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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

What's In Your Heart?

“Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” Mark 7:14-15 (NLT)

While preparing to go to work today, thoughts of malice and pride oozed out in my thoughts as I drove the back roads of the North Carolina foothills. I’m glad I am not like them, and They don’t really know how hard I work played like a warped record through my head. It seemed as if I couldn’t stop these thoughts from erupting out of my heart.

In the last part of Mark 7, Jesus goes on to teach how a heart can be filled with all kinds of wicked stuff. I realized that was the condition of my heart. Once I realized that, I repented. The idol of my heart had been others’ opinion of me, rather than God’s.

Sometimes when people think badly of me, it is deserved since I am a sinner saved by God’s grace. Other times, it’s not deserved. In fact, sometimes people might think badly of me when I do what is right. You may have experienced this, too.

Let’s consider our Lord. People were so disturbed by Him — what He said and did — they crucified Him. And unlike prideful me, He was without any sin.

I guess that is the startling thing when I truly begin to grasp the Gospel. It is undeserved and unmerited. God became man. Jesus lived a sinless life and died a horrific death for someone like me. Like you.

Scripture says this in Romans 5:6-8,

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (NLT)

Understanding the Gospel causes utter humility and profound thankfulness. The God of the universe loved me enough to visit this sin-sick planet for me.

Amazing grace. Amazing love. Amazing God.

Lover of my soul, Redeemer of my heart, thank You for coming to this earth for me. Thank you for your perfect life and becoming my sacrifice for sin. Forgive me when I think I deserve better. Thank You for that forgiveness. Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Pauline Hylton, used with permission.

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