Today’s reading links: Genesis 16; Matthew 15; Nehemiah 5; Acts 15
Every day when I drive my kids to school, we start our 15 minute car ride by talking to God. In these few minutes, we affirm that we want our hearts to look like Jesus, and ask for God’s help to change them. I’ll be honest, we’ve been praying this prayer for about a year and a half, but my heart still requires a lot of work. Many mornings, especially on Mondays, this request is often followed by a prayer of thanks that God’s mercies are new EVERY morning. Oh how I need them!
Since reading Matthew 12 on Tuesday, I haven’t been able to get the last phrase of verse 34 off my mind, “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
In reading Matthew 15 today, we find the Pharisees and scribes challenging Jesus about his disciples’ failure to keep some traditions. I love how he answers their question with question and begins to get at their hearts. In verses 10 and 11, Jesus gets very direct with those gathered to listen to his teachings, “Hear and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”
My small group is reading the book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. In this week’s reading, Lewis says, “…surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is.” Why? Back to Matthew 12:34, because what instinctively comes out of your mouth truly reflects what is in your heart.
Think about what’s in your heart. With my children and I, today will you ask God to help change your heart to look like Jesus?