THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Matthew 15:17-20): 17 Don’t you know that the food you put into your mouth goes into your stomach and then out of your body? 18 But the words that come out of your mouth come from your heart. And they are what make you unfit to worship God. 19 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. 20 These are what make you unclean. Eating without washing your hands will not make you unfit to worship God.
THOUGHTS: Reading the earlier part of this chapter we may tend to condemn the Pharisees for complaining to Jesus about others who chose to eat things they would not dare eat. However, Jesus soon came back at them with the issues they themselves were struggling with. Isn’t that much like us today, where we easily see the fault in others but struggle to acknowledge that we have issues of our own, and/or concede to actually deal with our issues? Jesus really got to the heart, for He reminded the Pharisees, as He does to us, that regardless of the ancillary things that we might do, it’s the intent of the heart and the content of the heart that really matters. Think about it, we might say that we are going to a worship service, and we might even jump in our car and go to the place of corporate worship and go inside the sanctuary, but if the heart is wicked, if it’s filled with evil thoughts, if it’s burning with jealousy or enmity towards our family or friends or coworkers or the preacher or another church member, what type of worship might we possibly offer to God? It just won’t happen friends. Satan might try every trick in the book to trip us up during the week, but if he succeeds in distracting our relationship with God, or breaking down our Godly character before those we love, or cause us to say just about anything that could blurt from our mouths without any respect or love for the individual we are communicating with, then obviously our hearts are more occupied with the things of Satan than of the things of God. Friends, if our hearts belong to God, then we must do everything within our will to keep it filled with the things of God. When we don’t, we leave room for it to become filled with the things of this world (Satan’s playground). I believe a good end of day exercise for all of us would be to seek God’s face and His wisdom to help us reflect on our day and honestly evaluate if our actions and/or our words emanated from a heart filled with God, or of Satan. The Bible teaches us what things God approves of, so this will be an easier task than it may appear to be. Let’s be sure that our hearts are filled with God each day so that our words and our actions will reflect Jesus in every way. To the one reading this who may not have accepted Jesus as Lord, please allow me to lovingly and respectfully tell you that Jesus cannot exist where sin resides, so don’t expect Him to fill your heart until you have invited Him to be Lord of Your heart. Notes in my ‘Footnote’ will help you in making the most important decision of your life. Please allow me to help you find Jesus, the only One who can help you turn your life around and surrender full control to Him.
PRAYER: People all around us need You, oh Lord. But they are extremely challenged to seek You when they don’t see the impact You are making in the lives of Your children. Please help us to be more committed, dedicated and willing to give full control of our heart, mind and soul to You, so that we may become usable vessels that You can work through to reach the lost. They don’t need another fake, they need to see honest and true images of Jesus Christ in everything that we say and/or do. You’re the only One that can help us achieve that oh Lord. Please help us to be willing servants that can be impacted and used by You. I ask these things in the precious and all-powerful name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!