It is much like me, straightforward, direct, to the point and does not pull much punches. It was written to the Romans, who was interested in power. So he goes through the miracles, the power encounters of Jesus.
One of the topics that I have studied on a good bit, and may work on blogging through it over the next week or so is that what comes out of us... comes from our hearts. No matter how good, how bad... much of it is a matter of the heart and that was even a theme that Jesus talked about. The Pharisees were hard hearted to the working of the Spirit and even the scripture that they memorized. Many times, we are like that too... our hearts become hard to certain things, our hearts become hardened to what it is that the Spirit wants to do in us because of situations in our lives, in our current circumstances, because of pride, etc.
In the Gospel of Mark, he talks many times about hard soil... hearts... and what even comes out of our hearts... for instance in Mark 7, Jesus talks about inner purity. The Pharisees were legalistic about the traditions that they added to following God and they thought that their traditions is what was a sign of their holiness, but once again Jesus turned their thinking upside down. He told them, what comes out of us is what makes us unclean or sinful. In Mark 7:20- 23, Jesus said, "... What comes out of a man makes him 'unclean'. For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean'."
Now don't say, well I don't do any of these things. That is a whole other blog post... but study through this list and look to see what Jesus says about adultery, murder, etc. It is the root of these things start in our heart. As followers of Christ, as Christians... reality is that our hearts wants what is contrary to what the Holy Spirit wants. We need to look at our hearts, and see if our hearts are in line with what it is that God wants. We have to check ourselves and see what are our motivations in life are.
When we give our lives over to Christ, that means that we need to give each and every part of our lives, our hearts over to the one that gave us the ability to overcome the evil of this world. It is only when we let the Holy Spirit to come into our lives, to every part of our lives, into the deepest, darkest part of our lives and let the Spirit change us... transform us... then our hearts become changed. When our hearts are changed and we seek to do the will of God in our lives and we surrender every thing in our lives... then what will come out of us will look more like the one we are to be disciples of... Jesus. Not the world... not dark, but light. Evil thoughts will no longer come out of us... but we will start to live out the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22- 26. Also, take a look and compare the lists above [Mark 7:20- 23] and the list in Galatians 5:19- 21. We will talk about that in a day or so.
Ask God today... to transform our hearts to reflect the nature of Jesus. Invite God into your heart all over again and allow the Holy Spirit to come in and change you in the deepest parts of your life... the parts that we don't want anybody else to know about. God already knows about them... let Him and transform you.
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