Tag Archives: out of the abundance of the heart

The Donkey In The Well

When I was a senior in high school, I went on my first mission trip. We drove deep into the heart of Mexico. At one point, we turned off the road into a dry creek bed. We drove down that creek bed for about twenty minutes and then we arrived in a small village to build a church. The people seemed to come out of nowhere to greet us. At one point, they took us to a deep well and told us about how a donkey had fallen in there and died. It took them several days to get it out, but by then the water had been polluted. They had to empty the well so they could get fresh, clean water again. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that story.

Proverbs 20:5 tells us that wisdom and counsel are deep within us like a well and that people of understanding will be able to draw them out. Then in Luke 6:45, Jesus said that we speak out of the abundance of our heart, meaning the things that are deep inside us come out of our mouth. Then in James 3:12, the author writes, “Is it possible that fresh and bitter water can flow out of the same spring? So neither can a bitter spring produce fresh water” (TPT). He’s talking about our words and how we speak. How can we speak words of healing if we are full of bitterness inside? How can we speak life if there our inner well is polluted?

Each one of us have donkeys that fall into our well and die causing our heart to be polluted. The words we speak to others reveal whether we’ve taken it out and refreshed our well or not. I’ve learned that we empty our polluted well by confessing our sins, faults and inner struggles to God and to others (James 5:16). We confess them to God for forgiveness and to people for healing. When’s the last time you looked deep into the well that you’re drawing out of? What kind of water are you giving other people? Take some time today to get alone with God, do some self examination and get healed so that you can produce fresh, clean water that others can drink from.

Photo by Maria Krasnova on Unsplash

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Guarding Your Words

One of the classes that I’ve trained for a while now is DISC. If you’ve ever taken a DISC class, you probably remember what you are. I’m a high I which stands for Influencer. One of the characteristics of a high I is that we tend to talk a lot. Because of that, my mouth has gotten me into trouble several times in my life because I just didn’t know when to be quiet. A scripture I heard a lot growing up was Matthew 12:34: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (KJV). I was constantly reminded that my words reveal what’s on the inside of me. If I wanted to change what came out of my mouth, I had to change what went in my mind and heart. I was told, “Garbage in. Garbage out.”

As a kid, I didn’t really understand that concept. In high school, one of my teachers had our class memorize Psalm 141:3: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” I think King David must have been an I as well. He needed help watching what he said too. I began praying this verse because if I couldn’t stop talking, at least God could help watch the words that came out of my mouth. Over time, I began to change what I read and what I watched because it does have an affect on what’s in our heart. I started trying to eliminate the garbage that was going into my mind. In times like we’re in, that’s never been more important because there’s a lot of garbage out there to stream.

A prayer I learned to pray to help me was Psalm 19:14. It says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (NLT). Not only do we need to watch what we say and think, we need them to be pleasing to God. To help with that, I often have to bring thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I stay vigilant about the thoughts that go through my head and the rabbit trails they go down. I interrupt them whenever they are not pleasing to God and refocus them onto things that are (Philippians 4:8). It’s not an easy process, but it’s one that we all must get better at because we are what we think (Proverbs 23:7) and we can never take back words spoken.

Photo by Maria Krisanova on Unsplash

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Changing Our Thoughts And Words

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I was recently speaking with one of the pastors at my church about our church’s core values. Then the conversation switched to personal core values. He said, “One of the things I want for my life is have worship come out of my mouth if I was to suddenly be in a crisis.” I couldn’t help but think of the internal process we go through before we speak. When a crisis, or any other situation comes up, the first thing our brain does is to interpret it and then begin speaking to us. Those thoughts immediately produce how we feel about the situation, and those feelings then turn into words and actions. Most of us try to have a filter to protect what words and actions come out, but in a crisis, our brain usually bypasses it. What we think about is usually what comes out.

I don’t know if King David knew about this process or not, but he understood the importance of our thoughts. Psalm 19:14 says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer” (NLT). He was concerned about the process and the output as well. Like my pastor, he was telling a God that he wanted his thoughts and his actions to line up with the faith he professed. Since our words start out as a thought, it’s important to guard what you think about. It’s not just our words that are important to God, it’s our thoughts as well. We need to make sure we’re thinking about things that are true, respectful, just, pure, lovely, admirable and praiseworthy so that our conversation will reflect those things (Philippians 4:8).

Jesus said in Matthew 12:34, “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.” If we’re going to change the words that come out of our mouth, we have to change what’s in our heart. We must change the thoughts we think. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. The way we start is by meditating on (thinking about) God’s Word. What does it say? Why does it say it? How can I apply it? Going through this process will change how you think, how you act and ultimately how you speak. It helps us to hide God’s Word in our heart and mind so that we won’t sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). If all of our behaviors start with a thought, then let’s pray what David prayed in Psalm 19 about our words and thoughts.

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What’s In Your Heart?

I don’t know why, but when I’m flipping channels and see “The Green Mile” being replayed on TV, I stop and watch for a while. It’s a sad movie, but there are a lot of parts that I like to watch. There’s one scene toward the end of the movie that caught my attention the last time I saw it. John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) is talking to Paul (Tom Hanks) about said, “You can’t hide what’s in the heart.” There’s truth in that statement. Several scriptures came to mind as soon as I heard him say it.

The first one I thought of was what Jesus said Luke 6:45. He said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” You can hide who you are for a little while, but sooner or later, your mouth let’s others know what’s on the inside. Most of us have filters we use when we speak, but even with them on, we let out some of what we really think. You can’t hide what’s in your heart when you do a lot of talking. Proverbs 12:23 says that a wise man keeps his mouth shut, but a fool utters everything in his mind. What comes out of our mouths says a lot about who we are.

The next scripture I thought of was Proverbs 23:7. It says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” We are what we think about. We become like the thoughts that dominate our minds. Our thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings create our behaviors. Our behaviors create our actions. Our actions show what’s on the inside. You can’t hide what’s in the heart. Not only will your words give you away, but your life will too. What you do on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.

What’s in your heart? Only you and God really know. Your words and actions are good indicators. You might be able to fool some people, but you’ll never fool God because He doesn’t look at the outward expressions of it. He looks directly into your heart. He knows what you think and who you are when no one else is around. He loves you no matter what and if your heart isn’t pure before Him, He offers to do a heart transplant free of charge. He’ll take out your heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh. All you have to do is ask. That heart transplant will change how you talk and act because it changes how you think. When you have Jesus in your heart, He’s going to come out through your words and actions.

Photo by Bart LaRue on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Free Heart Transplant

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I don’t know why, but when I’m flipping channels and see “The Green Mile” being replayed on TV, I stop and watch for a while. It’s a sad movie, but there are a lot of parts that I like to watch. There’s one scene toward the end of the movie that caught my attention the last time I saw it. John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan) is talking to Paul (Tom Hanks) about said, “You can’t hide what’s in the heart.” There’s truth in that statement. Several scriptures came to mind as soon as I heard him say it.

The first one I thought of was what Jesus said Luke 6:45. He said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” You can hide who you are for a little while, but sooner or later, your mouth let’s others know what’s on the inside. Most of us have filters we use when we speak, but even with them on, we let out some of what we really think. You can’t hide what’s in your heart when you do a lot of talking. Proverbs 12:23 says that a wise man keeps his mouth shut, but a fool utters everything in his mind. What comes out of our mouths says a lot about who we are.

The next scripture I thought of was Proverbs 23:7. It says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” We are what we think about. We become like the thoughts that dominate our minds. Our thoughts create our feelings. Our feelings create our behaviors. Our behaviors create our actions. Our actions show what’s on the inside. You can’t hide what’s in the heart. Not only will your words give you away, but your life will too. What you do on the outside is a reflection of who you really are.

Jesus told a parable in Matthew 21 about a father who had two sons. He asked the first one to go work in the vineyard for the day. He said, “I don’t want to,” but later thought better of it and went to work. The father asked the second one the same thing. He responded, “I’d be glad to!” The problem is that he never went. Jesus asked, “Which of these two did what the father asked?” They replied the first one because his actions spoke louder than his words. He spoke what he felt, but he also knew to respect his father so he went to work. The other just gave ill service to his father, but never had the intention of doing anything.

What’s in your heart? Only you and God really know. Your words and actions are good indicators. You might be able to fool some people, but you’ll never fool God because he doesn’t look at the outward expressions of it. He looks directly into your heart. He knows what you think and who you are when no one else is around. He loves you no matter what and if your heart isn’t pure before Him, He offers to do a heart transplant free of charge. He’ll take out your heart of stone and put in a heart of flesh. All you have to do is ask. That heart transplant will change how you talk and act because you can’t hide what’s in your heart. If you have Jesus in there, He’s going to come out through your words and actions.

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