Tuesday, May 2
So…my daughter, Mackenzie, informed me that if my devotional is more than a few paragraphs long, it is likely she will not have the perseverance to read it all. Therefore, I am going to need to jump right in to the part for my kids. I always told my children that one of my favorite verses was Ephesians 6:1, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” But now looking at that verse a little more closely, I don’t think it has the same impact as the new verse I found. Matthew 15:4 says, “For God said, “Honor your father and mother, and, he who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.”” I think this could have been more influential in their younger years.
In Matthew 15, the Pharisees were annoying Jesus as usual. They said to Jesus (in a high-pitched whiny complaining voice), “your disciples didn’t wash their hands before they ate.” Jesus explained that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and gets pooped out (Rick’s Non-Standard Version). Furthermore, the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and these defile man (evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and slanders). Therefore, you can try to control what comes out of your mouth, but a better idea is to “get your heart right” since that is where your words come from. So how do you get your heart right? The simple answer is to become unselfish. I am convinced that every sin comes from selfishness. We steal because we want something. We lie to try to protect ourselves or get something we want. We have sex outside of marriage because it feels good. Go ahead; try to think of a sin that doesn’t have to do with our selfishness.
I am about to lose Mackenzie so I want to make this final point quickly. Jesus summed this all up really well in Matthew 16:24-25. He said that if you wish to come after him, you need to deny yourself and take up his cross and follow him. He went on to say that whoever wishes to save their life shall lose it; but whoever loses their life for his sake shall find it. You need to become unselfish if you want to save your life for an eternity. You need to get your heart right and live your life for God and others, not yourself. And to bring this full circle, if you get your heart right, good things will come out of your mouth about your parents and we won’t have to put you to death.