Joshua 24:16 KJV — And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;
Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for these words. Please let it be so for those who are called by Your name. Please help Your people to follow You steadfastly, that they not turn out of the way to the right or to the left, but are true to You in all things. Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of all praise. You are good. You are holy. Salvation comes from You. Please save the lost. Please protect the innocent. Lord Jesus, please return the prodigal. Lord, strengthen Your church and purify Your people. Please let Your people cling to You in all their ways. Thank You. Amen.
Amos 5:15 NKJV — Hate evil, love good; Establish justice in the gate. It may be that the LORD God of hosts Will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV — The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.
Zechariah 8:17 NKJV — Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are things that I hate,’ Says the LORD.”
The point is clear.
Evil is among us, even found in us, and we are to hate it.
Because evil harms.
It hurts us, it hurts others, it breaks our fellowship with God.
It’s something we should want to purge out of our minds, hearts, and lives.
The Bible tells us how to do this.
Romans 12:9 NKJV — Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.
God is good.
There is nothing evil or false about Him at all.
When we cling to God, we find what is good.
Deut. 12:31,16:22, 18:12, 24:4, 7:25, 17:1; Prov. 3:32, 6:16, 11:1,12:22; Mal. 2:16 are a few of the verses explaining what God hates, those things which are an abomination to Him.
Proverbs 15:9 NKJV — The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves him who follows righteousness.
Proverbs 15:26 NKJV — The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD, But the words of the pure are pleasant.
Let us be followers of righteousness, people whose words are pure.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your truth. Thank You for giving us Your Word to guide and direct our lives. Lord, help us to fear You, to walk in Your ways, to speak words that are pure, to cling to what is good. Lord Jesus, help us to cling to You in all things. Thank You. Amen.
“Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.” Gen. 6:5-6 NKJV
“The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.” Psalm 10:4 NKJV
Both of these verses are troubling.
Yet, it is important for those who seek to follow the Lord to see what it means to not.
To stop and look at what the Lord calls wicked is to take personal inventory.
Is there any place where the Lord is not a part of our thoughts?
Has a certain area of the heart become “off limits” to Him?
If so, repentance should be swift, because it is easy to see that the wickedness of those God calls wicked comes from their thoughts and God is not a part of a single one.
Let us then look to scripture.
“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Cor. 13:11 NKJV
Is there an area in our lives where we simply need to grow up?
Are we self-disciplined, honorable, kind, thoughtful, courteous, respectful, and willing to work?
“I thought about my ways, And turned my feet to Your testimonies.” Psalm 119:59 NKJV
The Bible is the standard for proper behavior, attitudes, perspective, and relationships.
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Cor. 10:5 NKJV
Take every thought captive and run it through the list:
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV
If our thoughts are allowed to “run loose” we will find they stray far from these things.
God understands that it is in the thoughts of our heart where we either draw near Him or slide away.
Therefore, He gives us signs and instructions to help us.
For the Bible has much to say about the Lord’s thoughts toward us.
“Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.” Psalm 40:5 NKJV
“O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep.” Psalm 92:5 NKJV
“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17 NKJV
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You so much for these words of guidance and warning. Lord it is often that I find my thoughts going waywardly away from Your standard and it is with sorrow that I struggle with this. Lord, please continue to bring my thoughts back to those things which honor You. Lord, help me learn even more how to take every thought captive. Lord, please help me to focus my mind on those things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and are praise worthy. Lord, thank You for the thoughts You have of me. How You love me and want what is best for me at all times. That all these things in Your Word are for edification and blessing for all peoples. Lord, when I think of the lengths You have gone and the work You still do to reach mankind, I am overwhelmed by Your mercy, grace, and love. Thank You for being good all the time and for loving us far beyond any measure. Truly, how great are You, God Almighty! Mighty in word and deed! I praise Your name, Jesus. Amen.
The psalmist creates a beautiful picture of the effort which goes into purifying the metal to help us see how pure God’s word is.
Yet there is never a need to separate the truth of God’s word from anything.
All of it is pure.
His words are solid.
They can be trusted.
Not so with our enemy.
Even mankind struggles mixing truth and falsehood.
In stark contrast, we can place our trust in the words of God and know they will never return void.
“As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.”
Psalm 18:30 NKJV
Thank You for showing me that I can always trust in Your words. Lord, please purify my heart and give me discernment so I can recognize truth and reject lies. Jesus, please place a guard upon my mouth so I will not speak unless it is honorable before You. I know such things require discipline and diligence and I want to be faithful in both. Please purify me, so I might shine as brightly as polished silver which the sunlight reflects off it.