There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. Mark 7:15
Have you ever wondered what is in your heart? I’m not talking about chambers and valves. I’m talking about checking your heart as the core of your existence. Your head is the commander of the body and tells it where to go and how to move. The heart is the General over all and will send the order to the brain to execute. So, when I say to examine your heart, I am talking about the thoughts and intents that governs your life.
Today’s scripture is about Jesus examining the heart of the Pharisee and religious leaders. He told them they make sure everything is clean on the outside like their hands, cups and external items. While it is certainly a good thing to wash your hands regularly in the world we live in today, it is not for show or for appearances, it is for sanitation and cleanliness. Jesus went on to tell the Pharisees that what comes out of your heart defiles a person, not what you eat.
It is true that you can eat things that may make you sick physically, but what you take into your heart makes you strong or weak spiritually. Jesus gave a long list of evil things that come out of the heart, and they are evident by a person’s words and actions. You can actually examine your spiritual heart health by listening to your words. If you hear a lot of criticizing, condemning and complaining coming out of your mouth, you are probably holding on to a lot of evil thoughts like pride, covetousness and foolishness. If your words or thoughts are about desiring things or other people, lust is lurking in the depths. These are the things that defile and make us unclean.
There is good news today. You can change and grow the good things in your heart by feeding them. It only takes a decision and the grace of God. When you ask God to turn the desires of your heart toward Him and His ways, He will empower you to feed what is good in your heart and starve out the bad. He will show you how to be more loving, more gracious and kinder to everyone that is around you. Then you will recognize His presence and an undefiled heart by the goodness and mercy that comes up from your core and out of your mouth.
Today I want to encourage you to do a heart checkup. Listen to how you speak about others. Are you speaking the love of God over them and their circumstances? Or are you spewing a curse of criticizing and complaining about them and their situations. Surrender your heart and your words to Him today and get rid of the unclean and defiled ways that want to take over your whole body.
Today’s scripture reading: Mark 7:1-23
1 Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem.
2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.
3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.
4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
6 He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.
7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men —the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
9 He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’
11 But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God),
12 then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother,
13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
14 When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand:
15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.
16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
17 When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable.
18 So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him,
19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?”
20 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”