THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR HEART & THINKING by todd tomasella

THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR HEART & THINKING

Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way…” Hosea 10:12-13

  • Sow to yourselves in righteousness” – plant only good seeds in your heart and mind, for out of your heart is the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).
  • “break up your fallow ground” – till and prepare your heart to receive from and walk with the LORD fully and completely, bearing one hundred fold fruitfulness (Mk. 4; Lk. 8:12-15).
  • “It is time to seek the LORD” – the time is now to seek His face and ask Him to have complete control of your life.
  • “till he come and rain righteousness upon you” – the LORD promised here to rain down His righteousness upon your life as you seek His face.

God can only do as much as your heart is prepared to receive (see Lk. 8:12-15). He has limited Himself to your willingness to obey Him in the preparation of your heart.

Beloved, if your heart is not being searched, turned, plundered, and prepared to be made pliable to the One who made it, your spiritual life is dead – regardless of any other activities you may be doing including Bible study and prayer.

I want us to isolate the last part of this Bible passage – ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way…” One eats the fruit of lies only if he accepts them in lieu of the truth due to lack of knowledge.

“For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings...O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” Jeremiah 17:3-4, 14

Friend, if you are going to be built up against the days of wickedness coming soon to your world, you must dig deep now lest your love for God wax cold and you perish (Matt. 24:10-13). If your soul will be preserved in Christ, you must remove every person, thing, and thought that does not lead you closer to the LORD (Mk. 9:43-49). Some have the vain idea that they are somehow going to be able to resist and draw the line when the mark of the beast and one-world system is consummated and no man can buy or sell without the soul-damning mark (Rev. 13-14). Not true. I believe that only those who are presently choosing to deny self instead of Christ in this hour will be prepared when the antichrist system is put in ratified. To deny Christ the right to rule your life is antichrist and identifies one as an antichrist – regardless of profession (Tit. 1:16).

A broken and contrite spirit and a mind that thinks according to the LORD’s Word is paramount to pleasing Him who bled for us (Ps. 34:18; 51:17; Prov. 23:7; Rom. 12:1-2; Phil. 4:8).

Pride and self-idolatry are at the root of all sin. Remember Lucifer? See Isaiah 14:12-15. Upon conceiving pride in his heart, he was cast down – he who then became Satan was shamefully abased by the Almighty and with no opportunity to return to the grace of God (Ezek. 28; Lk. 10:18).

The LORD warned us specifically about “the pride of life.” One can know he is living out of a prideful heart when he is ruling his own life, self-willed, reigning as his own king while refusing the lordship of the eternal Word.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” 1 John 2:15-17

This world is soon to be forgotten forever and only those who literally and practically perform/do the will of God will abide or have life in His eternal kingdom! Some reading this message are living out of a prideful heart and vainly believe that you will beat the system and somehow escape the judgment of the Almighty. We cannot fool Him who sees all and will bring all things to the surface on that soon to come Day of His holy Wrath and Judgment (Matt. 10:26). Nothing is hidden from His all-seeing eyes (Prov. 15:3; Heb. 4:13).

Here the Holy Spirit of God clearly defines who loves the world and therefore does not have the love of the Father (are outside His salvation). Those who have the following love this fleeting world:

  • “lust of the flesh” – lusting after the things of this world including sensual lusts.
  • “lust of the eyes” – implacablenot content; never satisfied (insatiably dissatisfied), always coveting more of the world’s temporal goods and pleasures.
  • “pride of life” – ruling and leading ones own life; making plans without seeking the LORD’s leading; self-willed, rejecting the supreme rule of the LORD.

Those among us who love this world system and are wrapped up in its ways and thinking do not possess the love of the LORD – they are lost, regardless of how spiritual they seem to be. It doesn’t matter if one goes to weekly church meetings, speaks with tongues, sings to the LORD, prays, and reads the Bible – if he is carnally minded he is outside of the will of the LORD (Rom. 8:5-6).

“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

A broken heart and a transformed mind are essential to your growth and continuance in the LORD’s kingdom (Ps. 34:18; 51:17; Matt. 5:3, 6, 8; Eph. 4:23-24).

Jesus said that those who do not have a relationship with the LORD and strive to seek after the things of this temporary world system – “For after all these things do the Gentiles seek.” (Matt. 6:32) To His own, the LORD says “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matt. 6:33-34)

The Gospel of Matthew records the following terms the Son of God used concerning this world and its godless people:

“adulterous generation” (12:39; 16:4)

“wicked generation” (12:45)

“perverse generation” (17:17)

“There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.” Proverbs 30:12

This Scripture reveals that we can be pure in our own eyes or estimation and yet have a filthy heart – lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

All those who are washed from the “filthiness” of pride and worldly lusts will be pleasing to the LORD.

Any person who is engrossed in this present world system is committing spiritual adultery against the LORD. – “Ye shall have no other gods before me.” (Exod. 20:3) Looking to and setting our affections upon anyone or anything above the LORD, is spiritual adultery.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2

The LORD is a jealous God and will punish those who refuse to repent of spiritual adultery (Exod. 20:3-5; 34:14).

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4

All those who refuse to humble themselves will soon be crushed – vanquished into the bowels of eternal damnation with all other rebels.

And whosoever shall fall on this stone (Jesus) shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” Matthew 21:44

No prideful person – not one – will enter the gates of eternal glory in the heavenly kingdom. Even a cursory perusing of Scripture reveals such a foundational truth (Matt. 18:3-4). We shall all receive a just (perfectly equal) reward for the intents of our heart and things we do in the flesh in this life:

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:7-8

Jesus Christ came and humbled Himself and became obedient even unto the giving up of His own life and blood for us (Phil. 2:8). Now it’s your turn. Now is the hour for you to answer His call to repent and lay it all down at His holy feet – to come before Him with a heart and words of repentance, fall upon His mercy, and pour out your heart before Him. Here are your marching orders if you are going to please Him and be in His everlasting kingdom:

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:4-10

PRAYER OF REPENTANCE: LORD I repent this moment for living in the pride of life and for committing spiritual adultery and having other false gods before You! I humbly beg Your forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ! Break me to the core of my being LORD. I this moment lay my whole being and future in Your holy hands. I agree to suffer for Your name and Gospel’s sake. I choose from this moment forward to dig deep and unearth any stone that is an offense to You. Holy Father please probe the depths of my being and make my conscience extremely sensitive to Your conviction. I cry out to You in desperation for You to grant me to have a heart of flesh and that You would remove all stony places. Chasten me Jesus – I love You! Amen.

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GLORIFYING GOD IN OUR COMMUNICATIONS

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

As God has forgiven my sins for Christ’s sake and not for my own sake, I am commanded to forgive others freely. This is the grateful heart posture of the true saint.

Handling Information that Comes to Us from Others

The way we field information and things that come to our knowledge is determined by the level of maturity. For example, what if someone comes to you today and says “__________ is a bad person, they have been doing _______________.” How would you react? Would you in amazement say “Really” and listen intently for the gossip? Or, would you rather respond with “Well ______ I am sorry to hear this accusation about __________ and perhaps this is just hearsay. Why don’t we lift that person up to Jesus right now? Let’s pray ok?” And take that person’s hand, bow your head, and pray for the accused person. Few things silence this evil as this will. Give it a try.

Which one of the two responses above would be the more godly way,  proving the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives?

The even more subtle approach of the enemy is to have someone come to you and say something like “Do you know that _______ has been accused of __________?” Or, “Boy I would watch out for ________. I know a person/people who says that _________ did _____________.”

Saints, an accusation is still just that – an accusation. The person is to be considered innocent until proven guilty. “Charity…Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things (believes to the best until clearly proven guilty).” (1 Cor. 13:4, 6-7)

Have you yourself ever been accused of anything that was not true? Of course right? Well, in keeping Christ’s Golden Rule to treat others as you wish to be treated, place the shoe on the other foot and put yourself in the accused person’s place (Matt. 7:12). What if a false accusation began about you today? How would you want people to handle it?

False Accusations/Witnesses

Is there a possibility that the LORD has covered this issue in His Word?

Simply put, false witnesses speak false accusations.

Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.” Psalms 27:12

False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.” Psalms 35:11

Especially in the life of the true believer, there will be false witnesses who spawn false accusations.

Jesus told us:

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matthew 5:11

Among the things listed concerning the attributes of people in the final days (in which we now live) is “false accusers.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5) Yes, there were “false accusers” in Christ’s day and there are the same in our day. Joseph received false accusation from Potipher’s wife and suffered greatly as a result (Gen. 37-39). Our LORD had “false witnesses” set up against Him (Matt. 26:60). So did righteous Stephen (Acts 6:13). Every believer must suffer such (1 Pet. 2:21; 4:1). In light of this, we should be wise concerning these things.

By the way, what if in fact everything said about the accused person is absolutely true? So? Is God’s grace and mercy provided to all men by Christ’s perfect sacrifice not enough to atone for and restore that person? Of course it is so let’s rejoice to be His healing agents – we are ambassadors for Christ.” (2 Cor. 5:20) Has not the One who saved us and made us new creatures “given to us the ministry of reconciliation”? (2 Cor. 5:17-20) Beloved, we are the Church of the living God and not the lost. The lost are without hope in this world. They do not possess the hope that only comes from Jesus, but we do!

There truly is a “balm in Gilead!” (Jer. 8:22) There sure is a Healer who is “a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (Ps. 86:15) He came to forgive men’s sins and save men’s lives and not destroy them (Lk. 9:56; Jn. 3:17; 1 Tim. 1:15). The LORD is a God of restoration. There is a God and Savior whose ear is not closed nor is His arm shortened that He cannot reach down to anyone and rescue them if they but call upon His holy name in sincere repentance (Isa. 59:1; Rom. 10:13). O How merciful He has been to me and to you!

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” Psalms 103:10

We know the One who died a horrible death for all of our sins, not wishing that any single person perish (1 Tim. 2:4-5; 2 Pet. 3:9). We, the redeemed saints of the Most High are vessels of the only healing for man’s root problem – sin. Why are we surprised when even men made righteous sin? The Solution Himself has been sent to live in each of our hearts (Rom. 8:16; 2 Cor. 3:6; 4:7; 1 Jn. 3:24). He sent His only begotten Son to bless all men and to heal them from all their iniquities and forgive all sins (Ps. 103:3).

Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” Acts 3:26

Christian brother/sister, it’s time to become merciFUL (full of mercy) and repent of unjustly being merciLESS (void of mercy).

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” Luke 6:36

As we show His mercy to others, the LORD will be merciful to our own unrighteousnesses (Matt. 7:1-6; Gal. 6:7). When we are judgmental, the LORD will be harsh to us in our own sins (Ps. 18:24-26). When we uncover the sins of others, He will make sure ours get uncovered.

“For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” James 2:13

Digging Up or Covering Up the Sins of Others?

We should each examine our hearts to discover if we have been digging up or covering up the sins of others.

“An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire. A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.” Proverbs 16:27-28

The person who whispers “separateth chief friends.” (Prov. 16:28)  He/She whispers things behind the back of the one he is attacking and by this sows discord among God’s people and clearly proves he has no desire to help the person he is talking about but only the evil desire to slander that person for the sake of personal agenda or unforgiveness/bitterness.

It could only be “an ungodly man” who would dig up the evil of others. Do we not have enough evil tendencies of our own to deal with? David cried “Search ME O God.” (Ps. 139:23-24)

We have “ALL sinned”, so let’s get over it! Isn’t it time for us to get a real spiritual life and cease condemning others?

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” John 8:7

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:1-5

LORD forgive us of our cruelty to others and for being so blinded by our own sins that we don’t realize our own spiritual poverty!

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

When I am grappling with and striving against the sin and depraved nature in my own life, I am apt to be merciful and gracious and kind to others who are all sinful humans also. As I “fight the good fight of faith” and “lay hold on eternal life” I am ever reminded of how frail and undone I myself am without the grace of the One who redeemed my sin-sick soul (1 Cor. 4:7; 15:10). This is God’s design. His servant and apostle Peter was told by Christ to go and strengthen thy brethren” after I restore you from the sin I foresee that you are going to commit (Lk. 22:31-32). In other words Jesus was telling Peter, “In the freshness of the grace I am going to pour upon you to restore you from your state of sin, go boldly and lavish it upon your brethren! Go tell them how much I love them and desire to forgive them, if they will but come unto Me.” In this do we not see that the plan of God was for Peter and all of us to go and joyfully pour out the truth of His mercy and love and grace upon others as He has so graciously poured out on us through the blood of the cross of Jesus? The Father “sent his Son to bless you.” (Acts 3:26)  We should seek to possess Paul’s posture – “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Tim. 1:15). I truly believe that there is no other human being who has ever lived who needs God’s mercy and love more than this one.

We have been “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” and if so we are privileged and should be compelled to share His “so great salvation” with others (2 Cor. 5:14; Matt. 9:36; Heb. 2:3).

When God’s love is truly abiding in a person, what is the result? How does he deal with the sins, weaknesses, and faults of others?

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8

Note that the godly person covers and doesn’t unnecessarily uncover the sins of others.

We must choose beforehand not to complete the circle of gossip which is wicked in God’s eyes. The one who fears the LORD does not give ear to the evil speech of those who speak with “false lips” and a “naughty tongue.”

“A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.” Proverbs 17:4

Those who play any part in the circulation of unconstructive criticism sow discord among the brethren or body of Christ.

“Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.” Proverbs 14:7

Proverbs 6 informs us that sowing discord among the people of God is an abomination to the LORD and demonstrates that the one doing such is in a state of separation from God. Check out the 7 things that are abominations to the LORD:

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19

There is constructive and there is unconstructive negative talk. When a person is marking a wolf in the midst of the body of Christ out of a protective heart of godly concern, he is doing God’s work. When a person is unnecessarily uncovering the sin of another, this is unconstructive slander and is sowing discord among God’s people.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, forgive the wickedness of my life. I confess that I have not wholly followed You LORD. I have had other gods before You. You alone are the Most High and only true God. Wash and cleanse me from my sins afresh and make my heart new Jesus. As You have so mercifully shown me grace and forgiveness, I will return the same to others. Bless my life to be humbled before You and to be a field of fertile soil for Your fruit to be abundantly produced and others blessed abundantly. Quicken me LORD as I look for Your soon return. Amen.

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FAILURE TO RENDER AID

“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.” Proverbs 3:27-28

Withholding good or anything needed from a person who needs it is sin in the eyes of a holy God and Maker. We are never to tell a needy person to go away without giving to them of what we have that will help them in their lack/time of need.

The Priest, Levite & Good Samaritan

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? 30And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. 33But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, 34And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. 36Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37And he said, He that showed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” Luke 10:25-37

Let our first observation be that there were three men who had equal opportunity to help this precious soul who had been ravaged by thieves just as so many today have been ravaged by the enemy and sin and left for spiritual death. The priest and Levite represent religion and is lack of answers and power to redeem. The Good Samaritan represents the LORD Jesus Christ who came to forgive our sins, heal all our diseases and establish our goings, even to provide for us an eternal abode. Christ told us to go and do as the Good Samaritan had done (Lk. 10:37).

Someone has wisely stated:

“True love cannot be found where it truly does not exist … nor can it be hidden where it truly does.”

When we see a need or come upon a lack in someone’s life and we ourselves have what they need, there is nothing to pray about! If we pray instead of simply and diligently rendering aid, our spirituality is found to be superficial and false like the priest and Levite in this story Jesus gave us.

Three men came upon the exact same man who had fell among thieves” who “stripped him of his raiment (clothes), and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.” Only one of these three men stopped to render aid.

The very One whom all Christians claim to love and serve gave this story – for me and for you. The eternal Word Himself commands us to do as the Good Samaritan did – he immediately gave of himself to help the wounded man and set him up for a successful future. The Good Samaritan didn’t do as the two religious leaders who bypassed the hurt man. No. He didn’t question how the wounded man got to the place he was – he merely rendered aid. God takes men as they are – as long as they are ready to repent. Remember the thief Jesus saved while on the cross? When a person is downtrodden, destroyed, ravaged by sin and this cruel world, the LORD and every true disciple go to work, bringing healing, and restoration and blessing. The evil-hearted, self-righteous religionists scorn, shun, and deny the LORD and the person who is in need.

Religion has no answer. It suits the self-serving because it cannot and will not regenerate or transform a life. This is what is exemplified in the priest and Levite in this story. The person who is a mere religionist has never been regenerated and therefore has no relationship with God which means he is not born again nor been granted a new life and the Holy Spirit does not dwell in him (Rom. 8:9; 2 Cor. 5:17-18; Tit. 3:5-6). He has not yet helped himself to the salvation of Christ and therefore has no grace or ability to give away something he himself does not possess.

For the born again believer, the life of Christ dwells inside of him and he is moved with compassion toward those who hurt and are in need. He renders aid without questioning and counts it his privilege to do so.

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