Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.
The good man brings good things out of the good treasure of his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil treasure of his heart. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.
In some crimes, the law judges intention (as in malicious premeditation). In all crimes, the Lord judges intention (as in ignorance or willful mischief). Therein, God examines heart conditions.*
Are they soft, open, broken or contrite? Are they hard, fat, thorny or divided? Are offenders unaware of their sins? Or do they know the Truth, but choose a lie?
Because without His wisdom and knowledge, God says men are spiritually blind:** considering life through tiny pinholes, compared to God's panoramic vision.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Carefully examine your own heart. It's fitness or disease is revealed by your words, actions and reactions--especially when you are challenged, especially when you are troubled.
If you claim the Name of Christ as yours (which means calling yourself a Christian), if you claim God's Spirit as your Guide (which means calling yourself born again)... then you're held to the highest standard.
Since God gave you His Son to study, you can't claim blindness as your defense. If you claim Jesus as your Defense (which is what your Father intended)... if you're more than a baby Christian (which means you've had years to learn His ways)... you need to obey His Commandments.
The proof? His Seed, planted in your heart, should yield the good fruit of His Spirit.*** Offering this sweet fruit to others is a sure sign your heart is healthy.
To Be Continued...
* Previous 12-part AMTC Devotion Series, Heart Conditions: http://amtcdevotions.org/heart-conditions-part-1-gods-1-priority
** Spiritual Blindness: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9%3A35-41&version=NIV
*** 'The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law' (Galatians 5:22-23).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Self-Examination series.