DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-05-20
WRITTEN AT: Nassau, Bahamas
SCRIPTURE FROM: Mark 7:20-23
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 20 Then Jesus said: What comes from your heart is what makes you unclean. 21 Out of your heart come evil thoughts, vulgar deeds, stealing, murder, 22 unfaithfulness in marriage, greed, meanness, deceit, indecency, envy, insults, pride, and foolishness. 23 All of these come from your heart, and they are what make you unfit to worship God.
APPLICATION: The Pharisees tried hard to keep a thumb on their people that they felt a responsibility for, and as such, they tried to tell them what they thought was right from wrong. Jesus, on the other hand, made it a point of helping mankind think for themselves, using His Word as their guide. This often meant explaining His principles so that the crowd would fully understand what they were reading. This is very similar in what honest, Bible-teaching churches are trying to accomplish today. In today’s Scripture, Jesus wanted His audience, and us, to understand that many rules are made to supposedly help people live according to His commands. For example, some teach that the foods you eat will defile your body, and may even defile your relationship with God through disobedience to the old laws of Moses. While Jesus did not bash the teachers of His day, He went on to explain why a proper understanding of His commands was way more important. While some foods may make certain people sick, and they may choose to refrain from eating that particular item ever again, Jesus is way more concerned about our heart, and He wasn’t referring to heart disease! When Jesus taught about the ‘heart’, He referred to the very soul and being of mankind. This is why Christians say that they invited Jesus into their ‘heart’, meaning into their soul and being. So according to the teachings of Jesus, we are to be more concerned about what things affect our ‘hearts’. Unlike many other questions where the answer is left up to man’s opinion and interpretation, Jesus actually gave us several things that will result from a ‘heart’ exposed to sin and opposition to His teachings. So I would encourage you to meditate with me in considering what sorts of things provoke us into doing the things mentioned in verses 21 and 22, for those are the things that cause us to sin, because they directly impact the ‘heart’ of man. Further, we must clearly understand that when we react to these things in the examples given by Jesus, we are really out of fellowship with Him and would truly hurt His heart to see us in acts of worship with such unconfessed sin impacting our emotions and our reactions to things of this life. Friends, I believe that we can all discern that such conditions of our ‘heart’ cannot be corrected by a mother, spouse, good friend nor our pastor, for we can hide these things from almost every other person on earth. As already stated, these things prevent us from having an open and sincere relationship with our Maker, so our sin is really against the One who gave His very life for us. Pretending to the world that everything is good with you and your relationship with Jesus Christ, is about the worse thing you can do, and bear upon yourself. Throughout the Word of God, we are told that we all will sin while here on earth among sinners. However, the Bible goes on to tell us how to deal with that sin. For Christians, the Holy Spirit – that part of God that lives inside of the Christian, will prompt us to seek forgiveness from the Father. For the unbeliever who does not know God, you are constantly being prompted to personally see God, and draw close to Him by accepting His Son, Jesus. Surely you would never ask a stranger for such a daunting thing as forgiveness of your sin. So let me encourage you to seek the Lord while you still have breath and abilities to do so. Become fit to meet the King of all kings, and then enjoy the benefits of heaven one day. My God will never fail you, my friend! He created you, He loves you unconditionally, and He has a place prepared for you when life here on earth is over. But you must personally accept Him as Lord and Savior. If you can remember the time when you surrendered your life to His lordship, then praise Him for His goodness and reconcile any sin that may hinder your relationship with Him.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Only God can forgive us of our sin and give us the peace that we are destined for our eternal home with Him in glory. He loves us unconditionally!
PRAYER: Thank You dear Lord for Your unconditional love. Please forgive us that wait for others to fix our issues, and draw us close to You, Your Word, and a clear understanding of everything that corrupts our relationship with You. Please Lord, deal in the heart of the one who may read this devotion and have not accepted You as Lord yet. Draw them to Yourself and convict them of their sin. Touch the heart of each believer that may be reminded of Your caution today. Please help us all to keep an open, honest and clear relationship with You. May our ‘hearts’ be clear of earthly hindrances, because of You and because of Your almighty power. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might 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 Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!