Meditation: What's on Your Mind?

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What's on Your Mind?

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Meditation: What's on Your Mind?

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“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14 Psalms 19:14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
American King James Version×
).

What were you thinking? What are you thinking? What am I thinking? God knows very well, and He is concerned. We had better be concerned!

Our minds are what matter most. We are what we are inwardly. The Bible has much to say about the human “heart,” a word that can be synonymous with “mind,” but which emphasizes the functions of thought, attitudes, emotions, personality and character. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word “heart” appears 833 times!

As we reflect on God’s truth, we absorb, internalize and personalize God’s words and ways. Rather than words engraved in stone or written on paper, God’s laws become written on our hearts!

God judges us largely by what is taking place in our hearts. “For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 1 Samuel 16:7But the LORD said to Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.
American King James Version×
).

In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 through 7, Jesus Christ made it clear that obeying God with our thoughts is as important as obeying with our words and actions. Thus the spirit of the law is as important as the letter of the law. No wonder God hates hypocrisy. Speaking to hypocritical religious leaders, Jesus said, “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28 Matthew 23:28Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
American King James Version×
).

Thoughts are seldom hidden forever—they usually lead to words and actions. “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45 Luke 6:45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
American King James Version×
; see also Matthew 15:19 Matthew 15:19For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
American King James Version×
).

In the last two chapters we covered the vital spiritual tools of prayer and Bible reading and study. But the quality and effectiveness of our prayers and Bible study are greatly enhanced when we think carefully or meditate about what God is saying to us and what we are saying to God. Taking time to really think makes our prayer and Bible study meaningful instead of mechanical, inspiring rather than superficial.

Many kinds of “meditation”

Contemplating and reflecting on a subject is commonly called meditation. Of itself this is not a religious word. The Bible does not make a major distinction between thinking and meditating. The Bible was originally written almost entirely in Hebrew and Greek. A particular word may be translated think in one English translation and meditate in another translation, or with similar words such as ponder, consider, imagine or muse.

Here is the point: In the Bible, meditation is never portrayed as a religious, mental or emotional ritual. It is simply directed thinking, reflection, contemplation or concentration. Certainly the quality of our thinking can continue to improve, especially when we regularly pray for God’s guidance.

Prayer, Bible study and meditation take time. Most people are tempted to neglect these because they feel they are too busy, which is like the life of a young seedling being choked out by too many weeds (Luke 8:14 Luke 8:14And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
American King James Version×
). Find a quiet, comfortable place and take time—make time—for God! Our relationship with God needs nurturing, which requires time and communication.

Today we see a virtual mania for all kinds of unbiblical meditation. Meditation that is truly Christian is worlds apart from the meditation of Eastern religions. Even much of what has been written about “the power of positive thinking” is more humanism, faulty psychology and a rage for New Age “mind over matter” than anything biblical. Some of this is worshipping the mind rather than the Creator of minds!

For many Christians, and non-Christians, meditation is viewed as a mental or religious ritual. This discourages many believers because it makes meditation to be something awkward and difficult. This may come as a shock to some, but the Bible never mandates that we meditate—just as it never tells us to think—the presumption being that we already do. It does, however, tell us what we are to meditate about.

What do you think is the most common type of meditation? Probably it is worry. How sad! Instead of worrying about problems (or possible problems), we should pray! In Matthew 6:25-34 Matthew 6:25-34 [25] Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; nor yet for your body, what you shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? [26] Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much better than they? [27] Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? [28] And why take you thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: [29] And yet I say to you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [30] Why, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? [31] Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? [32] (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. [33] But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. [34] Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof.
American King James Version×
, Jesus Christ tells us not to worry—but to put God first and trust Him for our needs.

There are many constructive types of meditation, such as analysis, planning ahead and problem solving. Meditation should be practical! But much thinking, while not evil, is spent on trivial subjects. Beware of wasting your time and life that way.

Sadly, many thoughts are carnal and destructive—dwelling on fears, resentments, jealousy, lusts, pride and the like. God, however, wants all of our thoughts to be clean, wholesome and godly. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8 Matthew 5:8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
American King James Version×
). We expel wrong thoughts from our minds by filling them with right thoughts. And purity of heart can only come about through true spiritual conversion. We need God to heal our “heart” trouble!

Matters to meditate about

Let’s take a closer look at what God tells us to think about. For a more thorough study, you can use a Bible concordance to find and read all the verses that mention such words as meditate, think, commune, ponder, imagine, remember, examine, watch, etc.

We find two classic verses on this subject from the apostle Paul in Philippians 4. In one he says: “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 Philippians 4:4Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
American King James Version×
). And in the other he tells us: “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 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
).

The supreme focus of our attention and adoration should be our awesome Creator God! We tend to be self-conscious when we need to be God-conscious. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 Colossians 3:1-2 [1] If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. [2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
American King James Version×
).

Meditate on your Maker and Master. Contemplate His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence. Be filled with gratitude for His goodness, grace and glory. Ponder His perfection, personality and providence. Be in awe of God.

Meditate on God’s words and works

Read and meditate on God’s revelation to mankind, the Holy Scriptures. This is truly listening to God.

As noted in the previous chapter, how appropriate it is that the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119 with its 176 verses, is totally devoted to praising God for His Word and His laws. “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways” (Psalms 119:15 Psalms 119:15I will meditate in your precepts, and have respect to your ways.
American King James Version×
). “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psalms 119:97 Psalms 119:97O how I love your law! it is my meditation all the day.
American King James Version×
). “My eyes are awake through the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word” (Psalms 119:148 Psalms 119:148My eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in your word.
American King James Version×
).

We can learn much about our loving Creator and Designer by contemplating His incredible creation (Romans 1:20 Romans 1:20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
American King James Version×
; Psalms 19:1-4 Psalms 19:1-4 [1] The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. [2] Day to day utters speech, and night to night shows knowledge. [3] There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. [4] Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun,
American King James Version×
; Psalms 139:13-18 Psalms 139:13-18 [13] For you have possessed my reins: you have covered me in my mother’s womb. [14] I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. [15] My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously worked in the lowest parts of the earth. [16] Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. [17] How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! how great is the sum of them! [18] If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with you.
American King James Version×
; Job 38:1-41 Job 38:1-41 [1] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, [2] Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? [3] Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and answer you me. [4] Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if you have understanding. [5] Who has laid the measures thereof, if you know? or who has stretched the line on it? [6] Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; [7] When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? [8] Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? [9] When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddling cloth for it, [10] And broke up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, [11] And said, Till now shall you come, but no further: and here shall your proud waves be stayed? [12] Have you commanded the morning since your days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; [13] That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? [14] It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. [15] And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken. [16] Have you entered into the springs of the sea? or have you walked in the search of the depth? [17] Have the gates of death been opened to you? or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death? [18] Have you perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if you know it all. [19] Where is the way where light dwells? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, [20] That you should take it to the bound thereof, and that you should know the paths to the house thereof? [21] Know you it, because you were then born? or because the number of your days is great? [22] Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? or have you seen the treasures of the hail, [23] Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? [24] By what way is the light parted, which scatters the east wind on the earth? [25] Who has divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder; [26] To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man; [27] To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth? [28] Has the rain a father? or who has begotten the drops of dew? [29] Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who has gendered it? [30] The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen. [31] Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? [32] Can you bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or can you guide Arcturus with his sons? [33] Know you the ordinances of heaven? can you set the dominion thereof in the earth? [34] Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover you? [35] Can you send lightning, that they may go and say to you, Here we are? [36] Who has put wisdom in the inward parts? or who has given understanding to the heart? [37] Who can number the clouds in wisdom? or who can stay the bottles of heaven, [38] When the dust grows into hardness, and the clods stuck fast together? [39] Will you hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions, [40] When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? [41] Who provides for the raven his food? when his young ones cry to God, they wander for lack of meat.
American King James Version×
; Job 39:1-30 Job 39:1-30 [1] Know you the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or can you mark when the hinds do calve? [2] Can you number the months that they fulfill? or know you the time when they bring forth? [3] They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows. [4] Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not to them. [5] Who has sent out the wild ass free? or who has loosed the bands of the wild ass? [6] Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings. [7] He scorns the multitude of the city, neither regards he the crying of the driver. [8] The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searches after every green thing. [9] Will the unicorn be willing to serve you, or abide by your crib? [10] Can you bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after you? [11] Will you trust him, because his strength is great? or will you leave your labor to him? [12] Will you believe him, that he will bring home your seed, and gather it into your barn? [13] Gave you the goodly wings to the peacocks? or wings and feathers to the ostrich? [14] Which leaves her eggs in the earth, and warms them in dust, [15] And forgets that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. [16] She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her’s: her labor is in vain without fear; [17] Because God has deprived her of wisdom, neither has he imparted to her understanding. [18] What time she lifts up herself on high, she scorns the horse and his rider. [19] Have you given the horse strength? have you clothed his neck with thunder? [20] Can you make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible. [21] He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength: he goes on to meet the armed men. [22] He mocks at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turns he back from the sword. [23] The quiver rattles against him, the glittering spear and the shield. [24] He swallows the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believes he that it is the sound of the trumpet. [25] He said among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting. [26] Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south? [27] Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make her nest on high? [28] She dwells and stays on the rock, on the crag of the rock, and the strong place. [29] From there she seeks the prey, and her eyes behold afar off. [30] Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.
American King James Version×
). One great way to meditate is to spend time outdoors marveling at God’s flora and fauna!

We should also ponder our relationship with God and His plan and purpose for our lives. David beautifully expressed this in Psalm 8: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalms 8:3-4 Psalms 8:3-4 [3] When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained; [4] What is man, that you are mindful of him? and the son of man, that you visit him?
American King James Version×
, New International Version).

When to have spiritual meditation

Ideally, we should meditate every day and night about God and the things of God! Psalms 1:2 Psalms 1:2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.
American King James Version×
speaks of a righteous man whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” Make time to pause and meditate about what you are reading in the Bible to gain spiritual understanding and inspiration.

Think of the parallel between eating and spiritual nourishment. Food is better digested when we eat slowly and chew it well. To digest and absorb God’s Word, we need to “chew” it well and relish each morsel. It’s interesting that the word ruminate can refer either to a ruminant mammal chewing its cud or to turning a matter over and over in one’s mind.

As we reflect on God’s truth, we absorb, internalize and personalize God’s words and ways. Rather than words engraved in stone or written on paper, God’s laws become written on our hearts! (Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, said the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
American King James Version×
).

The foremost reason for meditating on God’s Word should be to analyze how we can apply and practice what we are learning. As God told Moses’ successor Joshua: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8 Joshua 1:8This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.
American King James Version×
, emphasis added throughout).

And intersperse your prayer with meditation. Then your worship is a two-way conversation with God. Pray and meditate about God’s solutions when you have problems. And meditate with thanksgiving as you count your blessings.

Meditation should include self-examination

Spiritual growth requires introspection to discover the sins and faults we need to remove (compare Lamentations 3:40 Lamentations 3:40Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.
American King James Version×
; 1 Corinthians 11:28 1 Corinthians 11:28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
American King James Version×
; 2 Corinthians 13:5 2 Corinthians 13:5Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except you be reprobates?
American King James Version×
). Pray for God to help you see yourself the way He sees you. Fasting for humility (covered in the next chapter) can help like a spiritual mirror. As we evaluate ourselves and do this “soul-searching” based on the standards of God’s Word, the gift of His Holy Spirit is necessary for deep spiritual understanding. (How to receive God’s Spirit is also covered later in this booklet.)

Once we recognize sins, we must confess them to God and seek His forgiveness. We find an inspiring example of repentance, confession and prayer in Psalm 51, written by King David: “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin … Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:2 Psalms 51:2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
American King James Version×
, Psalms 51:10 Psalms 51:10Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
American King James Version×
).

When meditating on God’s Word, we should use it as a mirror to help us see what we need to change (James 1:22-24 James 1:22-24 [22] But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. [23] For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like to a man beholding his natural face in a glass: [24] For he beholds himself, and goes his way, and straightway forgets what manner of man he was.
American King James Version×
).

Danger of mind manipulation

Now for a strong word of warning. Consider the powerful influence of modern media in manipulating our thoughts. For example, no matter how long a movie lasts, it usually keeps our full attention. And with all of today’s technological realism, we viewers vicariously experience and respond to everything in the drama.

Television and movie producers often have an agenda for shaping the values of the audiences. If they want us to sympathize with an atheist living an immoral lifestyle and be disgusted with a sincere Christian family man, they can easily manipulate our feelings in that direction (compare Isaiah 5:20 Isaiah 5:20Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
American King James Version×
). And ultimately behind all evil influences and deception is a real Satan the devil (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×
; 2 Corinthians 11:3 2 Corinthians 11:3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
American King James Version×
, 2 Corinthians 11:14 2 Corinthians 11:14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
American King James Version×
).

Rather than be naive about the dangers, we must protect our minds from being infected with spiritual pollution—garbage in, garbage out, as the saying goes. When we are repeatedly exposed to evil such as immoral sex, pornography, violence and foul language, our consciences become insensitive and our personal standards are pulled down. Actions become habits and habits become addictions.

We can all regularly pray the request in Psalms 119:37 Psalms 119:37Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken you me in your way.
American King James Version×
: “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.” We can ask ourselves, what movies and TV shows would Jesus Christ watch? What music would He listen to? What books and magazines would He read or look at? And what would He be thinking about?

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23 Proverbs 4:23Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
American King James Version×
, NIV). Rule your heart! Better yet, let God rule your heart!

God reads minds

People tend to believe it doesn’t matter if thoughts are sinful, as long as they don’t act on them—because no one knows their thoughts. But Someone does. God knows every thought of every person (see Psalms 139:1-24 Psalms 139:1-24 [1] O lord, you have searched me, and known me. [2] You know my sitting down and my rising up, you understand my thought afar off. [3] You compass my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. [4] For there is not a word in my tongue, but, see, O LORD, you know it altogether. [5] You have beset me behind and before, and laid your hand on me. [6] Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain to it. [7] Where shall I go from your spirit? or where shall I flee from your presence? [8] If I ascend up into heaven, you are there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, you are there. [9] If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; [10] Even there shall your hand lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. [11] If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. [12] Yes, the darkness hides not from you; but the night shines as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to you. [13] For you have possessed my reins: you have covered me in my mother’s womb. [14] I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well. [15] My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and curiously worked in the lowest parts of the earth. [16] Your eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in your book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. [17] How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! how great is the sum of them! [18] If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with you. [19] Surely you will slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, you bloody men. [20] For they speak against you wickedly, and your enemies take your name in vain. [21] Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate you? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against you? [22] I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them my enemies. [23] Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: [24] And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
American King James Version×
). And He holds us accountable for our thoughts as well as our words and ways (see Matthew 5:1-48 Matthew 5:1-48 [1] And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came to him: [2] And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, [3] Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [4] Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. [5] Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. [6] Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. [7] Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. [8] Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. [9] Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. [10] Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. [11] Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. [12] Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. [13] You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his flavor, with which shall it be salted? it is thereafter good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. [14] You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. [15] Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. [16] Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. [17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. [18] For truly I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. [19] Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] For I say to you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. [21] You have heard that it was said of them of old time, You shall not kill; and whoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: [22] But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. [23] Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you; [24] Leave there your gift before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. [25] Agree with your adversary quickly, whiles you are in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver you to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer, and you be cast into prison. [26] Truly I say to you, You shall by no means come out there, till you have paid the uttermost farthing. [27] You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: [28] But I say to you, That whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. [29] And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell. [30] And if your right hand offend you, cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is profitable for you that one of your members should perish, and not that your whole body should be cast into hell. [31] It has been said, Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorce: [32] But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causes her to commit adultery: and whoever shall marry her that is divorced commits adultery. [33] Again, you have heard that it has been said by them of old time, You shall not forswear yourself, but shall perform to the Lord your oaths: [34] But I say to you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: [35] Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. [36] Neither shall you swear by your head, because you can not make one hair white or black. [37] But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil. [38] You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: [39] But I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. [40] And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. [41] And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. [42] Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away. [43] You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. [44] But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; [45] That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? [47] And if you salute your brothers only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so? [48] Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
American King James Version×
).

In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 [3] For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: [4] (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
American King James Version×
the apostle Paul speaks of the spiritual warfare we should be waging. He says we must be “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 Corinthians 10:5 2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
American King James Version×
). That is impossible humanly speaking, but not when we allow God to work through us. Along with Paul, we can say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13 Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
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).

May the conclusion of the beautiful Psalms 19:14 Psalms 19:14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
American King James Version×
be our prayer: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

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