I have never smoked pot.
I have never committed murder.
I have not committed adultery.
I have not stolen anything.
I never discriminate.
I go to church or synagogue, or mosque or temple.
I help others.
I am good.
Look out heaven! Here I come!
I pose a question.
What is most important?
“Thoughts or Actions”
When one’ s life is viewed by others as pure, good, and unblemished is that the true picture? Beyond the eye of family and friends, ‘who are you?’
It is easy to judge others whose actions are full of drunkenness, rape, stealing, or even a terrorist. The label of ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ is in common use for these types.
What about normal people? What about the devout religious leaders?
What about the religious person who seems so pure and outstanding and holy? What about you? What about me?
We come face to face with God! He knows all things.
“For the LORD does not see as man sees; for a person looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 in Bible)
Oh, no! Someone knows my heart! Someone sees me ‘as’ I am.
God, who knows the heart. (Acts 15:8 in Bible)
The LORD searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. (1 Chronicles 28:9 in Bible)
Now we are getting somewhere. Someone even knows my intent and motives. There is no cover up possible.
Yet it gets even more uncomfortable.
Jesus said, “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things, which proceed out of the mouth, come from the heart, and they defile a person. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a person. ” (Matthew 15:17-20 in Bible)
In another place Jesus said, “What comes out of a person, that defiles a person. For from within, out of the heart of a person, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23 in Bible)
I am not trying to make you feel guilty or pointing a finger at you. I am speaking to me, Arthur Blessitt. God knows my actions. What I do. Many of you may even know of things I have done or places I have been. To some I may appear good. But God knows the real Arthur Blessitt. He knows the real you! See, I cannot fool Him even with my good actions. He knows why! God knows my intent. Was I trying to impress with my good deed? Was I seeking glory? Did I have an ulterior motive?
God knows what is in the heart or eye.
Re-read the above Words of Jesus. All this evil is ‘inside’ the heart. We can be guilty of all the above and more yet hide it from others looking at us.
Consider the following Words of Jesus.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.” (Matthew 5:21,22 in Bible)
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27,28 in Bible)
Do I hate? Oh, I have not killed but I am angry without cause. If so, Jesus says we are a murderer! Should our hearts be exposed what hidden secrets would be revealed?
Oh, so you have not committed adultery. Good, but what about lust. Jesus says should we lust we have committed adultery!
Jesus uses the same word for thought as for action!
That brings me to this statement of Jesus.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8 in Bible)
I seem to be using more Bible verses than I had planned, but for this column it seems necessary because we are dealing with the heart and intent and only God knows that. So I must use this as the basis of this discussion.
How do I respond to such?
I have spent hours and days with religious leaders of many religions around the world discussing the heart and intent. All agree that it is what is inside that really counts. We have outward hypocrites in all religions but God knows the true inward hypocrites.
It is to these religious hypocrites that Jesus speaks His most frightening statements. For those doing a Bible study please read Matthew 28th chapter and Luke 11th chapter in the Bible.
Now you may ask me if there is the same consequence for the thought that you do not bring into action. I can only say, ask God . Read the Words of Jesus above and see how one can wiggle out of this problem. I can’t.
The true pilgrim in life will not try to rationalize away the fact that we are sinners and guilty. I suggest to you, what I do for myself, to pray that God has mercy upon me a sinner and washes me in the Blood of Jesus who died on the cross for my sins. He rose again, ascended into heaven and is ready to make intercession for me. That cleanses me but now I need to Walk in the Spirit and Follow Jesus.
Our business is not to try to figure out others but to prefect our own heart.
The Bible says, “The Blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin!”
Ask Jesus to cleanse your mind. Fill your mind with the Word of God. Pray.
The last thing I do every night is to read a few of the Words of Jesus written in red in my Bible. This gives me clean sweet dreams without nightmares or fears. I am at rest in Jesus.
When you are dealing with thoughts that are not of God. Just at that moment ask Jesus to refresh your mind and give you Godly thoughts.
This may be a moment-by-moment walk till you get stronger and the fullness of the Holy Spirit will fill your mind.
I will now conclude with the passage of scripture that transformed my life back in college days. I even typed it and pasted it on my wall, in my car, on every class book, on my bed and on the bathroom mirror. I still refer to it so often. It is like a checklist for my heart.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Should we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:22-25 in Bible)
God bless you all. Through Christ our hearts and minds become a beautiful place of peace, love, joy, blessing and goodness. Then we become a living reflection of Jesus in word, thought and deed.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt