It Starts in the Heart
by Jon Walker

For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all other sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. (Matthew 15:19 NLT)

We tend to think that if we clean up our behavior, then we’ve got a good handle on being like Jesus. But Jesus says behavior starts in the heart, so we need to be cleaned from the inside out. And once our hearts are right, godly behavior follows.

The Apostle Paul says one way to monitor the condition of our hearts is to track what comes out of our mouths – anger or acceptance, criticism or encouragement, bitterness or forgiveness. In addition, Paul explained, «If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.» (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 MSG)

Rather than trying to hide the condition of our hearts by being insincere in what we say or do, God wants us to hand our hearts to him so he can scrub them clean. King David, confessing the sin in his own heart, invited God to change its condition: «God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.» (Psalm 51:10 HCSB)

When you allow God to capture your heart, he’ll then set a guard around your heart: «And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.» (Philippians 4:7 HCSB)

You can maintain a vigilance over your heart by dealing with issues immediately, instead of allowing them to fester for days, weeks, or even longer.

What now?

· Daily questions for you – Andy Stanley, from North Point Community Church outside Atlanta, suggests asking these questions daily:

    * Is everything OK in my heart?
    * Am I waiting for someone to make things right with me?
    * Have I been having extended conversations (debates) in my mind with anyone lately?
    * Am I holding on to any secretsí

· Daily questions for your family – Andy Stanley also suggests you ask these questions of your family each day:

    * How's your heart?
    * Anybody broken a promise to you today?
    * Anybody been mean to you today?
    * Anybody hurt your feelingsí

© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.

Devocionales Cristianos


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