For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.
The Blame Game
We live in a world that likes to point the finger of blame. Rarely, it seems, does anyone take responsibility for their actions. It is always someone else’s fault. If a mistake is made, there can be any number of ways to shift the blame: maybe it was the way we were raised, maybe there were circumstances beyond our control, maybe what we said was taken out of context, or maybe it was because someone else started it. It seems there is always something or someone else to blame.
But in our Bible reading for today, Jesus bluntly says that the problem starts with you and me—in our hearts. He runs down a terrible list of sins and says that these things come, not from outside influences where we can shift the blame. Rather, he says they originate in our own hearts. Combine that with a society that tells us to do whatever is in our hearts, and we have a big problem. When we fail to control the desires that reside in our heart, it boils over into sin of all kinds. For such things, we deserve eternal punishment from God.
Yet, the One who speaks these words is also the One who saves us. Jesus was different from you and me. He was pure in heart. None of the things on this list resided in his heart. He was perfectly pure, and he lived an entire life in our place without ever once falling into sin. He was perfect where we have failed and through the miracle of the cross, Jesus takes our sin away and provides us with his perfection so that we can stand holy in God’s sight. Because of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we can confidently say that through faith in him, heaven is our home!
Dear Jesus, you are perfect and holy and have given me the gift of eternal life. Help today to control the desires in my heart. Help me to live for you. Amen.