With Heart

Mark 7:1-23

Mark 7:6 “He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites: as it is written: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of GOD and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

Grace and peace to your from our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ! These aren’t just words… this is my prayer for you, for me, for every child, woman, and man on this earth.

Jesus isn’t talking about the unchurched here. He is talking about the Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law (Matthew 7:1). These are the ones who are supposedly keeping the law, teaching and keeping the law… And he is also talking about me. I know better. I have read the bible, I go to church, I have been to and through confirmation. And I confess I too have honored GOD with my lips and at the same time knew that my heart was far from honoring GOD.

When we pray, do our lips move? Is that all that moves when we pray? If our heart, or our mind, or our soul doesn’t move when we pray… then it may be possible that we are honoring GOD with our lips and that our hearts are far from honoring GOD.

Mark 7:9-13 “ And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of GOD in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say that if a man says to his father or mother: ‘Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is Corban’ (that is a gift devoted to GOD), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of GOD by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

When I pray I must do more than move my lips. Jesus is saying there is more to the commands of GOD than moving ones lips, there is what the world tells us is adequate (traditions) and then there is GOD’s commands and these don’t necessarily match. If I tell someone I will pray for them and do not involve my heart and my mind and my soul then I am just moving my lips.

Matthew 7:20-23 “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’ “

What passes from our lips can hurt others and in the process we hurt ourselves. May you pray… may you pray with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul and through your prayers may you feel the grace of GOD course through you like the sun on a warm day knowing you are safe, knowing you are special, knowing you are loved… knowing there is nothing you can do to make GOD love you any less, knowing there is nothing you can do to make GOD love you any more.

Precious Father, Loving God, Holy Spirit, teach us to pray with our hearts and our minds and our soul. Teach us to move more than our lips when we pray. Move our hands, our feet, our hearts, and our minds. Move us LORD! AMEN!

Jim Dietvorst

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