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Heart Check

Yikes. The end of that Gospel really packs a punch, doesn’t it? Brace yourself, I want to take another look:

“From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.” (Mark 7:21-23)

Evil comes from within us. From our own hearts. Lord, have mercy! That reality is not pleasant or easy to accept. I don’t want any of these evils found anywhere in my heart or in my life. How can we become more holy, Lord?

“The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.” (Psalm 37:30A)

Let’s start by examining our words. The words we utter speak volumes about our character, about the state of our hearts. Listen to yourself. What do your words reveal about you? When you speak—or type on social media or in an e-mail, for that matter—what do people hear? Help my words always to point to You and Your loving, merciful character, Lord.

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will act.” (Psalm 37:5)

Now let’s take a look at where our faith lies and how our actions reflect that. Do you trust the Lord to act in your life, or do you lean on your own understanding and strength? Lord, deepen my trust in you. Help my unbelief.

“Your word, O Lord, is truth: consecrate us in the truth.” (cf John 17:17B, 17A)

Amen! Yes, Lord. Is this verse not incredible? God’s word is such a gift to us, sisters. Consecrate us—make us holy, sanctify us—in the truth. Lord, give us the grace to spend time with You in the Word every day.

May others say of us: “The law of her God is in her heart, and her steps do not falter.” (cf Psalm 37:31) Increase our desire for You, Jesus.

Ash Wednesday is one week away, sisters. Do a heart check with Jesus today. Ask the Lord what He desires you to focus on in the upcoming Lenten season.

Elise Howe is a devoted wife, momma, vocal artist and teacher. She currently resides in New York City, though she will always be a Midwestern gal at heart. Elise has a heart for ministry, dark chocolate (but not too dark) and coffee with a generous amount of cream + sugar. Find out  more about her here.

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