He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.'”
Pastor Terry Reilley
Creekside Church (Martinez)
My family has “bad heart” history. In 2001, I was having chest pains and, after a treadmill test, someone recommended a Heart Scan. This is a CT scan to assess coronary risk based on the calcium or plaque build-up in your arteries. Mine was clean with “probably less than 5% risk of developing serious heart disease.” Yes!
Throughout scripture, God begins with matters of the heart as the core of one’s spiritual health. Here, Jesus confronts the heart of religious people who substituted outer ritual for inner spirituality. He states the issues of life aren’t centered on the exterior but are distilled in the interior, within the heart. Many things that go wrong with one’s physical heart aren’t detected until it’s too late. The same is true spiritually. What if there was a spiritual CT scan to evaluate the condition of your spiritual heart before it’s clogged up with sinful plaque that impedes the flow of life? Maybe you can start with these:
- Are you more focused on judging what’s wrong with others than with what God is doing in you (Matthew 7:1-5)?
- Are you more focused on doing outward image management than being inwardly transformed through a relationship with Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)?
- Are you aware of your speech, day in and day out? Jesus says our tongue reflects our heart condition. Matthew 12:34b-36 says, “Whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart…” After reading this I wrote, “I don’t want fool’s gold or counter-fit stuff in my treasury, I want the real deal within!”
Let Jesus perform a heart scan on you today! After all, He is a doctor (Mark 2:17)!
Jesus, remove daily the vestiges of religious plaque that would cause spiritual disease…Amen.