So what am I storing up in my heart? 4 ways…
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” Proverbs 4:23 GNT
What we put into our minds shapes the person we become. We are what we think the most about. We shape who we are and what we become by choosing what we think about. What we read. What we watch. What we allow to play over and over again in our minds.
The challenge for most of us is that we don’t filter anything that goes into our minds. We think about anything that just comes wandering along. What we don’t realize (unless we consciously choose…) is that we live in a negative, garbage-filled world. If we let just anything in, then “garbage in - garbage out” is what will happen!
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” 1 Cor 15:33 ESV
Few things influence us more than the words and actions of people we choose to become friends with. Am I thinking seriously about that? Do I have a plan to find good influencers, who will encourage me to become more of a Christ-follower? Or is my approach to relationships more of an accidental approach?
How do I find good and faithful friends? 2 steps. First, start by becoming the good person you are seeking. The second step is to consciously look for positive, influencing friendships in the right places.
“Our people must learn to use their lives for doing good deeds to provide
what is necessary so that their lives will not be useless.” Titus 3:14 NCV
Our purpose for doing good deeds is NOT just so that good will be done, but that we will begin thinking and acting this way in all areas of our lives. It takes practice to work for the good of others rather than for our own selfish needs and desires. It takes effort to think about others first. The more I practice, the better I get at it.
Notice how these first 3 things fit together. I don’t really get the benefit out of practicing good works if I’m not thinking about the why behind the what. And it sure helps if I can practice those good works together with someone else - a positive, influencing friend, who is also doing and thinking about storing up the good to actually be good!
“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another -
showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes,
training us to live God’s way.” 2 Timothy 3:16 MSG
Filling your mind everyday with God’s Word is literally the spark which lights all the other paths to storing up the good. When we immerse ourselves in the Bible, it’s like having a direct link to God Himself. Every part of Scripture comes from Him “is God-breathed.” When we say the Bible is inspired by God, this is what we mean.
When we focus on God’s Word each day it does 4 things for us.
#1 - it shows us the truth - it literally is our “teacher” so we can discern the false evidences of life from the right, good & true. #
#2 - it stops us in our tracks when we are purposely moving down the wrong road against God and His wishes.
#3 - it corrects our mistaken thoughts, which can so easily go down the wrong path when we’re hurt or angry or anxious.
#4 - God’s Word is our ultimate trainer to live for God the way He intends us to live. Do you see how important this is? So I need to be learning it. Reading it. Memorizing it. Meditating on it. Allowing myself, my thoughts, my friendships, my actions all to be formed based on God’s desire and direction for me.