Mark: Day 8

Jesus Interprets the Law

by

Today's Text: Mark 7:1-37, Jeremiah 17:9-10, Hebrews 8:6-7,Hebrews 8:10

Text: Mark 7:1-37, Jeremiah 17:9-10, Hebrews 8:6-7,10

The heart is glorified in our culture. We sing songs about it. We talk about following it, as if it were a wise guide. We paint it onto greeting cards in February—beautiful, pink, and symmetrical. Can you imagine what a greeting card heart would look like if it were painted after the heart we read about in Mark 7?

Maybe one side of it would be pretty and pink, but the other side? Scraggly, grey, ugly. A lopsided, scary-looking heart wouldn’t help greeting card sales, I know, but it would better match the heart Jesus talks about in this passage. He says that from our hearts come “evil thoughts, sexual immoralities, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, evil actions, deceit, promiscuity, stinginess, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness” (Mark 7:21-22).

These evils are not caused by some outside force. They originate from within us (Mark 7:23). Nothing like being told your heart is the root of greed and evil actions to get your day going, right? But if we can sit with this truth for a little while, something very beautiful is revealed.

I remember hearing my mom compliment her friend one time on how nice she looked. Her hair was fixed. She had on a new sweater. Her make-up was perfection. She looked lovely.

“Thanks,” the friend said. “My mom always taught me that if you’re having a bad day, you can at least put on a cute outfit.”

Isn’t this our natural response? To pull ourselves together from the outside in? We scrub our exterior as much as we can, hoping to fix what’s dirty and broken on the inside. This might look like a new outfit, or volunteering at church, or making sure you’re seen with the right crowd. None of those things are inherently wrong or bad, but when we do them in an attempt to heal something that feels broken, or to earn the approval of our Father, they begin to reflect what the Pharisees were doing: fixating on the law and rituals.

Jesus had something to say about these attempts of ours: “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They worship Me in vain” (Mark 7:6-7). Our rituals and outward behavior will not bring us into true communion with Christ because those things are not His primary concern. He is concerned with our hearts. He sees straight through the exterior into the real—into the dark, the grey, and the ugly.

And here’s the beautiful part: Jesus chose to live right there, in our hearts, and to write the law under this new covenant. “I will put My laws into their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people” (Hebrews 8:10).

This is what makes the whole gospel thing such a life-changer. We don’t have to scrub ourselves clean. The blood of Christ has already done that.  

It’s all too easy for me to slide back into Pharisee mode, to put on a cute outfit and hope for the best. But Pharisee mode prevents true communion with Christ. Let’s not offer Him our perfectly-symmetrical-greeting-card hearts today. Let’s offer Him our real hearts and, in return, experience real worship.

SRT-Mark-Instagram8s

  • Nikravesous

    There are a lot of truisms that we throw around in our society that sound good but don’t align with biblical teaching. “Follow your heart,” is one of these. Our “heart,” or emotions, can be very deceptive. If a married woman feels like she has fallen in love with another man, should she “follow her heart” and leave her husband for him? No, for as we read earlier in Mark, “what therefore God has combined let no man separate.” We are broken people with broken hearts that will lead us astray if we try to use them to guide us. The law is written in our hearts so that no one would have an excuse for her sin, but that doesn’t mean our hearts or minds will follow the law. We need the Scriptures and the Spirit to guide us. I hope this helps :)

  • Christina Gandy

    Hmmm. May Jesus, please set up a shop in North Dakota? More American Indians are dying. I also thought good things came from my heart. I was always told to go with my heart and not my head. I guess this is because Jesus wrote the law on my heart, but the law is supposed to be in my mind too? I don’t know about you all but my mind is crazy, and this is why I have to read bible verses and other literature every day.

    • Megan Santi

      I love hearing how you are filling your mind with the Word of God. Our minds are crazy, :) but His truth is trustworthy. Our hearts are crazy, but He is transforming our hearts each day if we will allow His Lordship to reshape us. You are prayed for, and I hope that your love of Jesus will overflow and be the “shop” set up among your community. :)

  • The Bible, which is my authority in matters of faith, agrees that Jesus confirmed God’s law. Jesus said,

  • Nikravesous

    Hello sisters, can I ask for your prayers today? Today was the due date of my baby, who passed away in her first trimester, and my body decided to remind me again of my barrenness this morning. Thank you for your prayers

    • Karyn

      Praying for you sweet sister that you would feel His love and arms holding you as you remember and grieve your dear child. Praying for the freedom to grieve unapologetically.

    • Steph

      Oh sweet sister, praying God would be so very near to you, give you His peace, and help you take every thought captive. My heart aches with you, as I have been/am there myself.
      If not, He is still GOOD

      • Nikravesous

        Thank you, such a good reminder. He is ALWAYS good and will bless the childless with spiritual children. Praying for you too, Steph!

    • Rhonda Bohart

      Praying for you this morning. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Candice

      Praying for you, for God’s peace, in Christian name!!

    • Nessa B

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I too lost a baby 16 yrs ago at 24 wks pregnant I went into preterm labor and too small to survive my precious Destiny went to be with Jesus. Afterall these years the pain never truly went away and once I let the Lord work on me it was a mess emotions that I buried all came to the surface. But as God promises came to pass it my life he restored what I lost and 16 yrs later, on the day that my daughter was suppose to be born , April 14 , I had a son.
      This is one of the hardest things you will have to go through but keep your faith in the Lord. Let him comfort you. His promises will come to pass.

      • Nikravesous

        Thank you for sharing your story, Nessa. It is a comfort to hear how God has worked in the lives of other women who have been here. Blessings to you and your son ❤️

  • Isn’t that just like Jesus to do his work in dark, dirty, sinful locations like this earth and our hearts. And then be the light and hope that we need. He didn’t set up shop in already beautiful places, but the messy ones. Ahh, Love Him so much!

  • Cheryl Lee

    this was so good! thank you for the work you wonderful women do at #shereadstruth. this community has been such a blessing.

  • I find comfort in knowing God already knows what is on our hearts despite our words. It’s incredible on how if we really focus on giving our hearts to God, he makes them new and the rest follows.

  • So thankful for a God who sees our true hearts and lives is anyways. No matter what. “We don’t have to scrub our lives clean. The blood of Christ has already done that.” Amen! Isn’t that a blessing this evening ladies? Thank you Lord for all that you have done. Praying for God’s richest blessings on all you ladies today.

    • Joanne

      Amen. Hallelujah! The blood of Christ has already scrub our lives clean.
      Thank you. I pray God’s richest blessings over you.

  • Wow. This time last week God gave me a word for His people (me included). This post aligns with it exactly. I felt the Spirit whisper, “too much focus on your sin keeps you from My Presence.” We hesitate to enter in, all the way in, with our heart, mind, and soul because we don’t feel presentable inside and out. We turn pharisee-minded thinking we need to clean ourselves up or fix ourselves. It does not work that way. Only the blood of Jesus can and will make us confidently presentable to our King. (Hebrews 10)

  • Praying for God to strengthen you and your family in the midst of loss and heartache. He is near and he sees all the details that weigh us down. Hold on to Hope.

  • Churchmouse

    My dad just passed away. There are some family issues. Please pray for us. Thank you.

    • K

      So sorry. Am going to stop and pray now

    • Bev

      In the short time I’ve been in the SRT community you have been my favorite commentator and I feel like I know you. Praying for you during this sad time. May God’s peace be in your heart and may you feel the arms of The Comforter wrapped tightly around you.

    • She Reads Truth

      Churchmouse, I’m so sorry, friend. Jesus, be near. Praying that God’s peace and presence would surround you in the coming days. Sending love your way.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

    • Christina D.

      Praying for you and your family Churchmouse. I came back to the app this afternoon and this comment caught my eye and quickly took my breath away. Praying for you…praying for your family…praying that the Lord will cover you all with His peace and grace.

    • RoseBergamot

      I am praying for you!

    • Ddwprincess

      Sending love and prayers Churchmouse.

    • Liz C

      Praying for you and your family, that you can find peace and togetherness in this difficult time.

    • Mimi

      I’m praying for you! May God’s Peace and Comfort be with you and your family during these days!

    • Nikravesous

      Praying for you and your family, Churchmouse. Praying that God would let each of you grieve appropriately and that he would soften and heal the hearts of our family, that no one will get caught up in greed or self interest and that there is unity and love among you all that you may lean on one another in this difficult time. Praying that our Heavenly Father would come down and wrap you in His embrace. You are loved, sister.

    • ~ B ~

      I am so sorry Churchmouse! I am prayerful over you all!

    • Amen

      Thank you for bravely sharing this news with us.
      I will pray for you as all who read this are praying, too.
      Keep praying and breathing through the issues.
      God will continue to be there to help you all through this.
      “HE is here: the One who forms …, creates …, reveals …, makes …, and strides …. “

  • Courtnie

    Wow I really loved this devotional today. It just remjnd me that we should not just go through the motions and think that is enough. God wants our heart above everything else. And sometimes its so easy to do things that make us think we’re getting closer to God knowing that our hearts are not in it. This was a great reminder of how not to do that. Really enjoyed it. Thank you!

  • Elizabeth

    Beautiful devotional today. I feel like I have been trying to put on a good face for the world and have been hiding the true emotions that are growing within me. I feel so broken and hurt by this world and question what the Lord is doing. The Lord is working I am sure but it’s so hard to experience all this temporary pain, some of it I have in part brought on myself. I really could use your prayers ladies. I need the Lord’s peace and wisdom right now. I need his strength to carry me through. I have some decisions that need made and healing that needs done.

    • PeggyR

      praying for you, Elizabeth. There is healing at the feet of Jesus. Touch him. “You will be healed, daughter,” I can hear him say.

    • Liz C

      Praying for you, that you find the peace you are seeking and that healing can begin quickly.

  • Holly Mashburn

    Praising God for a Savior Who cares enough to cleanse me daily, from the inside out! ❤

  • Christine

    I am having the hardest time with the exchange between Jesus and the Greek woman… If the Jewish people are the children of Israel, does that make us the dogs? I know that Christ came to save the ENTIRE world, and this doesn’t seem to fit that narrative. Does anyone have any insight into this?

    • Kimberly

      I, too, wondered about this and did a little extra digging. Here is the explanation I found:

      Jesus says to her, “First let the children be fed; for it is not right to take the children’s food and throw it to the little dogs.” Jesus is indicating that, as the promised Messiah, His ministry must first be to the people of Israel. Nevertheless, it is clear that in God’s appointed time the gospel would go out to all the world (see Matthew 28:19).
      But she answered and said to him, But, Lord; even the little dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. (Mark 7:28)
      But he did not say a word to her. His disciples came and begged him, Send her away, for she keeps crying out and following us. (24) Then he responded to her and said, I was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (25) But she came and bowed down before him, saying, Lord, help me. (26) Then he replied, It is not fitting to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs. (27) But she said, But, Lord, even the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. (Matthew 15:23-27)
      When Jesus at first ignores her, the woman does not go away; on the contrary, she continues to beg for His help. She is so persistent that the disciples beg Jesus to send her away. When Jesus identifies her with the household pet dogs, she does not become offended; she humbly accepts that identification and points out that even those little dogs receive the crumbs that drop from the dinner table.

    • Lizzieb85

      I do not think that Jesus really viewed(views) Gentiles as dogs. Other parts of scripture where Jesus loves & serves them support that. Considering that the woman did not take offense at what He said, I think she saw herself as a “dog”. I think this is an example of where Jesus meets an individual where they are at to emphasize that it is their faith & desperation for Him that is enough.

      Side note: ALL those who believe & accept Christ as their Lord & savior are Children of God. Through the old covenant, only the Jewish people were considered God’s children (this is the mindset of Jesus’ time). But even then, sincere Gentiles/aliens in the OT were allowed “in”, so to speak. Look at Ruth & Rahab! Anyway, when Jesus died & rose again, the new covenant was in place, available to ANY who believe. But still, first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (Romans 1:16). Paul even preached to the Jews first, then essentially ditched them when they wouldn’t listen & went to the Gentiles.

      I could write a bunch more, but I’m not sure it’s in line exactly with what you’re asking. I can try to answer if you have any other questions.

    • Caitlyn

      This is how I understand it: Jesus’ ministry was first for the Jews and then the Gentiles (everyone else; Romans 1:16). The Jewish peopled believed that the Gentiles were beneath them and compared them to dogs. There is no favoritism with God, and I think the Jews were first, not only because of where Jesus was from but also because they were the chosen people, and he knew that some would not believe. I think it goes to show that the Jews felt they were special because of their history with God and let it get to their heads, but Jesus went out to prove that everyone was special and important and needed him.

      Jesus essentially said that it was still the time to minister to the Jews (children and food). By the woman’s comment she said that even so, people like her receive him as well (crumbs) even though he is not with them . Somewhere in Matthew it states that Jesus said she had great faith and he healed her daughter. I learned from one of my college professors that after he met this woman he began to minister to the Gentiles and they experienced a feast of loaves and fish too! It was the right time.

  • Caroline

    My question may be simple to most of you, however I keep noticing that Jesus heals and then instructs to tell no one. I don’t understand why. Can anyone shed some light for me? Love you all, sweet friends!

    • Meg

      Caroline,
      I’ve always thought there were two main reasons that Jesus told the people to keep it quiet. First, I think there was the practical matter of not drawing too much attention. Jesus wanted to spread His message to as many people as possible. But if the crowds were pressing in on him and making it hard for him to move from place to place, it would hinder His plan. Secondly, I think it had to do with His message. It would have been easy for people to get excited about the miracles and then forget that Christ was really there to create a relationship with His people. People would approach Him for healing, but wouldn’t pay as much attention to His message. Those are just my thoughts though! Does anybody else have any different perspectives?

    • Ash

      Most people (scholars, pastors, etc.) who have studied the Gospels have concluded that Jesus was probably trying to avoid all of the attention being placed on the miracles instead of his teaching about the kingdom. In some cities, so many people had come to get healed that Jesus couldn’t even move around freely or teach fully. I don’t think that Jesus wanted everything to be a secret, but just wanted the focus to be on eternal healing versus temporary physical healing.

    • Kimone

      It was for them to not get caught up in the miracles and miss the message as well as the fact that He was the Son of God. Because if you realize once news got out, people were coming to Him for healing and not really because He was teaching about God and the Kingdom. Even in the case of feeding the five thousand, they came back not because the wanted the Word but to be fed and He pointed it out to them that they should labor not to be filled physically but spiritually.

  • Shannon

    Wow, what a good devotional today. Definitely learning a lot about myself and my heart and what I am really struggling with. And it all boils down to envy and jealousy as my main struggles. What I do to fulfill those things is try to be better than those I envy and perform better. But, v6-9 really stuck out to me and also the notes I had scribbled from an earlier study ” all about the motives and the heart”. My decision to give up helping with youth group ministry for a season has been difficult, but necessary with my upcoming schedule and needing to not have so much going on. But it s hard since I want to prove myself, I want to be better than those I compare myself to. Then I remember after reading this study today, God wants my heart not my service. He wants to change my jealousy and envy which is driving me away from Him and bring me closer to Him and melt away the impurities. I am scared, but I also know He is nothing but good and will bring me into a better place in the long run. He holds my hand and will not allow my foot to slip. Prayers appreciated during this growing season as I step away from letting ministry be my identity and fulfillment and allow God to fulfill my identity.

  • Carrie Rogers

    Such a beautiful reminder! Lord, search my heart.

  • Caroline

    I love this —> “Let’s not offer Him our perfectly-symmetrical-greeting-card hearts today. Let’s offer Him our real hearts and, in return, experience real worship.” What a great way to state what God wants.

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • My Pharisee mode blew up recently. The last two weeks (well if I’m being really honest, the entire Summer) has been mind blowingly busy, in all aspects. This time of year, for most, I know is … the preparation that goes into the beginning of schooling alone is heavy. Over this time, I got into “do” mode. I knew I had a lot on my plate, so I had to be strict with my time and my schedule. Any differing need would send me into a flurry of pencil erasing, re-planning and configuring. My focus the past 14 days was on getting my eldest square with her freshman year in college, drastically adjusting & living out our personal budget to allow said college, processing a new homeschool curriculum for my two small folk, starting what is supposed to be (but currently not entirely shaping up to be – causing a different stress) a busy season for my work, and suddenly a husband with pneumonia. I went from being relational to being practical and a box checker in a big way and boy did my relationships suffer. I made sure all had food, clothes, medicine and such but I wasn’t checking in with their hearts. Truth be told, mine was a little overwhelmed, but because I didn’t, by the end of last week (after we got our daughter moved in) my husband and I were at each other’s throats. After a round of arguing we both realized it was purely a result of our lack of connectedness. The doing didn’t bring us close to one another and while we were managing our life, we briefly forgot that there would be no life to manage without our love over one another, to one another. Naturally, that 100% applies to Christ. We unintentionally put our relationship with each other and with Christ in one of our “to do list” boxes of late and it didn’t work. If our hearts aren’t always focused on our actual relationship with Christ, checking in with Him, spending time with Him, communicating with Him, it will fall apart … we will fall apart and be left with an exasperated mess. In the same way, we need temperature checks with our significant others or close friends in our lives we need to temperature check our relationship with Christ … even when it seems like we can’t fit one more thing onto our plate … in truth, it should always be the first thing there anyway! The doing of other things doesn’t matter, if we aren’t getting this right to begin with. We need to put down our things and sit quietly with our Lord … our “stuff” isn’t going anywhere, anyway. :)

    • Christina D.

      “The doing didn’t bring us close to one another and while we were managing our life, we briefly forgot that there would be no life to manage without our love over one another, to one another.” This convicted me in a huge way today. Both in my relationship with Christ and my husband. Thank you for your candid and thoughtful words today B. Praying for a heart alignment with Christ and a relational perspective today.

    • Mamajonk

      There you are! You and your way with words have been missed. Prayers for a smooth transition into the school year and good health for you all.

      • ~ B ~

        Ah, you made my day, Mamajonk! Thank you. I have missed the time. Thank you for your prayers, very much!

    • Ronda

      Thank you for these words. I needed them this morning!

    • candacejo

      “…there would be no life to manage without our love over one another, to one another” Ouch and thank you. So true and a much needed reminder today. I could actually SEE that in my own life. Thanks, B, I have missed your words of wisdom but been enjoying your pictures!! ♥

    • Debbie

      Such good words, B. Thank you.

    • Roseanna

      If you’re reading this, you’re all set, paerrnd!

  • Can anyone help me with verse 27? I know what it means, but it is hard for me to understand and accept that Jesus would send a suffering person away (and with such harsh words!). Thanks!

    • Savannah

      I struggled reading that verse as well! :/

      • Christin

        I’m no Bible scholar, but I wanted to give you the insight from my Bible. Here is what the commentary in my Life Application study Bible says. I hope it’s helpful!

        “On the surface, Jesus’ words may seem harsh and unsympathetic, but the woman recognized them as a wide-open door to God’s throne. Jesus did not use the negative term for dogs that referred to scavengers (the word sometimes used by Jews to refer to Gentiles); instead, he used the term for a household pet. The woman did not try to argue. Using Jesus’ choice of imagery, she pointed out that she was willing to be considered an interruption as long as she could receive God’s healing for her daughter. Ironically, many Jews would lose God’s spiritual healing because they rejected Jesus, while many Gentiles, whom Jews rejected, would find salvation because they recognized Jesus.”

    • Betz

      I have a John MacArthur Bible, and this is what it reads: The illustration Jesus gave was in essence a test of the woman’s faith Jesus first responsibility was to preach the gospel to the children of Israel but that also implied there would come a time when Gentiles would be the recipients of God’s blessings. ‘The children bread and threw it to the dogs’ refers to God’s blessings offered to the Jews. this picture indicates that the dogs (gentiles) had a place in the household of God but not the prominent one. This reference of ‘dogs’ refers to as being kept as family pets, Jesus was referring to the Gentiles but he did not use the derisive term the Jews usually employee for them that describe mangy vicious mongrels. The woman says ‘yes Lord’ indicator of the woman’s humble faith in the worshipful attitude she knew she was sinful and underserving of any of God’s blessing her response was characterized by a complete absence of pride and self reliance which Jesus answered by granting her request. I’m sure there is a good teaching on this verse by John MacArthur somewhere? In more detail? Sometimes we lose tenderness in language translation?

  • Kasey Summers

    “We don’t have to scrub ourselves clean. The blood of Christ has already done that.” Wow!! Love this so much!! If we are in Christ we are a new creation!! We are already cleansed! Purchased! Redeemed! And being sanctified! God’s doing all the work and he deserves all the glory! Ezekiel 36, Psalm 115. Praying we would rely on His strength to get us through every moment today. Ephesians 3:14-21. Happy Monday sweet sisters in Christ!!

  • I know I have idols, but this devotional really convicted me of how I seek other things to fulfill or complete me instead of Christ – that THOSE are my idols. Those things that look good and I can easily justify, they may be stealing me away from intimacy with Christ. I pray we all know and seek God first and foremost!

  • I’m asking for prayers from my SRT family. My heart is filled with some of the evils listed in the passage and I’ve been trying to fight it by myself all summer and it’s not working… So now I’m asking for help. I need and desire to be put back on track.

    • Gina

      “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.”
      ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭51:10-12‬ ‭NKJV

    • Nancy Grant

      Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
      This verse brings me great comfort when I feel all alone. I will be praying that you are aware of His Presence as you breathe in and out. He is that close to you and loves you with a love that you can’t comprehend. You have taken the first step to get “back on track.” I will pray for you.

    • Nancy Grant

      Shelby, I hope you can get (or already have) Jesus Calling. These two verses are from today’s reading. I hope you find strength in them.
      Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. —JAMES 4:7
      Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. —ROMANS 8:1–2

    • Melissa

      Shelby, I will pray for you. Please know that to sin is “normal”. Just try not to “live” there. :-) The first step is always the hardest, but once you’ve taken it, the most rewarding as well. Find the strength within yourself to get back on track and we will back you with prayers and positive thoughts. You can do this!! Be blessed today!

    • Missy

      Praying for you Shelby. I pray you would lay this all down at the feet of your Merciful Father and allow Him to do a healing work in your heart. Submit to His will. Allow Him to show Himself mighty on your behalf! In Jesus Name, Amen.

    • She Reads Truth

      Praying for you, Shelby. Asking God to lead you in love and give you ears to hear Him. So glad you’re in the SRT community.

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  • The words of Jesus in this passage of Mark grips my heart. Jesus spoke truth to His audience and made them aware that they were teaching(emphasizing) the tradition of men as if it was doctrine. How often do we see this in our bible study circles, churches, relationships, families etc? How often are we guilty of this? Some believers teach voting for particular political parties as if it is doctrine. Some teach being a stay at home mom as if it is doctrine. The list goes on and on. We need to share the Gospel and teach God’s Word and not our words, thoughts, and agenda. I will do better.

  • Lately I’ve been struggling with depression. It’s been a long hard summer followed by a very disappointing breakup. Maybe it’s because it’s all happening at once, but I can’t seem to shake it off the way I normally do. My heart is broken and my face feels like it’s set in a permanent frown. It just hurts all the time, and nothing I do seems to be able to fix it. The thought that Christ would willingly choose to live in my heart is kind of blowing my mind, because right now I don’t even want to live there. If I take it out, pack my heart on ice and come back to it when it feels better I would. To think that Jesus would not only go there, but make that place a home? I’m at a loss for words.

    • Janie

      Please don’t try to get out of that hole by yourself . Jesus loves us best when we get so low He’s all we have. But saying “help me” is hard. Andy Stanley and Beth Moore were big helpers for me.

    • Gina

      “I will be their God, and they will be My people”. Praying your broken heart feels His touch today. ❤️

    • RoseBergamot

      I have been there. I used to listen to Audrey Assads song “Show me” on repeat. There is no where that Christ would rather be than with you and your broken heart. You will come out the other side of this in time. In the moment just let him hold you and your broken heart. It’s ok to take him there with you into depression. He knows.!

    • Sarah

      Good morning Liz. I’ve been there – depression is no fun. I encourage you to talk with your doctor and seek a Christian counselor. I found that medication coupled with counseling, were very helpful. I will be praying for you.

    • Alexis

      Liz, I very much relate to this. Broken hearts and depression can be such a huge weight, but know that the Lord will be there with you in this season. He won’t leave you. He will give you strength, listen to your questions of “why me” and comfort you.

  • Churchmouse

    All pretense is stripped at the bedside of one dying. As my father’s health steadily fails, his keeping of the traditions and rituals of his religion have failed to provide comfort and peace. He speaks of how unsure he is of his final destination, of his uncertainty that the Bible is anything more than fables and myths. His reliance all these years on trying hard seem futile to him. My heart breaks to see him try to reconcile that which cannot be reconciled. There is nothing he can do to earn his way to heaven. How could he have sat in church all those years and not known? Yet here I am at his beside, laden with Truth, and there he lies, stubbornly resigned, even now, to man’s tradition that no one can be certain. I speak Truth to him but he refuses to believe. And as his eyes close in hazy sleep from the narcotic, I pray.

    • Gina

      Oh my….. My heart breaks for you and this situation. Praying for God to reveal Himself clearly and that your father will have a peace that comforts him through this and that you also will have that peace that passes all understanding. ❤️

    • Kellie

      Praying for you and your father, Churchmouse.

    • RoseBergamot

      I am praying with you! It’s so hard to let works based stuff go. It makes us afraid of death when we believe we haven’t done enough. I am praying for him that he accepts there isn’t anything he could have done that it’s all done on the cross. I am reading Max Lucados book “six hours one Sunday” and it’s really helping me to realize that he has paid the price. That he crossed the river of death and showed us it’s safe to cross behind him now. He’s made it ok for us who were cursed to cross now. If we had tried to swim across the river of death by our own strength we would always drown.

    • Michelle

      Praying for u! My mom has terminal cancer and is an unbeliever so I can sympathize. Thankfully I can see God working on her.

    • SuzD

      My prayers for you and your Dad. It is so hard to lose your Dad and I am sure his questioning makes it even harder. Hold God’s hand as you walk thru this valley.

    • ~ B ~

      Prayerful over your heart and that of your father’s today friend. When my Mom’s health was failing and she wasn’t of sound mind, I worried some. I unexpectedly feared her lack of words for her faith and love of Christ. She had a love of the Lord growing up that would move her to tears instantly, yet her behavior clearly indicated she wasn’t lost in the “doing” to earn love … so when I began to question where her heart was in the latter days God politely reminded me that she was His daughter and that all her years of loving Him weren’t in vain just because she couldn’t speak to them anymore, because she couldn’t “show” her love. He knew her heart. I believe that for your father. God knows his heart, He knows the questions your father has, He knows what is so discouraging to him and it won’t be lost on God’s heart. He loves your father and I will be prayerful that your father feels Him so vividly in these days, that in this season the relationship moves from tradition to connectedness, from practice to real, from maybe to definitely. That He meet His Savior in a way He never has before. Prayerful that you find peace as your father endures and that you more than feel God’s love! ~ B

      • Aimee

        Thank you for your words. I had just replied with a similar story from when my daddy died. It was good to hear someone else’s experience.

    • Aimee

      I feel your pain. My heart aches for you. Just know that God will and can reach him even in that drug induced state. And part of his doubts could be the fact that his illness has affected his mind. My daddy loved the Lord with all his heart. He led me to Jesus and he always led our family in the ways of Christ. He truly loved Jesus. And yet in his last days, cancer ate away at his brain (and it was not brain cancer….illness can just affect the brain and the mind) and he died being unsure of his faith and unsure of heaven. I know that was not my daddy and that was not his heart. I know Christ knew that and brought him right on home. Take heart! Jesus knows your dad’s heart no matter what his illness or failing body is telling his brain. Jesus is faithful. Praying for peace for you.

    • Amen

      Only God knows your father’s heart. The transition from this life into the next requires a courage and confidence to let things go, not only by the one leaving but also by the one staying. It isn’t easy because change ruffles the dust and we crave a form of sameness (for lack of a better word).
      This chapter of your life continues helping you develop an unwavering strength in your faith and the continued ability to give glory to God. Don’t waiver by the apparent unbelief of others. (Romans 4:20)
      Praying for you both.

    • Cali

      My father goes in tomorrow morning for major heart surgery. I’ve been praying over his soul for the past week, ever since I found out that he’d be having it. I pray for peace for your father and clarity. I also pray for your strength during these trying times.

    • Rhonda

      Praying, dear Churchmouse.

  • This really hit home for me. I’ve been in what you could say is a desert season. I’m learning a lot about myself as well as the character of God. One thing He spoke to me tonight was about pretending to have a relationship with His word when we don’t. I didn’t like hearing that. In this season it seems like I must dive in deeper to Him and everything is trying to push me away from it; but I know my heart is deceitful. It’s not telling me the truth – but God is. I’m thankful for Jesus and His truth. Reading this was just another confirmation that I need to know Him and His word through and through. I don’t want to do anything in vain. But I am thankful for mercy and grace today. That Jesus already saw that I would need to accept it again today. I love Him!

    • Crystal

      Truer words were never spoken.. Selah!

    • RoseBergamot

      Pretending to have a relationship with his word when we don’t- oh how often I am guilty. Thank you for your words very true!

    • Kristin

      Well said, Jena! Thank you!

  • Praise God for this passage which tells us so clearly of truths we prefer to forget. I can see ways how, even this weekend, I have tried to dress up the outside while ignoring the problems on the inside. The heart really is deceitful above all things. And yet how wonderful to see in Mark 7 this gentile woman, with no rituals or traditions to rely on, admits to Jesus her unworthiness (I don’t like to think of myself as a dog under the table, but she saw her situation more honestly than I do!), and receive his grace. I’m encouraged this morning to keep on repenting of my sinful heart, and to delight in knowing I am accepted all because of Jesus’ grace not because of anything I done.

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