I woke very early this morning. It usually happens following a day of heavy physical labor. Yesterday was very demanding. Although I slept very well, I was up today around 2 A.M.
The beginning of this day started out with some reading. I ran across an article about the false teachers within His Church, and how the antichrist is already here in the form of these false teachers. The article went on to explain how the words of Jesus in Matthew 24; the signs that we should look for in the last days, have been occurring ever since He spoke the words. Here is the article if you are interested…
Some may agree. Some may not. Some will question themselves, or disregard the whole thing. I thought it was an interesting take.
Through the reading this morning, my thoughts shifted into the many different aspects within my personal life. The words had me thinking about the true relationship one has with the Lord, and how the surface of many people paints a picture that is pleasing to the eye. The surface action and voice is beautifully crafted to make one appear to be a model citizen of His Kingdom. It made me think about my life. I asked myself, “Is my heart where my mouth is?”
Defilement Comes from Within -Matthew 15:1-20 NKJV
15 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
What is within me? What is within you?
This evening, my loved one and I are attending our therapy session. I had written about it being time to move on with this person a few weeks ago. The gist of the writing was targeted at moving past the hurts myself and others have caused within the individual relationships we have shared. There had been several people throughout the past that had really been difficult, and in turn, so was I. We grew very distant. The individual I am attending therapy with is very important to me, even though the person has caused a great amount of grief within my life.
The force within my heart is what started this initiation to rekindle the relationship with my loved one. It made me realize that my hardened heart has definitely been affected by His Spirit. The reading this morning had me thinking about all of the changes HE has made. It didn’t come from the ceremonial actions. The attendance of a gathering at a building. The hail-Marys or the altar call. It didn’t come from the head-knowledge of the Word, it came from His Word being written on my heart. It came from the relationship, within.
My Lord, what an ugly heart I have had throughout my life. The bitterness still has a deep scar written across my very being. There has been a sanctification building within this battered heart ever since I fell to my knees that day and asked Him to reveal Himself. There was no possible way I was changing my ways before the Lord showed up. Intentionally. I was proudly profane. Very sarcastic. Rude and despicable, and pretty proud of it. The loving heart was not much of a part of me, especially toward the person I am attending therapy with tonight. If it wasn’t for the Lord, and my lovely wife, I would be a lonely man. Or even worse, gone and forgotten.
The Lord had, and has a plan for me. Today, I will embrace it. I will let this heart be filled with His presence. I will honor Him with the battered heart and allow Him to speak to and through me. I have to watch myself though. My mouth still falls into old ways at times. Lord knows I am allowing Him to move me.
Throughout Matthew this morning I have noticed how we are all allowed to choose our ways. We are free to listen, or walk our own way. We can honor Him with the mouth and action, but we should observe the heart. We really need to take a hard look at it.
My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I’ll just ask you to think about this along with me today: “What goes into your heart? What comes out?”