Leviticus 15:1-16:34 / Mark 7:1-23 / Psalm 40:11-17 / Proverbs 10:13-14

Standout verse:

Mark 7: 6-7

“These people honor Me with their mouths, but their hearts are far from Me.  And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”

Mark 7: 20-22

“And He said, “It is what comes out of a man (out of his heart) that defiles him.  Out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness and evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.  All these things come from within and defile a man.”

This chapter talks a great deal about the condition of people’s hearts - this is what God is most concerned about.  What comes out of our hearts reveals so much. 

A good question to ask first and foremost is “what am I filling my heart and mind with?”  Am I allowing the junk of this world to shape me?  Am I pursuing the Lord, His ways and the things He is calling me to do in a real way, or, am I just going through the “Christian motions” hoping the outside of my cup appears clean so people don’t look past my veneer into my heart.

Here’s a great measuring stick to help us identify if our heart is close to the Lord or not: We need to assess if we walking out our days filled with hope, expectation, passion for the Lord, love for others and a fresh desire to seek our God and walk in His ways? 

Okay, okay…I know that list may sound entirely too idealistic.  But it’s true – it’s normal…It’s what God wants for us and has available for our lives.  He wants us to be thriving and fruitful!!!  If we’re not experiencing these things, it’s a good indicator that our hearts may be far from Him and we need to get closer.  When we are close to Him, filling up on the things of Him, there is way less room for the things of this world…our hearts will grow less and less attached to the cheap temporary fixes that the world offers and more and more filled with the authentic, good stuff that is available from Him!

Let’s not be defiled by the junk the world is trying to sell us, but defined by a thriving, fruitful relationship with our God!