DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2021-07-05
WRITTEN AT: Gallup, NM
SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 15:17-20
TRANSLATION: Contemporary English Version (CEV)
BIBLE TEXT: 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.
APPLICATION: The Pharisees had overstepped their boundaries, as usual, and tried to test Jesus by reporting something they felt His disciples were overlooking. In this particular instance, they reported that, upon close observation, it appeared like the disciples were neglecting the customs of the Jews in washing their hands before eating a meal. Now we practice this little rule today, and we will get on to our children for not practicing good hygiene. But Jesus took this opportunity to teach the Pharisees, and us, that although this may be a good earthly practice to avoid spreading of germs, this is minuscule in the big picture, as it has nothing at all to do with godliness. So does this mean that the Christian must think only about godliness? Not necessarily, but when you follow through like the Pharisee in reporting a brother or sister for non-godly things, instead of praying that they might become more Christ-like, then there may be questions about your motives. Furthermore, I would hope that when you report someone for breaking man’s law, or God’s, I would hope that your life is in stellar condition. Much like the case of the Pharisees, I remember a time when I was gossiping with a coworker about certain staff members who, I thought, was less than perfect. To my surprise, and through a rude awakening, that coworker looked at me and said: ‘that’s funny, they say the same thing about you’. Shocking, but thank God for an honest and bold coworker, for it opened my eyes that I was too much like the Pharisees. Jesus went on to give examples of what results from a heart that is filled with the world’s trash. Think carefully about the Word of God and see if you could think of any Scripture that supports the following actions: evil thoughts, murder, unfaithfulness in marriage, vulgar deeds, stealing, telling lies, and insulting others. I believe you will find that the Bible/God teaches just the opposite to each of these wicked things. Being children created by God, I’m sure that He didn’t teach these things to us, so where do you suppose we came up with these? Friends, we live in an evil and conniving world that is out to set God’s children out of line with His powerful and godly teachings. It is very important that we fill our minds with the things of Christ. Jesus taught that if we fill ourselves with these two things – love God; and love one another; then we would easily follow all of His other commandments. As we practice these two commandments each day, we will fill our hearts and our minds with the things of God, and the world needs to see and witness more of this today, than perhaps any other time in history. We must guard our hearts, so that we take in the things of God, and not the things of this world that leads to more evil and disharmony. Show them Jesus, won’t you?
BLESSING(S) NOTED: Fill your heart, mind and soul with more of Jesus, and prepare to worship Him! the world needs more of Jesus, not more of itself.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I desire that my heart will produce the fruits that You speak of in Your Word. To accomplish this while still in a world filled with sin and imperfections, I will need You by my side every minute of every day. Please fill me with the will to obey Your commands and to replicate the many good things that You modeled while on earth. My friends who will read and/or listen to this devotional may have the same desire, so Lord I pray that You will touch Your children today in miraculous ways so that the world may know that Jesus lives, because they see You alive in us. Please humble hearts who need You today. Draw the lost to You and use us at every opportunity where You know that we won’t mess up. 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!