“And then Jesus added, ‘It is what comes from inside that defiles you. For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you’” (Mark 7:20-23, NLT).
In this confrontation with the Pharisees and his discussion with the disciples (Mark 7:1-19), Jesus clearly stated the problem – sin in a person’s heart. That’s where sin begins, and what is inside a person comes out in words and actions. Jesus’ list of these sins (sexual immorality, theft, murder, etc.) is representative of common human conflicts and struggles. Daily we hear reports of these sinful acts on Facebook pages and TV3 news bulletin. The Good News of the Gospel offers the only cure, solution for humanity’s natural defilement. Cleansing can only come by the blood of Jesus Christ offered on our behalf. Only then can we become pure before God.
Believers aren’t immune to sinful actions, however. We also struggle with heart issues – but we have the power to resist, to change, and to choose to do right, through the Holy Spirit who lives in us. Paul explained how this happens (please, please read Romans chapter 6, 7 and 8). Unless the Holy Spirit controls our sinful nature, we will experience continual outbursts of the “flesh.” We need to guard our hearts.
Think about this: God promised his people, “I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take our your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT). The “heart” is the basic core of a person, home to his or her true motives, thoughts, desires, and values. When we trust in Christ, the Holy Spirit begins living in us, changing us to be more like Christ as we yield to him. As Jesus told his disciples, the heart is what matters. Guard your heart. Maybe we should ask ourselves this question: What steps can I take to guard my heart?
Psalm 51:10-13, NKJV
“Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.”
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.