“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued.  “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—-and even more.”  Mark 4:24

Years ago I built a screened-in back porch onto our house.  I had never done anything like that before, but I knew I could — if I only set my mind to it.  And boy did I do just that!  It went on for days, weeks and possibly months before I lifted a hammer or purchased a board.  Night after night I remember laying in bed and dreaming about that porch.  As soon as I ran into a problem, I would spend my time solving it first before moving on to laying the next imaginary board.  I would go out back to spot check the site after work and relive the experience in my own mind and mentally envision the progress being made.  It was taking great shape and looking good!  Before laying a hand on a real hammer, I must have built that porch five or six times over.  It was all I thought about.

Since then, I have learned a great deal about myself in that I think long and hard about many things.  I rarely jump into a project without “thinking it through” first.  Sometimes that takes weeks or months.  I’m thinking of demands, outcomes, benefits, value, purpose, risk, worth and level of difficulty to only name a few. It’s a great gift, but a horrible curse if abused.

The things I hear are those things I think about most.  And the things I chose to think about grow out of the seeds of knowledge I plant within my mind through my eyes and ears.  The more I read of God’s Word the more I begin to think, both day and night, of the Truths from those pages.  In essence, Mark is telling us in chapter 4 that I will get out of the Word what I put into reading the Word.  There is nothing more true than that — trust me — I know!!

So unlike much of my life, God’s Word is ringing in my ears now — literally!  It’s fresh and new, because it’s what I’m thinking about!  Israel was commanded by God to never forget Him once they reached the promised land (Deuteronomy 6).  God encouraged His people then to speak about Him always to their children, write about Him on their door frames and wear symbols to remind them of His presence always! There was a reason then . . . and there is a reason now!

Lord Jesus, it refreshes my soul to think of you night and day and your presence is overwhelming.  Not in a way that burdens my will, but instead your holiness and righteousness gives strength and nourishment to my heart and mind to live as Christ.  I am certainly not perfect, but Jesus, I know you were and the power given you by God through the Holy Spirit is also available to me through you.  I want to think on YOU things so continue to press your Word on my heart — through my mind!

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.  Philippians 4:8

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