2006-10-19 - What Goes In
Matt 15:16-20 And He said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also? 17 "Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? 18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 "These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (NASB)
There were a lot of rules about food preparation and diet in Jesus' time. Rules about how to prepare the food, what could be cooked or eaten together, and how individual was to prepare him or herself. There is nothing particularly wrong with these rules. The Pharisees have tried to take Jesus to task for not washing his hands according the these rules before eating. Jesus rebuffed them explaing there were more critical things that could defile a man. Now Peter has asked a question looking for clarification. Jesus asks Peter effectively - why don't you understand this yet?
Jesus knows - He knows our thoughts before we have them. Peter is no mystery to the Lord. The point is simply being squarely driven home. What we eat and how we eat it are not as important as the thoughts and words that come out of us. Those words and thoughts are a reflection of the state of the person from the heart and mind to those around us. They are a reflection of our emotional, spiritual health.
What forms out thoughts? It is also what goes in, but it is through the senses - the eyes and ears. It is also how those things are presented to us and the light we accept them that is important. If you think the newspaper doesn't have an agenda, if you don't think the network news has a world view they are trying to promote, if you believe the entertainment industry is not beneath using promoting their idea of what is acceptable, please think again.
This world system is at war with Christianity. Some of it with a quiet subtilty and others with dripping repetition, etc. Guard your hearts and minds. Be aware of what is being fed to your spirit. If you listen to the lyrics of a lot of music, you may be surprised at what you find. Please don't think I'm talking about trashing your TVs and radios and living on a mountain. We are to be in the world, but not of it. We need to be aware and to understand from the perspective of Heaven. Are there things that are not worth our time? Sure. That will be true in most situations and not just for Christians. Don't simply accept something because someone says it with confidence. They can be confidently wrong. Two plus two does not equal five no matter how many times someone says it is correct. But it is easy to have something said so many times that it takes on an air of truth and is easier to accept.
Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (KJV)
How do the inspectors at the US Treasury find counterfeit bills. They look at legitimate bills all day long. Over and over and over and when a bad bill appears in front of them, they know it is bogus. They may not know exactly why, but something is not right and the bill is set aside for closer inspection.
Have a regular time to read the Bible. Look at good information. If it is with these devotions mailings, please pick up your Bible and read more of the verses. Get the context of what is being referenced. Take a just few minutes and put the good information in front of you, so that when the bad information appears, it will be evident that something is not correct.
I'm also not saying not to wash your hands before you eat. Please do. But, I am saying be aware of what your heart and mind are fed. Think things through that you hear or read, from the news, your friends and co-workers, or your Pastor. Ask questions about what goes in.
Grace & Peace,