What is Your Heart Full of?

Out of the Abundance of the Heart

From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. A good man brings good things from a good heart. An evil man brings evil things from an evil heart. Matthew 12:34b-35

Men, again, Jesus speaks in binary terms. Before we can move forward in agreement, we must ask; who decides what is good? How do we define “good”? How do we qualify, validate or affirm “good”? We’d all get car sick spinning around the revolving wheel of relativity if we looked around us for an answer. Let’s agree to look up to Heaven and into His Word for absolute truth from a vantage above creation.

The Pharisees are at odds with Jesus and expressing hostility toward Him. They know the Law, but they don’t recognize the author. Psalms 119 is rich in what it means to align our hearts to the source of good treasure. From the beginning, a wealth of lessons pour out. “Blessed are those who keep His testimony, who seek Him with the whole heart.”

The Pharisees didn’t seek Him. They sought enough “word” to maintain a posture of religious authority for personal and political gain. They knew much about rules, legislation, and condemnation, but little about seeking Him with the whole heart.

The Pharisees were captives of their own hierarchies. The Lord told the captives through Jeremiah 29:13. “When you seek Me with your whole heart, you will find Me.” The Pharisees aren’t ready to seek Him. They are seeking their own self-righteousness. Is there any good in the treasury of self-righteousness? History has seen horrible atrocities committed from self-righteous hearts. What will be spoken of us?

Move forward men, Psalm 119:9-15. Cleansing our ways by taking head to His Word; Seeking Him with the whole heart without wandering from His commands. Let’s hide His Word in our hearts so we don’t sin against Him. Let’s learn from His statutes and declare His judgments with our mouths. Rejoice in His testimonies as much as in all riches. Meditate on His Word and don’t forget it. Psalm 119:18 – open our eyes Lord to the wonders of Your Law.

Vance Durrance

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Who Do You Follow?

who do you follow

But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? — Matthew 12:3-4 NKJV

Men, Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees about His disciples plucking grain to eat on the Sabbath. Jesus reminds them of an occasion where King David and his men ate consecrated bread from the temple when they were hungry. 1 Samuel 21 records the incident. David and his men were not condemned by the Law in that time.

Over time, more and more rules had been applied. Jesus points back to precedent in defense and likewise challenges their authority to make such an accusation. In effect, Jesus is asking them why they have over stepped their authority beyond what the Law holds into account. Jesus could make the claim, “if David could get away with it, why can’t I?” Jesus was expressing His own authority from greater than His own lineage back to David.

In a time where men tremble when approached about some matter of the Law, Jesus is bold, and making reasoned arguments, turning the accusation around into more direct matters of the heart inside the Pharisees. Jesus truly is the great Defender.

Imagine the deer in the headlight look upon the disciples faces, and the panic they may have felt. They may have been stuttering among themselves wondering how they might answer. Jesus answered their accusers.

Most all of us can point to a time where we were questioned about what is lawful for a “good Christian”. We are often scolded by church goers for embracing the liberties granted to us, warned about maintaining good perception, challenged when we dare step out of approved ministerial procedures.

Overbearing rules are everywhere, even into our own time, cutting into our effectiveness and distracting from the focal point of our faith. Yes, guardrails are reasonable for the young in faith. But let’s teach our young in faith to seek first the Kingdom. Jesus is our authority, advocate and defender.

Move forward men, with focused attention on Jesus. Listen for His voice. Are we following rules, or following Jesus? Who is your God? The principles or the Person of Jesus?

Vance Durrance

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