What comes out of us makes us unrighteous
Scripture - Mark 7:18-23 NASB
And He said to them, "Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?" ( Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, "That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man."
Observation - Jesus was speaking to the Pharisee's here after they have accused Jesus' disciples of eating without cleaning their hands or dishes. The Pharisee's where zealous in there cleaning of their hands and cups from which they ate. Jesus here explains a paradigm breaking principle that it is not what goes into us that makes us unclean or sinful, it is what comes out our hearts and mouths that condemns us. He goes on to say the prophet Isaiah predicted there would be a generation just like this, that had all of the knowledge of who God is and what his commands are poured into them, but that the output of their lives would be inconsistent with God's truth.
Application - The application for me today is to recognize that it is not much different today (save of course the fact that Jesus has died and reconciled us with God). Our capacity as God's people is still the same though, to fill ourselves with God's truth, only to watch what comes out of our hearts and mouths prove we are defiled still. Right now in Hawaii a great struggle is going on over making same sex marriage the law of the land. I think this displays this same truth Jesus was pointing out to the Pharisees. First off, certain denominational and church leaders in Hawaii have voiced support of the same sex marriage law proposal. Second, our legislative leaders in Hawaii during their testimonial portions of the hearings literally read scripture and pointed out that Jesus would want us to do this. These leaders ability to take in God's word and put out something as unrighteous as a law such as this that violates the highest law in the land , God's law. This both amazes and saddens me and at the same time confirms what Jesus already pointed out (as also prophesied by Isaiah). For me personally I need to be sure the application of God's word to my life is displayed in my words and actions. Any inconsistency between the two I need to trust and seek the Holy Spirits guidance, Jesus' grace, and God's transformational power.
Prayer - Dear heavenly Father, normally my devotions and prayers are for me , but Lord I am praying today that you would help my country the United States, my home state of Hawaii, and the world to know your truth and your righteousness. Help us to repent and turn back to the foundations on which our country and state were built, the belief that we are one nation, under God. I pray that your spirit would continue to convict me, refine me, to be a man who walks consistent with your truth. I pray all of this in Jesus name, Amen.