The Heart

Posted by Karah

img_8770Pause

If it’s a nice day, sit outside as you read your Bible and pray. Enjoy God’s creation all around you, thanking Him for His provision.

Next, Jesus turned His attention to lust, adultery, and divorce. Instead of focusing on these outward actions, Jesus went straight to the cause: the heart. Read Matthew 5:27-30 in your Bible.

“But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of the parts of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”

—Matthew 5:28-29

Thoughtfully answer the following questions:

How are lust, divorce, and adultery symptoms of a deeper heart issue? Explain.

In our flesh, we will always subvert, destroy, and twist everything God meant for good, including passion, sex, and marriage. How does today’s passage help you better understand the depth of your need for Jesus?

Why is it important to recognize that without a relationship with Jesus, we will always default to sin and cannot live to please God in any area of our lives?

Examine verses 29-30. This is hyperbole and is meant to promote the message that believers must do whatever it takes to correct sinful heart attitudes. Why is it vital that we deal with sinful attitudes? Explain.

Hyperbole n. = Exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

Respond

We’re incapable of resisting sin on our own. Even as followers of Jesus, we are still tempted to sin, and we can still choose to disobey Him.

Ask the Holy Spirit to examine your heart for sinful attitudes that do not reflect Jesus’ heart and the way He has called you to live. Confess and repent of these sins today.

In your journal, list specific actions you will take this week to deal with your heart issues. Be specific and take the drastic steps necessary to cut those attitudes out of your life.

For further study of how Jesus transforms our hearts, read Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 2 Corinthians 3:18; and Galatians 2:20.

Behind the Story

At this time, the Pharisees were allowing divorces for frivolous reasons. Jesus wanted His followers to see the intention behind the laws about divorce. Marriage is sacred and should not be treated frivolously. Essentially, Jesus’ point was that “Marriage is intended to be an exclusive, one-on-one relationship—for life. The only excuse a person has for violating this principle through divorce is that the other partner has destroyed it through ongoing, unrepentant adultery.”3

The Point

Jesus deals with our heart issues. He calls His followers to a higher standard that is only possibly because of a transformed heart.

 

3Stuart Weber, Holman New Testament Commentary: Matthew, ed. Max Anders, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 2000), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “Matthew 5 – The King Speaks His Heart (Part I)”


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