A Renewed Mind and A Pure Heart

The Lord wants us to be strong in our minds and committed to His Word. He also wants us to know the difference between the truth and a lie. Jesus Christ told us in John 14:6 that he is the way, the truth, and the life; no one can come to God except they do so through him. Our inclination is to search for truth in other things and in other people, but the current state of the world reveals what a huge mistake this is. Heavenly Father is our Creator. He knows what it takes to make our lives work. He designed us in such a way that our hearts and minds need to be fed a continuous and nutritious diet, and only His Word will provide the kind of nourishment we need to be the people He desires us to be.

Even though it isn’t always articulated, most of us understand that a sharp mind and a pure heart is the making of a really great human being. We know this almost instinctively. On the opposite side of the spectrum, when a healthy person has a mind and heart that isn’t on point, it’s the markings of an individual that isn’t interested in the things of God. His Word tells us in James 1:8 that a person that is double-minded is unstable in all their ways. In Jeremiah 17:9, He tells us, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” God calls our attention to the fact that we’re working with components that will damage us severely if we don’t direct them through His Word.

Hebrews 4:10-11(NLT) states “10 For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. 11 So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.” The state of rest that God gives us is one where life isn’t one big hamster wheel. God intended that our lives should be filled with peace, joy, fulfillment, and meaningfulness. We shouldn’t feel as though we have to struggle, strive, duck, dive, and hide. We shouldn’t have to rob Peter to pay Paul, and live on the edge all the time. He has given us a better way to live through Jesus Christ, and we can enter this life by obeying God’s Word.

If we don’t obey God’s Word, He tells us the consequences; we will fall. This isn’t a maybe. God’s Word is true. He wants us to avoid a life of falling and failing, and in Hebrews 4:12 (NLT), He gives us the remedy. This verse states, “12 For the Word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. We need to understand that the bible is the living Word of God, and Jesus Christ is the Word in the flesh. Everything that God planned for humanity is wrapped up in Christ. This means that if we operate our lives according to the Word of God, we will have the mind and heart of Christ.  This is an amazing reality!

Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 12:33 (NLT), “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.” In case you didn’t know it, we are the trees he’s speaking of here, and we are in the fruit producing business. We can produce either good fruit or bad fruit, depending on what is in our hearts and minds. Jesus continues to school us in Matthew 12:34-35(NLT). He was speaking to the Pharisees, a group of people who were totally against him and the truth he represented. He said, “34 You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.”

When you think about the human existence, what we do, think, and speak determines the kind of people that we are. It is how others identify us. Before we knew Christ as we know him now, many of us behaved, spoke, and thought in ways that were not based on God’s Word. Instead, we adopted the world’s way. Our born-again status means we’re now held accountable by God to make some changes.

As born again Christians, we are instructed in God’s Word to renew our minds. This means that we must put off our old ways of thinking, speaking, and behaving; and put on new SPIRITUAL information in our minds and heart. Ephesians 4:17-18 (NLT) states “17 With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. 18 Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. 19 They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.” This is not the kind of people we were called to be. Verse 20-22 continues, 20 But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. 21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.

On trash day, we put the garbage on the sidewalk so that it can be picked up by the garbage truck. We don’t stand guard by the street, making sure the garbage is protected. Why not? Because it’s garbage. It has outlived its usefulness. We understand that we are discarding things that no longer have value. These are the kinds of things that we throw out or throw away. God tells us through the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:22 that we are to treat our old sinful nature in the same way. We’re to throw it off

God wants us to put on the new nature that matches our new reality in Christ. He tells us in Colossians 3:10 (NLT), “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.” This is what really matters in life, and the way to get there is to have a heart that honors God and is humble towards Him, and to renew our minds to the truth of His Word. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“A Renewed Mind and A Pure Heart” written by J Mack, 4theChristianMan.com© 2017. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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