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"Matters of the Heart," Mark 7: 1--8, 1415, 21--23; Pastor Richard Strode

Our spiritual heart, that which is the center of our mind, will and emotions is the critical factor in determining whether our lives align with the Lord's expectations of Believers. In this passage of Mark, Jesus is teaching Pharisees, who professed to know God's will, that a clean heart and a right spirit to serve God outweigh any man-made rituals, rules and traditions. We must guard our hearts from evil and impure influences. Whatever enters one's ears or eyes when influence one's mind, heart and decisions. What the heart concentrates on the ears will hear, the eyes will see and the hands will do. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to embrace a Christian life-style and discernment to reject those people, places and things which tempt us to stray back to sinful living. Our desire to live a God-pleasing life as a Christian begins with our heart. Believers know what is right and pleasing to God. We need the discipline to do what is pleasing before God.

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