What is in your heart? God doesn’t look on outward appearances, He looks upon your heart. He sees our desires and secret yearnings. For with our heart we believe unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Jesus taught, ‘from the overflow of the heart a man speaks.’ Just as sin originates in our heart, so salvation begins from within.’
A good man’s speech reveals the rich treasures within him. An evil-hearted man is filled with venom, and his speech reveals it. And I tell you this, that you must give account on Judgment Day for every idle word you speak. Your words now reflect your fate then: either you will be justified by them or you will be condemned.’ (Matthew 12:35-37, TLB)
What is sin? How do we explain it? Sin is not just hitting the person next to you in the eye; the sin begins in your heart with the desire to inflict harm. The sin began not with the action of the hand, but in the condition of the heart. The heart has become poisoned. When someone breaks into a car, the sin did not begin with the stone that smashed the window, but in the heart of the person who wanted to damage someone else’s property. Jesus taught that what defiles a person is not the food they eat, but the sin which comes out of the heart. If you eat something which has gone bad, it passes through the body: you might become sick for a few days, but it will pass out. But what comes from your heart lasts forever - it will either bring you spiritual and emotional sickness or health. The Bible says that every word you speak is recorded. No words are lost; they arise from your heart; they reveal the condition of your heart.
‘Do not nurse hatred in your heart’ (Leviticus 19:17, NLT)… ‘Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. But the words you speak come from the heart - that’s what defiles you. For from the heart comes [all] evil…’ (Matthew 15:17-19, NLT)
When God looks at you, He does not look at your clothes, He does not look at whether you have washed. God looks upon your heart. All of us are sinners - but what can make the difference? - We can be cleansed by the grace and mercy of God: ‘Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.’ (Romans 7:25, TLB.)
The Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by a man’s face or height, for this is not the one. I don’t make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man’s thoughts and intentions.” (1 Samuel 16:7, TLB)
‘Mercy’ used by kind permission of www.vinesong.com