Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Matt 23:25-26 (KJV)

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
James 1:15 (KJV)

Training ourselves to have a good “thought life” takes diligent work. Can one actually control one’s mind? I believe we can! Temptation itself is not sin and God provides (I Corinthians 10:13) us with a way out when we are tempted. Therefore, controlling our thoughts, our actions, must be a possibility or this verse wouldn’t be in our bible! If we cannot train ourselves, then how can we as mothers train our children?

“Nursing” sin in our thoughts and dwelling on them will cause us to sin. Therefore, it’s so important to train ourselves to push those thoughts out of our heads.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: 19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
Psalms 66:18-20 (KJV)

As Noah Webster defines the word “regard,” one could read Psalm 66:18 as: If I love and esteem iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me! That’s exactly what we do when we “nurse” those sins in our thoughts! Do we or don’t we want our prayers to be answered? Do we want to be able to teach our children how to have control over their youthful lusts? How can we if we cannot even do this ourselves? Our children need to learn this – they need to know how to control their thoughts before they reach their teenage years. I can’t teach another to crochet if I don’t know how myself! I can’t teach another to bake a cake if I don’t know how myself!

Learn to live by Romans 8:5 and Philippians 4:8 – memorize it and turn to them when you are tempted to stray in your thought life. Fix your thoughts on the Lord, Jesus Christ. Think on those good things that He has blessed you with. When an evil thought crosses your mind, quickly change your thoughts to Jesus Christ! I Corinthians 10:13 is being applied when we do this!

When we can conquer this area, we can teach our children to do likewise ūüôā

Psalm 89 (1-14)

Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite. 1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. 3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. 5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord? 7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. 8 O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 9 Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. 10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. 13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. 14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.

What a beautiful Psalm to read first thing in the morning! Starting our day rejoicing and praising our Heavenly Father lays the groundwork for the rest of the day, doesn’t it? I love to sing the song with the words from verse 1. It prepares my heart and puts me in the right frame of mind? When I am singing about God’s mercies, I simply cannot run out of material! His mercy for me is so great! My salvation alone is sufficient to sing about until the Lord’s return. However, He did not stop there! On top of my salvation, my Father has showered me with blessings that are so undeserved!

Creation brings forth countless blessings for the child of God. We only have to look around us and keep our ears open and we will see God’s hand! As I sit writing this, I hear the roaring of the ocean in the distance. I hear the birds singing as the day is breaking. As I make my way from the outside of my house to the inside, I see my beloved, a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator. God’s blessings are all around me. I can only see those blessings if my heart has been prepared with praises as the Psalmist teaches. A thankful heart does not have room for complaining, amen?

The Apostle Paul’s encouraging words in Philippians teach us just what our thoughts should consist of:

~Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

This is a beautiful recipe on keeping our thought life in order! God’s Word is the only thing on this earth that is true, honest, just and pure! ¬†In His Word, we learn from His example in each of these areas. ¬†Aren’t we blessed to have His Word to open every day so we can receive His words for the day? ¬†Many have several Bibles in their home and yet they never open it.

As if the blessings He gives us from His Word aren’t enough, He has given us His lovely creation to enjoy. In every part of creation, we see His hand! ¬†We can start with the beautiful heavens as we gaze into the night sky. ¬†Looking at the variety of shells on the seashore then seeing the countless wildlife in the forest and on the forest floor is mind boggling! ¬†Stepping back from life’s hustle and bustle to look upon God’s handiwork will work on any believer’s heart.

And what good report is not enjoyed by the child of God when he hears of missionaries’ hard work producing fruit! Souls that have been won for the Kingdom are a wonderful report and encourage the believer’s spirit!

Today’s Psalm and verse from Philippians are a sure cure for stinking thinking! ¬†Look around – recognize God’s blessings and rejoice today!

Mist in Woods

~Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.

I have heard many times that as long as I don’t carry out my thoughts into action, I’m O.K. However, God knows our every thought. Jesus even went so far as to say:

~Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Nothing can be hidden from God. Our sin cannot be hidden, even if it is in thought only. Our discouragement and pain cannot be hidden from Him:

~Psalm 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee.

~Psalm 38:9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee.

God knows every little part of me down to the smallest cell in my body.  Since He knows us to the finest detail, He is able to know our goings as well:

~Psalm 139:15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

~Jeremiah 23:24a Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD.

There is not a place, even in our own thoughts, that we can hide from God. Therefore, let us keep our thought life in check and centered on the Lord then our actions will follow.

Repentance is to leave
The sin we loved before,
And show that we in earnest grieve
By doing so no more.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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