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Evil Heart / Evil Thoughts
"Dwight L. Moody used to say that if we had to go about with a glass window over our hearts, we would all want that window to be stained glass, for our hearts are rotten to the core." - Encyclopedia Of Sermon Illustrations
Mark 7:21 tells us - "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts..."
It's no wonder that Jesus transforms the heart in salvation(Psalm 51). Religion cleans or dresses up the outward appearance, but God creates a new heart with new desires.
It's possible that a person can appear righteous unto men but have a heart full of hypocrisy and iniquity(Matthew 23:28) This is why salvation must definitely include a heart change. The heart must undergo a transformation.
Once it was "stony" or resistant towards God; whereas, now it is "a heart of flesh" - totally in submission to His Will and easily moved in His direction(Ezekiel 11:19).
It is the heart that is the seat of all evil.
Jeremiah 17:9 says - "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked..." In this particular verse of Scripture, we find that the heart is the seat of all evil thoughts. And we know that thoughts lead to actions...actions to habits...and habits to character.
In Noah's day, the Bible tells us that "...every imagination of the thoughts of his(man's) heart was only evil continually"(Genesis 6:5). "The earth...was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence"(Genesis 6:11). The Bible also tells us that - as in the days of Noah - so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man(Matthew 24:37).
What does this mean for us today?
The Bible describes the wicked man in this manner -
Psalm 10:4 says - "...God is not in all his thoughts."
So we see here two distinguishing features of a wicked person -
#1 God is not in all his thoughts.
I'm sure that we all know people who fit this description. At one time, before Jesus saved our souls, we, too, were away from Him - entertaining all kinds of evil in our hearts and minds. But thank God for our change of heart through His Wonderful Grace. Hallelujah!
Resultantly, we are instructed in God's Word to "Keep thy heart with all diligence..."(Proverbs 4:23). In other words, we must consider what we view on TV, read in magazines, hear on the radio or in everyday conversation, etc. All and every evil sound and picture enters into the heart and brings defilement.
In Psalm 119:113, we are also instructed to "...hate vain thoughts...." An idle mind is indeed the devil's workshop.
Lastly, we are instructed not to imagine evil against a brother or sister in our hearts(Zechariah 7:10). In order to do this, we must keep ourselves in the love of God at all times(Jude 21).
In closing, let's consider a quote from Alexander Maclaren in light of our discussion of evil thoughts pouring out of an evil heart - "You take a tiger cub into your house. It is graceful in its motions, playful, and affectionate. But it grows up and becomes your master - if not your murderer. Keep little sins out of your heart!"
Let's determine that we will keep all evil thoughts out of our hearts.
May we at all times and in every place be on strict alert that the "meditation" of our hearts be acceptable in the sight of the Lord(Psalm 19:14). .
If not, evil thoughts will cause our ruin some day!
May God help us to apply His Word to our lives today.