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KEEP YOUR HEART CLEAN

Date: September 25

Category: Godly Character

Mark 7:15-16
"There is not [even] one thing outside a man which by going into him can pollute and defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him and make him unhallowed and unclean. If any man has ears to hear, let him be listening [and let him perceive and comprehend by hearing]."

Slobodan & Ljiljana KrstevskiThis is a teaching about what makes a man defiled. Jesus teaches us that it's not what goes inside a man that makes him unclean but what comes out of a man. The inside of a person is really who the person is. In Proverbs 23:7a we read, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." So however a person thinks, that's what he is. That's why you should be very careful of what you think. Examine the thoughts that you allow to percolate through your mind because those thoughts determine who you are. So here Jesus teaches us that the foods we take into our bodies are not what makes us unclean. It is the things that come out from within us that make us unclean.

But why doesn't the food that we eat make us unholy? Well Jesus answers that in verse 19, "Since it does not reach and enter his heart but [only his] digestive tract, and so passes on [into the place designed to receive waste]? Thus He was making and declaring all foods [ceremonially] clean [that is, abolishing the ceremonial distinctions of the Levitical Law]." So the food that enters your mouth and goes into your body does not defile you because it doesn't reach to your heart, but the things that are within your heart and come out through your mouth is what defiles you. (verse 20)

So what are some of the things that could come from your mouth? Well we read in verses 21-22, "For within, [that is] out of the hearts of men come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride (the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness)."

Many people have always wanted to know where evil comes from. Ancient philosophers and humanity in general have made many attempts to answer that question. But they have always had difficulties finding a satisfactory answer. Even today, people struggle to answer that question. Yet the answer is very simple. In verse 23 we read, "All these evil [purposes and desires] come from within, and they make the man unclean and render him unhallowed." In other words, evil and wickedness are found within the heart of man. Jesus didn't say that evil was in the hearts of "non-Christian" man only. He said that evil was in the hearts of all man, meaning both Christians and non-Christian alike.

That means the Christians are just as capable of each and every one of these evil actions. That's why it's so important that we put off the old man and put on the new man. Colossians 3:8 says, "But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips!" All these things are the wickedness found in the hearts of all man. The Bible says that we are to liberate ourselves from these things. Then we read in verse 10, "And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it."

Now that we are new creatures in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17), that has become our task. We have to put off the old nature and all its sinful lusts and desires, and put on the new nature, which is the likeness of God. That requires continual renewal of our minds and our hearts through the Word of God and the Spirit of God (Romans 12:2). It is something that we have to do on a daily basis. That's why reading and meditating upon the Word of God should be the most common activity of our lives.

In Proverbs 4:23 it says, "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." So not only does evil come from your and mine heart, but the issues of life come from your and mine heart as well. That's why we have to keep and guard our hearts, meaning we have to put the Word of God into our hearts and meditate upon it. Doing that is so important for spiritual success. It says here that we are to do that with all vigilance and above all, meaning before anything else we should be keeping and guarding our hearts with the shield of the Word of God. So today, let's remember to do that because as we keep our hearts clean, our words will be clean as well.

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Devotionals Categories

» After Repentance
» Divine Healing
» Faith Expressed Through Actions
» Follow God
» God Answers
» God's Plans
» Godly Character
» Hard Work and Diligence
» Leadership
» Marriage and Relationships
» New Life in God
» Prosperity
» Satisfied in God
» Setting Goals
» Sow and Reap
» Strength in God
» The Goodness of God
» Trust in God
» Wisdom and Understanding


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