THE HEART OF MAN
Jesus continued to explain the traditions and the commandments of God to his disciples. The religious leaders, such as the Pharisees and Scribes, accused the disciples of being unclean or unacceptable to God because they did not do the ceremonial cleansing before eating. The ceremonial cleansing is based on the religious leaders' traditions and not on the Word of God. As a result, Jesus was teaching His disciples about what makes a person unclean or unacceptable to God. He told them a parable, "It's not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart" (Mark 7:15). Jesus explained the parable by saying to the disciples that people become defiled or unacceptable to God by not what they eat, but they become unacceptable to God by what comes out of their hearts. For example, the things that they say or do are from their hearts. In other words, God looks at the heart, for from the heart comes evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. (Mark 7:14-23).
Whatever we do for the Lord, if it is not according to His Word, will not be accepted no matter how good we think we are doing. In addition, it is not what we eat or how we eat that makes us unacceptable to God, but whatever comes out of our hearts. So in everything we do, we need to examine our hearts, especially our motives. God wants us to worship Him with our hearts, not lips (Marks 7:6). In other words, we can do religious practices, such as praying, fasting, going to church, giving money to the church, or serving, but if our hearts are not right before God, all the spiritual practices that we do will not be acceptable to God.
God looks at our hearts because our hearts represent who we truly are. We can hide all the ungodly motives and thoughts from others in our hearts, but we cannot hide them from God. So let us continue to examine our hearts and confess to God all the ungodly motives, and the God who loves us will forgive and cleanse us from all sin and be acceptable to Him.
Ask yourself these questions: What does it mean to worship God from my heart and not from my lips? Why is it important to examine my heart always? Can God see my heart? What should I do if I have impure motives or sin in my heart?
Write down all the worries you face today and lift them up to God.
Father in Heaven, please create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within my heart. Please examine my heart to see if there is anything that is not acceptable to you. Please forgive my impure thoughts and sinful motives. I acknowledge that there is nothing that I can hide from you. Thank you for cleansing my heart and forgiving me for my sinful motives. In the name of your Son, Jesus, I pray. Amen.