CLEANING THE HEART
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. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear (Mark 7:15-16 New King James Version)!
When speaking, what is the content of our words? Do our words help or hinder? Do they bring peace or confusion? Are they comforting and edifying? Are they wholesome? Do our word choices reflect hope in God? Jesus spoke about what defiles a man, saying, what goes into a man does not defile him because it does not enter his heart, but what comes out of a man’s mouth brings defilement for we speak from our hearts. In society today becoming desensitized to sin and falling into defilement is easy in the ways we speak, react, or even behave. The world promotes sinful lifestyles, determining them as normal, some of them as genetic. There are Christians who somehow cannot seem to differentiate the difference between what the world deems okay and what God deems okay.
Church, it is time for a heart cleaning. What are our hearts filled with? If we exhibit negativity, gossip, complaining, grumbling, rage, hopelessness, or abusive words coming from our mouths, then we are in danger. Jesus loves us so much He will help us clean our hearts and then fill them with Godly things. This process is only as easy as we make it; sometimes in our human stubbornness, we prolong the cleansing causing more pain than God originally intended. Often this cleaning process is brought on by a traumatic situation, one in which God is clearly telling us it is time. Cleaning is not easy; it is a dirty, ugly process. Take oven cleaning, for instance. We don’t really cherish the chore, yet it is something we must do, even though most people would never see the inside of the oven until we open it. For manual oven cleaning, we may have to heat the oven a bit, spray the cleaning solution on, let it sit for a bit, and then wipe and scrub. What do we end up with? Dirty water. So then we rinse and rinse and rinse, and wipe and rinse again until the water is clear. After all the work, we finally have a clean and shiny oven! What do we say almost every time we clean the oven? We’ll get those spills when they first happen. The same is true for our hearts – we often will keep the contents of our hearts to ourselves unless someone happens to peek inside, or we open it up to show others, exposing the inside.
To stand before a holy God, we must be clean. When we accept Jesus, we are bathed in His blood and washed in His righteousness, thus beginning our cleansing. Just as we have to be patient while the cleaning solution works on oven grime, we have to be patient while God begins to cleanse and purge us of our sinful ways and mindsets. If we try to step ahead of God and try to clean ourselves, we end up needing to have Him repeat the process, making it longer and more painful. We can shorten our cleaning time by rejoicing in God, reading His word, praying and making Godly choices. In this, our hearts will be filled with good things and what comes out our mouths will not defile us.
Let’s Pray: Dear Father, create in us clean hearts, and renew steadfast spirits within us. Search us, O God and know our hearts, try us and know our anxieties, remove from us every evil thing and lead us in the way everlasting. Let our thoughts, our words, our hearts be filled with that which brings You glory and edifies Your Church. O Lord, if there is something within us that defiles us- clean us, humble us, teach us patience and endurance. Refashion our ways of thinking to conform to Yours, pluck the feathers of iniquity from us, scrub away the dirt of this world and rinse us in Your living and purifying water. We seek to please You, open our eyes to see the filth of the world and to be repulsed by it, give us the words to say and the desire to act ways that shine Your light and glorifies You in this world. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit to empower us to share Your love and Your commandments with those who are wandering. We give You all glory and Honor, in Jesus name. Amen.
Today’s Attitude of Worship: Before you open your mouth to speak, think about the words you are choosing. Choose to use wholesome, positive language.
Additional Scriptures: Matthew 15:16-20; Psalm 51:10; James 1: 2-5