The heart devoted is the heart demonstrating a commitment to what the Object of devotion has declared without need for a clarifying interpretation or paraphrase.


  Apr 20, 2017   admin

Matthew 15:3-9 NIV
[3] Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? [4] For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.' [5] But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is 'devoted to God,' [6] they are not to 'honor their father or mother' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. [7] You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: [8] “ 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. [9] They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. ' ”

   The declaration of the mouth doesn't represent the condition or position of the heart nearly as accurately as the reasoning that supports choices made. Where the heart is truly devoted is where the heart will find a way to fulfill the requirements of that devotion. 
   King Saul demonstrated his heart's position with regard to the commandment. Told to destroy everything, he took it upon himself to interpret the command of Almighty God in a way that would satisfy the desire of his heart. Though he was convinced that what he was doing was in compliance, that it diverted from remaining true to the command showed how dangerously his heart had strayed from devotion and honor to God. 
    Any time an explanation is required to clarify why a command from God has been altered to justify another course of action, there is an indication of a condition of the heart:

Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Response - “We just have a restful time with the family instead of going to church. After all, the family comes first and all it takes is 2 or 3 gathered to have Church. This is the only time during the week we have to be together.”

Response - “The job I’ve chosen requires that I am consistently gone on Sundays. God has provided, though, and I am able to give into the church because of this job. The necessity of bringing the encouragement of my presence, therefore, doesn’t apply to me. God surely understands.”

Mal 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Response - “God has directed us to send our tithe to several different ministries He has laid on our hearts. We have been blessed greatly by them and know that God would have us give into their good ground with an expectation of increase.”

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Response - “Well, I believe it’s ok to watch this or partake of that. After all, we are not under the law any more, and are only to be led by the Spirit. Being restricted or sacrificing anything is an attempt to do what only the cross could do. So, freely enjoying all the world has to offer is just operating in the grace that is free and nothing I could earn anyway.”

     It seems that to God the heart responses are a bit like the bleating of the sheep:

1Sa 15:14  And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?

     The heart devoted is the heart demonstrating a commitment to what the Object of devotion has declared without need for a clarifying interpretation or paraphrase.