Sometimes we’re pretty satisfied if we simply avoid a sinful act or don’t say something displeasing to the Lord or hurtful to others… In other words we didn’t commit adultery or cuss (or something else just as sinful)… We pride ourselves that we avoided temptation and came out of a situation pretty “righteous” – God must be pleased.
Well this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” I read a passage that “convicted” me and left me pleading with the Lord for forgiveness, cleansing and “true righteousness” – a “pure heart” if you please!
“And he called the people to him and said to them, ‘Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him… What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’” (From Mark 7:14–23 ESV)
I don’t know about you, but I read that list and thought about the principle Jesus shared and felt pretty guilty! True righteousness starts within – what comes out is simply a reflection and expression of what is within! I want (and need) to be right with the Lord “inside – out!”
Here’s how Jesus put it in the beatitudes… “Blessed are the PURE IN HEART, for they shall see God!” (Matthew 5:8) I want to be “Pure in heart!” The good news is the Lord forgives, cleanses and transforms if we ask Him to! My responsibility? “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow all the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
“Inside – out” – that’s what I want to be, righteous “inside – out!”