“It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” – Mark 7:15
Jesus teaches the priority of a wholehearted love for God.
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Mark 7:6-7
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37-40
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” – Matthew 5:8
“You have heard it said, but I say,” – Matthew 5
Jesus brings a shift from a focus on external behavior (to the point of legalism and unbearable standards) to a focus on issues of the heart, in a transformational relationship with God.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9
“I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” – Ezekiel 36:25-27
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” – Psalm 51:10
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” – Proverbs 4:23
“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” – Psalm 73:26
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.” – 2 Timothy 2:22
“Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” – James 4:8
What do we learn about God?
God cares about our spiritual heart health.
God desires a relationship with us that is whole hearted.
“Born again” followers of Jesus receive a new clean heart.
Following Jesus includes spiritual growth in purity of heart.
How should we respond?
Repent of our sin (heart disorder) and receive cleansing grace through Jesus.
Love God with all our hearts and the best of our energy.
Open your heart to the searching of God.
Daily choose to follow Jesus with people who exhibit pure hearts.