Mark 7:20-23(The Message)
20-23 He went on: �It�s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness�all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.�
The Pharisees�Jews in general, in fact�would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market not to mention the scouring they would give jugs and pots and pans that contained the food. When they observed Jesus and the disciples not being careful in following the ritualistic washings -- the Pharisees and religion scholars asked, �Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?� The response of Jesus was the disciples focused on what was right and not what was for show. Then he told the people, �It�s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.�
If a farmer doesn�t plant seeds, he will never harvest a crop. It doesn�t matter how weed-free his ground is; he must also plant and cultivate good seed. In the same way, we can only reap a harvest of purity and integrity by planting the good seed of God�s Word into our lives. I�m not talking about merely reading the Bible. I�m talking about allowing the Holy Spirit to plant the truths of Scripture deep into our hearts and minds through consistent Bible reading and memorization, meditation and prayer. To be effective, and to remain pure, truth must be planted in our hearts daily. [Gary Oliver, clinical director of Southwest Counseling Associates in Denver.]
Jesus told us where evil comes from -- it comes out of our own sinful nature. If the seeds of righteous are not planted within us then we are prone to all the things Jesus mentioned in verses 20-23 of Mark 7. I believed America and many other places in the world are not tending their fields. We have allowed our country to be overrun by the weeds of evil instead of keeping a clean field filled with the harvest of righteousness. These evils are now vomiting out of people in mean, cruel and hateful acts.
There is a way to clean up our fields and that is to let The Lord into our lives and allow Him to show us what is right and wrong. We need to have a close relationship with Him. We need to keep His word, the scriptures of The Bible, inside of us so we know what to do when the time comes. We also need His word within us to calm, comfort, and provide peace.
I was thankful to President Obama for praying for our country last week. I appreciate the words he spoke saying, �you're not alone in your grief, that our world too has been torn apart � that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you." I am also thankful for when The President prayed in Aurora saying, �Such evil is senseless. It's beyond reason.� He also said, �"What matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things, which so often consume us in our daily lives. Ultimately it�s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another,"
Dear heavenly Father, I pray as a nation we would examine ourselves and weed out the sinful problems in ourselves. I pray we would put away violence, hatred, greed, depravity, deception, slander, bullying, murder and all other acts of evil. Father bring healing to this nation and fill it with abounding love for one another. May the acts of violence end and the fruits of love prosper.