The Words of My Mouth and the Meditation of My Heart Be Acceptable

[Article written by Matt Nevins. Originally published in his email newsletter “The Lamp.”]

It is understood that certain things are acceptable and other things are not. When unacceptable things are done, there is punishment. Conversely when acceptable things are exercised, there are awards. It is acceptable to drive a vehicle with a driver’s license, but it is not acceptable to drive without a license. When an individual is found driving without a license, there is a punishment that has been described by civil law for the law breaker. This is understood and such a law is enforced by the government. When we consider the things within our lives, we must realize that there are things that God has specified which are acceptable and unacceptable. The Christian has to determine from God’s word that which is acceptable and pursue it.

David understood that God has a standard by which He expects man to obey. Throughout the book of Psalms and David’s life we find that David had an earnest desire to do the will of God. In Psalm 19 David gives praise to God for all of creation and speaks how creation itself declares the majesty and awesome power of the Almighty in verses 1-6. In verses 7-11 David considers God’s own word and finds that it is perfect, powerful, sure or trustworthy, right, pure, clean, true, and valuable. Since the word of God is wonderful as it is described, it is therefore realized that by living in accordance with God’s word, there is a great reward for being obedient. In order to obtain the reward, we must be found acceptable in the Lord’s sight.

David understood this well and wrote “More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward…Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:10-11, 14). David wanted to be found acceptable and realized that his life needed to different from the standard of the world. Looking at verse 14 David wanted his words and meditation to be acceptable and today we ought to as well.

The words of my mouth

The words that we use are powerful. With our words we can build and destroy. It has been man’s word that men have been granted mercy while others were sentenced to death. James makes the point that even though the tongue is a small member in comparison to the rest of the body, yet it has a tremendous impact on the other members. “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things” (Jms. 3:5). Therefore we need to be careful how we use this small, yet powerful member.

The purpose of our lives is to “fear God and keep His commandments” (Eccl. 12:13), so the question that needs to be posed is: What has the Lord commanded? Paul told the brethren in Corinth that everyone needs to speak the same thing, the gospel of Christ (1 Cor. 1:10). “If any man should speak, let him speak as the oracles of God…” (1 Pet. 4:11). It is when our speech contains the gospel of Christ as the vernacular, that the body will grow, sinners will come to repentance, and we will have achieved to have the mind of Christ at all times (Eph. 4:15-16, Rom. 10:14, 1 Cor. 2:16). It is not enough to just merely know God’s word, but to speak and live it.

Our manner of speech needs to be pure. When we consider a spring, we will find that it is either going to yield fresh water or salt water, not both. James makes this point evident that just as the spring yields one type of water, our tongues, or speech, ought to yield only one type of speech (James 3:9-11). We need to have the authority of Christ for all that we do or say (Col. 3:17). When considering this what is the purpose of lying, cussing, or gossiping if it does not glorify God and causes us to face everlasting punishment? David understood that he needed to be acceptable in the Lord’s sight. This would require having pureness of speech. Let the words of my mouth be acceptable to You, O Lord.

The meditation of my heart

The heart is where everything that is done originates. In other words, the things we do are a reflection of what we had purposed in our minds. The topic of being acceptable in the Lord’s sight cannot be discussed without mentioning the disposition of the heart. If we want to be acceptable what we put in our heart needs to be acceptable. Since what we do comes from a disposition of the heart and the disposition depends on what is put in the heart, we must therefore examine what we meditate upon. David understood that the things that he spoke were a result of what was in his heart. This is the reason why he was concerned with what his heart was meditating upon.

Today as Christians we need to examine where our minds are and what our minds are meditating upon. Jesus taught, “…where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt. 6:21). In context Jesus is teaching concerning the disciple that God desires and what is characteristic of the disciple of God. A disciple will want to have his treasure above where God is, because as Jesus points out where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be. Paul continued with the same thought as he said, “…seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Col. 1:1). Christians want to be with God in eternity; therefore while we are here in body, we need to seek that which is above. Matthew 6:33 shows us that when we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all our needs will be met.

Earlier it was stated that we can have the mind of Christ. For this to occur, we must meditate on what He has said and the example that He has left us. The Israelites were instructed to keep the word of God before them, to rise, eat, and to go to sleep with the word of God in their minds. When we truly love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Mt. 22:37), we will want to act and be as much like Him as is possible. When considering Christ’s example, we see that Christ always had a mind for being obedient and to serve. Christ was obedient in all things because of His disposition of heart. What is our disposition of heart? Is it as it should be? The reason why our hearts currently have the disposition we have because of what we set our minds on.

When we come to the realization that our minds need to be fixed upon the goal, we will understand why we live by a higher standard the rest of the world. The reason is because we serve an eternal God that loves us. God’s ways are higher than man’s ways (Is. 55:8-9), therefore we should be submissive to His will. We may not understand the exact reason why God has left the instruction, but faith will motivate us to be obedient because of the hope that lies in Christ-eternal life. What we meditate upon will lead us to speak the things that we do. In order to obtain the prize, we need to be found acceptable in the Lord’s sight. So as we conclude this look at Ps. 19:14 and its relevance to us, let us pray “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

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