Clean up your heart
- Drink from the right cup
- Have a lean, not a fat heart
- Protect your heart from being hard
- Freedom in slavery
Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to You. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purity your hearts, you double minded.
Within the bigger theme of temptations, we can see that to choose God helps us to flee from temptations.
1 Tim 2:22
Flee from youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who will call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
And another way to flee from temptations is to go along with those who call on the Lord. If you want a pure heart, follow those who do have a pure heart. Surround yourself with people who do not fall into the temptation.
We read in Luke 6 about the tree and its fruit. The same concepts are repeated in Matthew 7 and in Mark 12.
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. Indeed, people do not gather figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from brambles. The good man brings good things out of the good treasure in his heart and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil treasure of his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
How do you know which people to surround yourself with? Look at the fruit in their lives (without judgement of course). We need to choose right, because it can happen so quickly that your heart becomes filled with the temptations, evil desires, and it will start to spill over to what you think and say
At a time I saw jealousy spilling out of me – where did that come from? I had to go and have a good look into my heart to find what I was coveting there. Now the same things makes no impact on me, I do not get jealous as I try to cling to good treasures.
This connects again with the parable of the sower story. The seeds on good the soil in the heart produces overflow of harvest, the seeds among evil allows the birds to come and pick it up.
Here follows a longer piece, putting the falseness of a bad choice in contrast with the purity of a good choice
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbour, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Our old lives, old ways of doing things should be sealed off – put away – an act between you and God and then His Spirit can make new impressions on you. Remember verses 31-32. Get rid of all bitterness, anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tender hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you. Next week I will discuss the sealing off a bit more
In Luke 5 we read that before Jesus healed a paralyzed man, He first forgave the sins of the person. The Pharisees got angry in their hearts that He said He can forgive sin. Jesus knew what was happening in their hearts and said
Why do you question this in your hearts?
And then he healed the man.
Satan’s lies gives doubt in our hearts. Our physical eyes sees things, it comes into our brains and our brains cannot make sense of it. We either then reject it with doubt or we accept it with faith.
In my own life, I have seen and heard so many falsehoods, my physical brain has made the connections to always be critical, doubtful, and cautious. When a good thing comes along, my brain automatically goes into that mode again. It has protected me so many times, but I think it has kept me from seeing or experiencing God many times.
May God open my eyes to discern and then clean my heart and brain to separate the false from the truth. Only then must the false be critical, doubtful, cautious, but the truth must go into the wonder, believe, faith.
The journey is sometimes difficult, but the reward is worth it.
Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with pure water.
1 Tim 1:5
The goal of our instruction is the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith.
Only if our hearts are cleansed and purified, do we experience the love of God for other people. So many times we try so hard to be fruitful, show the fruit of the Spirit, but our efforts will be wasted if we do not start the process at aligning our hearts in the right direction.
We HAVE to choose or the choice will be made for us.
To choose God helps us to flee from temptations.
Surround yourself with people who do not fall into the temptation.
Surround yourself with people living the Fruit of the Spirit
Get rid of bitterness, anger, outcry and slander
Choose to be kind and tender hearted, forgiving each other
The choice is between Satan’s lies that causes doubt or Jesus’s truth that causes faith.
Your heart will overflow with love if you choose correctly
May the LORD bless you and keep you.
May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.
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