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  • John T. Polk II 11:14 am on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: evil heart, heart,   

    1-31-2017 Shame In Sins 

    “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:21-23 NKJV).  Jesus is showing that sin is a heart matter, not completely from the outside influence of neighborhood, city, country, or friends! Half of this list is not in the 10 Commandments, so keeping the 10 Commandments will not save anyone today! People commit murders, adulteries, fornications, or thefts, or blaspheme God because their heart is evil! Christians must: “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12 NKJV). God’s Word does not dwell in an evil heart, so “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us” (Ephesians 5:2 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • John T. Polk II 1:57 pm on 2015-11-25 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: filthly language, heart, , way of life   

    11-26-2015 Thanksgiving Is A Mouthful 

    But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Ephesians 5:3-4 NKJV). Surely we can see that filthy, smutty, dirty language that spews from a person’s heart cannot be canceled out by an hour or a day of “thanksgiving.” Jesus made this very clear when He said: “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34 NKJV). “Thanksgiving” should not be confined to a day, but to a way of life, and a change of heart. David said: “I will wash my hands in innocence…That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving” (Psalm 26:6-7 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:29 am on 2015-05-06 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: heart,   

    Sermon Fodder 

    Need some fodder that can lead to a sermon idea?

    How about this:

    A tender heart leads to a tinder heart.

     
  • John T. Polk II 8:30 am on 2015-04-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , heart, , , , , ,   

    4-9-2015 What Is Discrimination #4 

    Solomon said, “a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment, Because for every matter there is a time and judgment” (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6 NKJV). Today, Christians are “those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14 NKJV). Skin color is no basis for discrimination, but a moral decision is! If discrimination against skin is opposed along with discrimination against the immoral, then Solomon “saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there” (Ecclesiastes 3:16 NKJV). This is “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”

    Throwing out all “discrimination” because some of it is wrong, destroys the difference between ”good and evil.” Jesus said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24 NKJV).

    This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 6:00 am on 2014-11-15 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: heart,   

    Where love is not, there hatred is; for the heart cannot remain a void.

    Bengel
     
  • TFRStaff 6:33 am on 2014-08-29 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: heart,   

    WRITTEN WHERE? 

    Where, how and on what a message is written sometimes tells us something about it. For example, the expression is used regarding the “writing on the wall” which often refers to something doomed for failure. For King Belshazzar — during the days of Daniel — he literally saw a hand actually writing on the wall and it caused him great fear. (Daniel 5:5-9) The message did spell doom for his kingdom. (Daniel 5:24-28) Yes, the handwriting was on the wall and that very night Belshazzar was killed and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom. (Daniel 5:30-31)

    We also have the phrase of that which is noted as being “written in stone.” As opposed to something written in sand that can be quickly washed away, this expression usually refers to something being more permanent and unchangeable. When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, they were written on stone, but in Moses’ anger at the people involved in the breaking of the very first two of those commands (Exodus 20:3-5), the stone tablets were hurled down and broken. (Exodus 32:15-19)

    Those writings were significant and were destined to duly impact the lives of those to whom they were brought about at the hand of God. Still, where is the most significant place for God’s message to be written? The writer of Hebrews noted what had been prophesied to be where we read. . .

    (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Hebrews 8:10 ESV)

    This was with reference to the new covenant in Christ (Hebrews 8:8-9) as prophesied through Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) However, this was God’s desire all along as even David acknowledged. (Psalm 40:8) With God’s Commands and Will held within our heart, we will be led away from sinning against Him. (Psalm 119:11)

    In view of Paul’s ministry of the Word to those at Corinth, Paul stated. . .

    (3) And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3 ESV)

    As disciples of Jesus, is this truly showing with us? May we allow the writing of God to be on our heart so that our life can be properly lived according to His Will.

    Have a great day WITH GOD’S MESSAGE AT HEART!

    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

     
    • Jack 11:44 am on 2014-08-29 Permalink | Reply

      Well done, thank you…

  • TFRStaff 1:42 pm on 2014-01-31 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , avoiding sin, heart, , hyperbole, , ,   

    Holy Hyperbole! 

    “Hyperbole” is a common figure of speech. We use it all the time. Oops — I just used one! Hyperbole is exaggeration used on purpose for the sake of emphasizing a point. Here are some examples of hyperbole: * “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times.” * “She is older than the hills.” * “He’s strong as an ox.” * “She’s quick as a cat.” * “That suitcase weighs a ton,” etc., etc. Hyperbole stresses a point by exaggerating. It is the verbal equivalent of a highlighted section of text in a bold and brilliant color.

    Jesus used hyperbole in Matthew 5:27-30 to issue one of the most startling and challenging demands in all His teachings. In that passage He is illustrating that true conformity to God’s law goes further than outward obedience to a list of “Thou shalt not’s.” The passage reads this way: You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever 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, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.” Do what, Jesus?! Those are graphic images — take a scalpel or a knife and remove an eye if that eye is influencing you to sin; or take a saw and amputate your hand if that’s what it takes to keep from sinning. What goes here? Would Jesus have us be into self-mutilation of our physical bodies?

    The answer is no, No, NO, NO, NO, NO! In no Bible passage does Christ call followers to physically maim their bodies. The passage is a powerful example of hyperbole. In this case, holy hyperbole, because what Jesus demands of His true disciples is to take temptation and sin seriously, especially the sexual kind. By means of holy hyperbole Jesus reminds us that adultery does not begin in a bed or the back seat of a car. It begins with a look that lingers. The look then turns to lust. The lust leads on to adultery with the one who is the object of our lust — if not in an actual motel room or physical hide-away, at least in the secret and unseen chambers of the heart and mind. Back to the passage quoted earlier, Christ warns that we should get serious about sexual sin. The greatest threat of adultery, actual or mental, is that those who practice it will ultimately be ‘cast into hell.” That’s an outcome our sexually liberated, sex-saturated culture has all but completely air-brushed out of its sexual mentality. Be that as it may, Jesus demands His disciples to pluck some things out and cut some things off. A voluntary amputation, not of physical eyes and hands, but habits and behaviors and places and maybe even some people who pressure us to sin sexually, whether in our minds or with our bodies. Maybe cutting off some TV shows or internet sites or some magazines or music or movies. How serious are you about avoiding the sin of adultery, even in your heart? Christ warns us to avoid it at all costs — and He uses holy hyperbole to stress the point. Is there anything or anybody in your life you need to pluck out and cut off to avoid adultery? Think about it.

    Dan Gulley – Smithville Church of Christ, TN

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:10 am on 2014-01-17 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , heart, ,   

    Award Shows…the Heart 

    It’s the award giving time of the year for Hollywood and all of its media branches. It’s a time when the “people choose” and all the little gold-plated men go to the brightest stars of the multibillion dollar industry. After all, who doesn’t like a good pat on the back? But at the end of the day, the awards given out show more than just who’s “number one” – they show the true heart of Hollywood.

    Look at the movies that win. You don’t have to watch the shows to find out. The news channels fall over themselves trying to tell you about it. The movies that win the vast, vast majority of the time are ethically, morally and socially rotten. They continually glorify and celebrate murder, prostitution, hate, violence, profanity, fornication, organized crime, greed, theft, lying and adultery. Whichever movie pushes the envelope the best usually ends up finding its name inside the envelope to get the award.

    “But the actors and actresses deserve an award because they make it look so real”, some say. Well I say if you want to see real then get out on the streets where real people suffer because of the things that Hollywood celebrate! But that wouldn’t be any fun would it? The claim of, “movies help to escape reality”, while reality is made up of the actions and behaviors that the movies celebrate just don’t make sense to me.

    Never forget, what goes in the heart comes out of the heart. This is true on a personal, community, cultural and national level. And if one considers the poor and disgusting behavior of people on the big or little screen award worthy, then that award helps to reveal what the heart really values. So who’s the winner of our heart going to be? It’ll be whoever we lay out the red carpet for.

    But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:18-19 – NKJV)”

     
  • TFRStaff 6:10 am on 2013-12-26 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , heart, , ,   

    HEART FOR JESUS! 

    When there is the expectation of a child being born, what will become of that life is held dear, especially in a mother’s heart. Though Mary’s conception was out of the ordinary (Luke 1:34-35), her experiences as a mother would have been most natural. Her role, however, began with an OPEN HEART to what God was going to be working through her in the coming of the Messiah into the world. (Luke 1:38) It was an OPENNESS IN SPITE OF NOT UNDERSTANDING all the details and all that was to come.

    Our Lord’s coming and life journey on earth were filled with wonder. Following the visit of the shepherds we read. . .

    “(19) But MARY TREASURED UP ALL THESE THINGS, PONDERING THEM IN HER HEART.” (Luke 2:19 ESV)

    Then, when Jesus was of the age of twelve — after finding he was not among their relatives for their journey home — they returned to Jerusalem, marveling to find Him in the Temple talking with the teachers there. Again we read. . .

    “(51) And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And HIS MOTHER TREASURED UP ALL THESE THINGS IN HER HEART.” (Luke 2:51 ESV)

    Jesus’ earthly parents “DID NOT UNDERSTAND” (Luke 2:50 ESV), but a treasury of moments and thoughts began to FILL THE HEART of Mary. Other than the description of Jesus growing intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially (Luke 2:52) we do not have much written about Jesus’ early years. Most of what is recorded in the Gospels is that of His three short years of ministry.

    We might wonder what other thoughts Mary may have TREASURED UP IN HER HEART. Though there was a STRUGGLE IN UNDERSTANDING (note also Luke 8:19-20), the OPENNESS following the Lord’s resurrection and ascension into Heaven had her in the midst of the disciples. (Acts 1:12-14) In spite of life’s struggles and sometimes confusing situations, may our OPENNESS OF HEART to the truths of Jesus keep us in the midst of His disciples.

    Have a great day POSSESSING A HEART THAT TREASURES THOUGHTS OF JESUS! – Carl Hanson

    Part 1 of a 3 part series from “teEn-MAIL”

    (“teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 8:23 am on 2013-12-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , heart   

    When scripture says it’s a gift… 

    All throughout the New Testament there are times when the speaker or writer will mention a gift, and the fact that the gift came from God was meant to grab the listener’s or reader’s attention. For example: John 4:10; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Ephesians 2:8 and 1 Peter 4:10.

    In every context the listener or reader is being reminded that God is a giving God, and when he offers a gift it’s in our best interest to take it because a gift from God is a gift that we can’t get anywhere else. We can’t earn it, we can’t be good enough to deserve it, and if we’re not careful we can take it for granted, but at the same time we must remember that God will not force any of his gifts upon us.

    When scripture says something is a gift we’d do well to take it to heart because when we forget this then we forget who it came from, and when we forget who it came from then we forget why it was given to begin with.

    Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)

     
    • Loy Pressley 3:06 pm on 2013-12-23 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you!! With your permission this article will probably be in our church bulletin next Lord’s Day.

      • Eugene Adkins 5:24 pm on 2013-12-23 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Loy. You don’t need my “permission” to reprint any article that I have written. Just allow the text to appear as it was written – unless you find a misspelled word 🙂 – and give credit to the Fellowship Room’s webs address as the source; other than that feel free to use any article in whatever way you feel is beneficial to others.

  • John T. Polk II 2:00 am on 2013-12-20 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , defiled, heart, misled, , , , , purified, ,   

    (#129) The Proverbs of Solomon 17:20-Whom Do You Trust? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 17:20: “He who has a deceitful heart finds no good, And he who has a perverse tongue falls into evil.”

    The “deceitful heart” knows how easily “truth” can be ignored, manipulated, changed into a lie, or kept back to deceive. Then the “deceitful heart” concludes that everyone else is doing the same, thus, concludes no one is to be trusted! Only God and His Truth can judge the waywardness in a heart: “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Even in the New Testament, Paul taught this: “This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:13-15). People who are dishonest with the truth are quick to assume the worst in everyone else! It’s difficult, or even impossible, for some people to believe that anyone can be truthful and pure in motive, but Christians are exactly that. “But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another” (Ephesians 4:20-25).

    However, even Christians can be misled by: those who “pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7); “preach Christ even from envy and strife” (Philippians 1:15); “false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1); “the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14); “the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22). Deceitfulness is a reality, but so, also, is truthfulness! Jesus said: “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). Pilate revealed his political dishonesty when he replied, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Conversion to Jesus Christ is the cure for the “deceitful heart.” “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:22-23). “But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized” (Acts 8:12)

    Do you believe this?

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:45 am on 2013-11-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , heart, ,   

    Keeping our eyes on the horizon 

    While speaking of the great assurance that God’s people can have in the words of the gospel, Peter encourages his readers to do something so simple yet so profound – keep our eyes on the horizon!

    And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;” (2 Peter 1:19)

    The storms of life will vary and they may be extreme at times even causing life itself to become surrounded by darkness and doubt, yet we are encouraged to look away from the direction of the setting sun and to follow the light of God’s word which directs our heart, through faith, toward the return of Jesus and the security and comfort that we will have with him.

    When we keep our eyes on the horizon, the light of that morning star will come much sooner than we think.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-11-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , heart, , justify yourselves, , , , , ,   

    (#103) The Proverbs of Solomon 16:1-2-What’s Wrong With Me? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 16:1-2: “The preparations of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. 2 All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the spirits.”

    Verse 1: We all do what we plan to do, that is, we act according to the decisions of our heart. However, God reserves the right to oversee, overrule, or overtake our plans to let us see when our thinking is wrong. Other proverbs emphasize this fact: “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9); “There are many plans in a man’s heart, Nevertheless the LORD’S counsel-that will stand” (Proverbs 19:21). Long after our plans have failed, God’s plan is still active and better. Saul of Tarsus (later the Apostle Paul) was persecuting Jesus’ church, and Jesus commented to him: “It is hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:15). No spiritual salvation ever came by “the will of man” (John 1:12-13), nor has God’s prophecy come from “the will of man” (2 Peter 1:21), so for a person’s “will” to be right, there must be a dependence upon God’s revealed Will, for “the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17). “The answer of the tongue” means God will have the final say about all of our plans. Jesus said, “the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).

    Verse 2: No one does what is right or can be saved by doing only what they think is right! In the days when “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25), sin abounded. The sad fact is, we are the worst judges of the morality of our own behavior! Another proverb says: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts” (Proverbs 21:2). Hardly any human behavior begins without some “justification” in a person’s heart. Jesus condemned Pharisees with: “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15). Even the Apostle Paul recognized this when he said, “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). The Bible stresses that righteousness only comes by doing right as defined by God, Himself! “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

    No one can “testify” to his or her own salvation and Christian character without heeding the Word of God on the subject. God’s plan throughout the Bible was “the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:26-28). Are you saved by Jesus Christ? “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:38 am on 2013-11-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , heart, ,   

    Around the corner or already here? 

    If you check out the calendar (America’s version) you’ll notice that Thanksgiving is already around the corner!

    But the question for us, as Christians (no matter what country we’re living in), asks, “Is thanksgiving already in our hearts?”

    Thanksgiving isn’t an attitude that just happens. It’s intentional. It goes beyond the physical to the spiritual. It remembers where our blessings come from and where they abide (Ephesians 1:3).

    We may face unpleasant situations across the spectrum, but as Christians we can hold on to the root (Romans 15:12) that leads to a thanksgiving that sprouts out and bears the fruit in our heart that can be seen and heard continually – Jesus!

    Therefore by [Jesus] let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Hebrews 13:15 – NKJV)

     
  • TFRStaff 6:30 am on 2013-10-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , heart, , ,   

    A Sanitizer For The Soul 

    I am looking at an eight ounce bottle of hand sanitizer. The kind you pump into your palm and then feel the cool sensation and smell the alcohol-like smell as it presumably kills millions of potentially life-threatening germs and bacteria living on your skin! The brand-name is “germ-X hand sanitizer.” In bold red letters at the bottom of the bottle are these words: “Kills 99.99% of germs.” The prevalence of such products reminds me we live in a dirty world. Several years ago a news report in Nashville revealed that bacteria was found on 50 of 51 public places and things examined, including telephones, computer keyboards, restaurant salad bars, etc. Believe it or not, one of the cleanest places found were commode seat lids! The news segment was entitled, “IT’S A DIRTY WORLD!” In our hyper-health-conscious age, Americans are more concerned about dirt than ever. We use cleaners, disinfectants, and antiseptics. Soap is big business. We scrub, clean, deodorize, sanitize, and sterilize because we know dirt can be dangerous and even deadly to physical life. So we wash and clean our clothes, cars, hands, heads, houses, bodies, and buildings. We filter our water and air and demand the food supply be kept pure. We wouldn’t want impurities in our lungs or livers. Or cholesterol in our veins, lead in the pipes and paint, asbestos in the walls, second-hand smoke in the room, or smog in the atmosphere. We even insist landfills be “sanitary,” and spend billions to insure waste is disposed of in a way that doesn’t pollute the water table or land!

    I applaud our commitment to physical cleanness and purity. But our hands are not the only things that need sanitizing. On any given day in America, we are exposed to thousands of spiritual germs and bacteria. Spiritual toxins and impurities constantly seek to enter and pollute our spiritual hearts! Our culture is saturated with dirty words and images and sights and sounds. Dirt and germs seek entry into our hearts through our eyes and ears. These days TV could easily be taken to stand for “trashy values.” It’s getting harder and harder to find decent TV programming during prime-time viewing hours. Dirt also comes packaged in much of the music that fills the air and millions of iPods. Doug Stone released a song in 1992 that warned, “They ought to put warning labels on those sad country songs.” We might add on those sexually suggestive country songs, too. And not just country — also rock and pop and hip-hop! I could go on but don’t need to. You know I am telling you the truth. We live in sinful and morally dirty world that seeks to pollute our hearts. That’s why Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:8 are so critical — “Blessed are, the pure in heart, For they shall see God.” We don’t just need a hand sanitizer. Because of contact with sin, we need a heart sanitizer. Thank God we have one! “If we walk in the light as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We apply that sanitizer to our souls when we respond to Christ’s call to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). It is truly a dirty world, but the blood of Christ is powerful enough to sanitize our souls and make our hearts pure. Do you have a pure heart?

    Dan Gulley –  Smithville church of Christ

     
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