Robert Houk Hitchcock
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Keep Thy Heart

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

     Our hearts are to be kept; guarded. Why? Out of our hearts are the issues of life. What we believe issues out of our hearts.

Proverbs 23:7
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

     The context here is a man is doing one thing, but in his heart he really has something else in mind. A man is the sum total of his body, soul and spirit. As he thinketh in his heart, so is he. Every man, every woman, every child, every person has mind-sets. Things they believe about one thing or another. They have a mind-set, a belief about God. They have a mind set, a belief about themselves. They have a mind-set, a belief about ice cream. All sorts of things. Everything really. And these beliefs can change.

Romans 10:9-10
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

     Believing comes from the heart. That's where it really happens in life, in the heart. Can't fake through the heart. We believed with our hearts God raised him from the dead and we confessed Jesus Christ as our lord. That's the kind of believing that got us started in the right direction--> Heaven! By God's Grace He made available the new birth, and we acquired it by believing.

     It is important to know about our mind-sets, our beliefs. The really great thing about the mind is that we are in full control of it. We can change our minds. We changed our minds to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. We changed our minds to confess Jesus Christ as our lord. It is that freedom to choose that we need to be aware of so as to control our own thoughts to the end we believe God and receive all that He has promised us.

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

     The renewing of the mind is this process of changing our pre-conceived ideas about things like God, Jesus Christ, ourselves, our abilities, our friends, our conditions and our circumstances. We replace the pre-conceived ideas with the points of view of God's Word. Point of view is very important in life. We hold certain points of view because we believe them to be true. God's Word tells us to RENEW our minds in order to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

     It is interesting that the word "renew" means to "new-up in quality; a renovation; a renewal:" I once renovated our guest apartment. I put in new flooring, I painted, I cleaned, I installed new fixtures, I put in new carpet. Lots of work and lots of NEW THINGS went into the renovation. When I was finished renovating, it looked very, very different. It was newer in quality. It was better. It looked fresh and renewed.

     Our minds are like that. We are to renovate the old pre-conceived ideas we have held about things with the NEW ideas and thoughts of God's Word. This is changing our minds. This is renewing our minds. This is changing our mind-sets. This is changing our point of view.

     This process of renewing is useful not only for a person who is newly born into the family of God, but for ALL those in the family. We have to renew our minds continually. It's an on-going process. What we believe about ourselves, about others, about what God will do and Who He is are all very important mind-sets in our lives.

     What is your point of view concerning God's ability? What is your point of view concerning your abilities? What is your point of view concerning operating the power of God? The renewing of the mind is the process of educating your mind with the right way of thinking and putting it into action.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Philippians 4:6-8
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

     Think of how the world perceives life. What do you think the sum total of the anxiety, stress and worry are in a given day? God has given us His Word that we need not be full of these mental negatives. Many people's initial reaction to negative circumstance is anxiety. Our mind-set is just the opposite: it is trust in God. It is to pray. It is to let our requests be made known unto God. See how we can change our mind-sets? See how we can renovate?

II Timothy 1:7
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

     Fear is the normal diet, breakfast, lunch and dinner ( and between meal snacks) of 99% of the world. Fear is the prevalent motivator in society. Fear is a powerful de-motivator, too. It keeps people in bondage; it keeps them in torment; it keeps them from doing what they could or should be doing. But not so for the renewed mind! That's not our mind-set. We have renovated that room in our minds. It doesn't have fear, it has power, love and a sound mind. A sound mind is a renovated mind which is trusting in God.

Matthew 6:31-34
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

     Worrying about tomorrow is as common as breathing. Most people are really concerned about the eat-drink-clothing issues of life. God has promised to supply all of that for His children. We are to take no thought (anxiety) for tomorrow. Live today, renew our minds today, and God will take care of tomorrow.

Ephesians 5:20
Giving THANKS always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Colossians 1:3
We give THANKS to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,

     What a pleasant place to dwell: in thankfulness! That's a renovated room for sure! A mind can be trained to be thankful just as it once was trained to be unthankful. Thankfulness makes your whole body feel better. It makes the heart glad. It blesses you and it blesses God.

Ephesians 4:29-32
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

     There are some great renewed mind actions. That's a wonderful renovation of the mind, isn't it?! Let no corrupt communication to proceed out of your mouth....only that which will edify. Doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, stress, temper, anger, etc...could never qualify as edifying.

     Forgiveness is another great renewed mind aspect. To rid our minds of old thoughts about people and what they've done to us, etc. and replace them with forgiveness. That's another nice place to dwell in: forgiveness. Who wants to hang out in a place where we're mad all the time at each other? I wouldn't want to hang out there, but we do all the time in our own minds when we fail to renew our minds and to forgive and to be kind.

I Corinthians 12:25-26
That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Philippians 2:20
For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

     To have care for our fellow believers is a wonderful mind-set. To be concerned about the needs of the family. It is amazing how many of our needs are met in the process of giving care to others. We have many opportunities to give care: call on the phone; go by and see someone; talk with them at fellowship; sit with them after fellowship; pray for them; find out what's going on in their life. Share the Word to meet someone's need. Pray with them. Pray for them. Minister to them. We have 9 manifestations and we can care for each other using them.

Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

     Those who have a mind-set to give are the happiest people around. Why? Because as you give, then you can receive. God's measure is always more abundant than the giving was in the first place. Giving gives one freedom. It is based on a trust in God. It is based on the knowledge that God supplies all that we need so that we in turn can help and bless others. Giving is a wonderful renewed mind decor!

Ephesians 1:18
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Colossians 1:5
For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

I Thessalonians 2:19
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

     Perhaps the most refreshing of all the renewed mind sets is the hope of our Lord and Savior's return. Christ is coming back to gather the saints. Then shall we be with the Lord. All things will become new. A new body and a new mind. Hope keeps us going. Hope makes us not ashamed. Hope of glory. Hope endures the pressures of this world knowing that the end will be our success. Eternal life is ours. We are born-again of incorruptible seed. What a joy to know that one day he shall appear and we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is!

Cortright Fellowship
© Copyright July 1997