Jesus, in talking about the end of the age said, ‘Take heed to yourselves’. In the original language the word for ‘heed’ means ‘to hold the mind towards’ and ‘pay attention to’. It also carries with it a tone of caution and the implication to beware. As we read the Biblical text, we see that Jesus is warning us about overcharging our hearts with other pursuits, whether they be drunkenness or anxieties about life. Remember in the parable of the sower, which He taught earlier in His ministry, that Jesus issued the same warning about the physical aspects of life choking out the spiritual.

How important it is for each of us to step back and examine ourselves spiritually. When Israel was returned to its land after being in captivity in Babylon, the work of the temple was at a standstill due to hearts that were overcharged with other things. The Holy Spirit, through the prophet Haggai, challenged the sleeping nation with the words, ‘Consider your ways!’ The consequence of their improper priorities were lives of discontent and emptiness, even though they were materially the ‘model’ nation. Their hearts were overloaded with temporal concerns.

Each one of us ought to have a spiritual checklist that we can use to insure that our ‘oil’ is clean and we are indeed advancing in our relationship with Jesus Christ. I’ve found Acts 2:42-46 a good checklist to follow. The infant church observed these things daily, and because of this spiritual discipline they grew as individuals and corporately as a church. These passages explain practically what it means to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God’. These verses describe the heart that is in love with Jesus Christ. They also reveal how the Body of Christ fulfills the Law.

The apostle Paul’s exclamations against living in sin, such as sexual immorality, and boasting about anything other than the cross of Christ, portray a life that is led by the Spirit of God, and not after the flesh. Go to the Mercy Seat of God and allow Jesus to do in your heart the necessary work that will produce a clean and uncluttered ‘vessel for honor’.