What Does Your Heart Produce?

Some are destined to find fault with everything in life, no matter how blessed they are and how well things seem to be going for them. Unfortunately Jesus had to deal with this problem in His day also, but His response in how to deal with this problem really helps us today. Stay with me as we spend some time on today’s Scripture, I believe it might help us in the way we tend to respond to people that we come into contact with!

DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-05
WRITTEN AT: Gallup, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 15:17-20
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)

BIBLE TEXT: 17 Don’t you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18 But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God. 19 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20 These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.

APPLICATION: The Pharisees had overstepped their boundaries, as usual, and tried to test Jesus by reporting something they felt His disciples were overlooking. In this particular instance, they reported that, upon close observation, it appeared like the disciples were neglecting the customs of the Jews in washing their hands before eating a meal. Now we practice this little rule today, and we will get on to our children for not practicing good hygiene. But Jesus took this opportunity to teach the Pharisees, and us, that although this may be a good earthly practice to avoid spreading of germs, this is minuscule in the big picture, as it has nothing at all to do with godliness. So does this mean that the Christian must think only about godliness? Not necessarily, but when you follow through like the Pharisee in reporting a brother or sister for non-godly things, instead of praying that they might become more Christ-like, then there may be questions about your motives. Furthermore, I would hope that when you report someone for breaking man’s law, or God’s, I would hope that your life is in stellar condition. Much like the case of the Pharisees, I remember a time when I was gossiping with a coworker about certain staff members who, I thought, was less than perfect. To my surprise, and through a rude awakening, that coworker looked at me and said: ‘that’s funny, they say the same thing about you’. Shocking, but thank God for an honest and bold coworker, for it opened my eyes that I was too much like the Pharisees. Jesus went on to give examples of what results from a heart that is filled with the world’s trash. Think carefully about the Word of God and see if you could think of any Scripture that supports the following actions: evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. I believe you will find that the Bible/God teaches just the opposite to each of these wicked things. Being children created by God, I’m sure that He didn’t teach these things to us, so where do you suppose we came up with these? Friends, we live in an evil and conniving world that is out to set God’s children out of line with His powerful and godly teachings. It is very important that we fill our minds with the things of Christ. Jesus taught that if we fill ourselves with these two things – love God; and love one another; then we would easily follow all of His other commandments. As we practice these two commandments each day, we will fill our hearts and our minds with the things of God, and the world needs to see and witness more of this today, than perhaps any other time in history. We must guard our hearts, so that we take in the things of God, and not the things of this world that leads to more evil and disharmony. Show them Jesus, won’t you?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Fill your heart, mind and soul with more of Jesus, and prepare to worship Him! the world needs more of Jesus, not more of itself.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I desire that my heart will produce the fruits that You speak of in Your Word. To accomplish this while still in a world filled with sin and imperfections, I will need You by my side every minute of every day. Please fill me with the will to obey Your commands and to replicate the many good things that You modeled while on earth. My friends who will read and/or listen to this devotional may have the same desire, so Lord I pray that You will touch Your children today in miraculous ways so that the world may know that Jesus lives, because they see You alive in us. Please humble hearts who need You today. Draw the lost to You and use us at every opportunity where You know that we won’t mess up. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Hide God’s Word in Your Heart & Truly Live for Him

The Holy Bible: The Good News Translation

Psalm 119:10–11

10             With all my heart I try to serve you;

keep me from disobeying your commandments.

11             I keep your law in my heart,

so that I will not sin against you.

Thoughts:

I heard at a conference last Friday that if every American paid their fair share of taxes, then each American who currently pay, would pay $2,000 less per year! I have no political agenda friends, but I thought that statistic would help me to introduce my thought on this short passage. For I believe that if every Christian took the stand as David did in vowing to sincerely serve God from the very depths of our hearts, and with God’s help, vowed to obey His commands, then I believe several things will occur:

  • We will not be looked upon by non-Christians as hypocrites, for we will live our lives in accordance with what we say we believe;
  • Individually we would have such an influence on non-Christians, that we associate with, that they will be under constant conviction by God, because they will feel the presence of God in such a real and sobering way;
  • We will naturally humble ourselves, kneel and pray, so that God might hear from heaven, heal our land and perform mighty works among the people and governments of our land (2 Chronicles 7:14);
  • Our worship services will be so filled with praise and worship to our Lord and Savior that non-believers walking into our midst will be immediately touched by God’s Holy Spirit that will be very evident in the place of worship.

So friends, how important is it for us to draw near to God, commit to obeying His commands and actually live out His whole teaching? It could mean the difference of life eternally for a friend or loved one. If not, we could continue to live our lackadaisical lives content with seeing these special folk die every day around us and go to hell. It can make the difference of life and death for them, and a much more pleasing experience for us when we stand before our Master. What will it be for you, friend?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, walking the Christian life and living according to Your will is influenced by everything talked about in this devotional today. Thank You for the reminder through Your servant David, on the importance of committing Your Word to our hearts so that our lives will be influenced by it, and not the alternative – the evil things of this world and its leader, Satan. Others need to see Jesus in us to help convince them that there is a living, loving, everlasting God. Oh that they may see just that today dear God. This can only be possible through the power and might of Your precious Holy Spirit, so I plead my case before You dear God, in the precious and powerful name of Your Son, Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

NOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.

How Do You Handle Correction?

God’s Word Says….

Acts 21:27-30 (GNT)

27 But just when the seven days were about to come to an end, some Jews from the province of Asia saw Paul in the Temple. They stirred up the whole crowd and seized Paul. 28“Men of Israel!” they shouted. “Help! This is the man who goes everywhere teaching everyone against the people of Israel, the Law of Moses, and this Temple. And now he has even brought some Gentiles into the Temple and defiled this holy place!” (They said this because they had seen Trophimus from Ephesus with Paul in the city, and they thought that Paul had taken him into the Temple.)

30 Confusion spread through the whole city, and the people all ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the Temple. At once the Temple doors were closed.

My Thoughts…..

It is sad that the unchurched of today remain unchurched, often because of bad experiences with Christians, or the church. It is even more sad that many Christians ‘pack up their toys’ and leave a church when they can’t have their own way, or when the pastor/preacher/priest preaches God’s Word and it does it’s intended job of highlighting sin in the lives of those listening, but ‘Christians’ leave because someone is identifying certain things that they do as ‘Sin’. Not sure what really set off the Romans when they heard Paul preach, but they had their fill and was not about to let it continue. So instead of ‘packing up their toys’ and leaving, they just thought they would incite trouble and kill the messenger. But you may ask, “How might this relate to us today?” Friends, Satan still does his best to interfere and/or stop the work of the Lord, and he uses the unsaved, and the weak, selfish, children of God to accomplish his work. We may have come far enough in our society that church goers might not grab the messenger of God, drag him outside and try to kill him, but they often allow Satan to use them in more cunning ways to destroy, or severely inhibit the work of the Lord in our churches and/or communities. Churches are closing their doors at a greater rate than most people could ever remember in history; Bible study and prayer has been kicked out of our schools; churches are in such discord that most pastors could only stand an average of 18 months on the job without their health being severely impacted.

Challenge……

I believe that our challenge today is simple, but yet very challenging. For those who have not surrendered their lives to the Master, I would challenge you to listen closely to the Spirit of God that might be encouraging and convincing you of your need of a Savior. Please don’t look at others who are trying to be Christ-like. When you make your decision to accept the call of God on your life, you will have an obligation to be like HIM, not like the ‘Christian’ you have known who appears to be a hypocrite. Each of us will be accountable to God for ourselves, and I’m pretty sure that an answer indicating that you tried real hard to be like Brother ‘Fred’ (who whomever) will not be acceptable to God. Yes, Christians should live their lives in a manner worthy of others following them, but our responsibility is always that we live like Jesus did. Now, to those of us that know that we are Christians, please let’s remind ourselves that Satan is still alive and working harder than ever to destroy the work of God. Furthermore, he is trying to use us to do his dirty work for him. Daily in the Word; Daily in prayer; Take time to worship with other believers; Encourage one another, and do not pull each other down; These are some of the attributes that will help us to stay strong in our faith. I have always heard “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”, and I believe that this is proven way too often. Make this your new, or renewed objective each day – to be more like Jesus in everything you say or do. Then, get into the Word (the Bible) so you can learn the ways of God and the things that Jesus said! You’ll find yourself praying for your pastor, instead of tearing him apart for every little thing!

Prayer……

Lord Jesus, it is amazing how little things have changed from the days of Paul’s persecution, to the wickedness that still destroys churches today. I pray that You will prick the hearts of Christians anytime we are tempted to follow the wishes of Satan rather than doing Your will and being Your imitators. Lord, it sometimes feel like we are losing the battle in winning the lost to You, and that way too often the world, or Satan, is winning Christians over to his army of evildoers and backbiters and destroyers of Your work. I am reminded that You are still very much in control and that these things happen to cull out the evil from Your churches, but Lord, please encourage those of us that look on these events as discouragement in the ministry. Please remind us to keep on task with our individual mission to draw closer to You every day, and to keep on witnessing to the unsaved, or fallen, so that they may catch a glimpse of You and gain a desire to know You in a personal way. Father, this is a mighty task in my eyes, but I am reminded that ALL things are possible with You, so I ask all this in that all powerful name of Your only Son, Jesus, my Lord, AMEN!

Action…..

In response to God leading You through this devotional today, please get with a Bible teaching Pastor you may know and allow him to guide you. Otherwise feel free to reply to my post online, or you may email me directly at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. I will gladly add you to my prayer list, and/or respond to your request(s) ASAP.