Listen to this devotional:
Philippians 4:8-9 – 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me — put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (NIV)
In my yard, I have a flowerbed of orange zinnias, which is the butterflies' gathering place this year. During the day, it is colourful, with many species of butterflies sipping the sweet nectar from the orangey blossoms.
There are also lots of weeds that have grown up in the flowerbed this summer. Our ninety- to hundred-degree temperatures have discouraged me from expending the energy necessary to remove the weeds. Their growth among the lovely flowers has marred the beauty of this summer flowerbed.
I've compared my flowerbed to the garden of the mind, where lots of weeds grow, spoiling the beauty of the mind. These weeds are negative, ugly, critical, or unkind thoughts. Other weeds grow from gossip that influences our thought processes. Others come from hate, envy, spite, lust, and jealousy, growing among the beautiful plants in our thought garden.
If I don't remove the weeds from my flowerbed soon, they will crowd out my zinnias, and the nectar attracting the butterflies will be gone.
The same is true with our thoughts. If the undesirable thoughts are not removed, they will take over, pushing out the beautiful and the good ones. May God help us to remove the ugly thoughts and images, unhealthy desires and feelings from our minds, and make room for His truths to dwell.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember that You created all things good in the beginning, and that with Your guidance and Your thoughts, our minds and hearts can be purified again. Amen.