Q. 51 of 100 Lk. 5:22 “What are you thinking in your hearts?”
Isn’t this amazing, that Jesus would ask the Scribes and Pharisees such a deep question about a heart issue. These were the top of the line in the house of God we expect that their hearts are always set on the law and will of God operating in the heart of God.. Ironically however even the holiest person would not like to have their thoughts sometimes put on a jumbo tran at church, but Jesus was revealing that what is inside of us, He already knows it, before we even think a thought He knows it full well and can answer it. Isn’t it amazing that we serve a God like that!
What Jesus knew was that ultimately these men were going to begin devising a plan to kill Him by crucifixion and He was pointing out right here right now a pivotal indicator of why it happened. It makes it quite plain that the issue they were having the entire time had to do with the heart and this was what led to Jesus’ crucifixion… My thoughts after this was, I wonder if these were the same people who accepted Him after His death. Isn’t it amazing how we don’t take time to interrogate our thoughts to line them up with the truth we know and we wind up doing things out of alignment with what we know to be truth then we wonder why we got this outcome after it’s done.. At this point these people were operating in their own understanding.. ever done that?
Obviously, Jesus is talking to the hard liners here.. Jesus is speaking to the leaders in the temple, these are not regular lay people, they know not only the law of the land but the Law of the Lord.. And if anyone should understand the heart of God and have compassion for people shouldn’t it be the ones running the house of God, the ones He left in charge of His place of worship? They are the ones who are to lead others to God, the ones who have the great call of leading by example and that means leading with the very heart of God toward all people. How many of us lead with the Love of God in our hearts toward all people… Or is our heart thinking that atheist does not want Jesus, so I reject him, or that muslim may be the next bomber so I don’t like her, and we criticize how they dress… not out loud but in our hearts.. But what if our thoughts to God were just as important as what comes out of our mouths, what if that is a stench we are offering God as worship, unforgiveness toward people and resentment because someone didn’t do what we thought when we thought.. not outwardly addressing it but inwardly hating others as believers who profess to love Jesus!
I got whiff of a very powerful book some years ago, and I have read it several times called “Change your heart, change your life” By Gary Smalley. What the book basically points out is that whatever is in our hearts will come out in our words and actions and here’s the deal, we can only change what we are doing by modifying our hearts, and the way to modify our hearts ironically is to watch what we are thinking by putting the word of God constantly in.. I mean chewing on the word of God day in and day out.. It means every week having power verses you quote when your at the red light, when you take a break at work, these verses are truly to be life verses because we have a faulty heart alignment as humans being born in sin and shaped in iniquity and the only way to change that is to carefully monitor our thoughts not our actions.. What are we putting in.. Garbage In, Garbage Out! This is Not by making New Resolutions or deciding within ourselves we don’t like the way we are or the addiction we have, so we just go cold turkey although sometimes that does work but we must make a conscious decision that the word Of God because the ruling factor in my life we must be bold enough to address that there is an issue in the heart and we must do the hard work of constantly putting in our hearts what God thinks about that issue!
I will be honest and very vulnerable for a moment.. I have a serious issue with talking.. too much! I’m very long winded if you couldn’t tell, I am one of the most open people I know and sometimes it’s a very bad thing because I start talking and many times I say too much about myself to the wrong people, When John Wesley was beginning his ministry he would have this rule he taught his disciples as well when they were going out or meeting with someone.. Don’t talk longer than 15 minutes. Ever wonder why in counseling at a church most times the pastor is not doing all the talking.. He’s smart, He knows he’s human and if he talks too much he will begin to talk out of his own emotion and may possibly nullify the power of God’s word.. So if he’s smart he will try to keep his counsel down to only what the bible would say and leave it at that.
while even Jesus knew how to expose certain things only to His disciples and even 9 of them were more limited than the other 3… I have to say that this is an area I have struggled in for years, trying to make co-workers family and even a boss this time.. but the Lord is so faithful I am not left without remedy from His word.. I mentioned that I talk to much… So the scripture verse I chose to constantly meditate on became… Psalm 10:19 “When words are many sin is not absent but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Whenever I am constantly putting this one verse into my heart and chewing on it’s words throughout the day recognizing in my heart the power of my words I better reign them in, not because it’s in my own power but I’m putting in me a new truth that helps me better evaluate my words before they leave my mouth, realizing they are coming from my heart.
May the Lord add a blessing to those who desire not only to modify behavior, but to change our hearts!