Friday Morning: 27 Sep 2019 – Matthew 15:1-28 ~ teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Friday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Endurance – Friday)

Almighty God, whose beloved Son first suffered pain and crucifixion before entering into glory: Mercifully grant that we, walking in his footsteps, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Matthew 15:1-28 (NLT)

Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity

Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents. And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”

Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”

Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”

“Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. “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 come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”

The Faith of a Gentile Woman

Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

“Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
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Morning Reflection:

teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

“The words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.
– Matthew 1:18 –

In today’s reading, Jesus was speaking of ceremonial, or ritual, defilement – making the point that eating certain foods does not make one unclean. His point was that to God what proceeds from the heart is more important than what enters the mouth. Motives and attitudes are more significant than food and drink.

That shouldn’t be a new thought to us since we know that God looks at our hearts rather than outward appearances. Why then do we get so caught up in outward appearances – trusting in the blind guides of our time to tell us what to think, feel, and do? Simply put, I think it’s because it’s easier – to go along to get along in our religious communities. It’s hard work examining the inner workings and motivations of our own hearts – especially when the gold standard is the heart of Jesus.

We are tough nuts to crack because – human beings have an infinite capacity for self-deception.

On the one hand, the human heart is incurably religious; on the other hand the human heart is incurably evil apart from the grace and mercy of God.

Questions for consideration

  • Jesus identified these defiling (evil) thoughts as coming from our hearts – murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. Do any of these apply to you? Please explain.
  • Jesus also quoted Isaiah, ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce.” Have you ever gone through the motions of worship while your heart and mind was somewhere else? Please explain.
  • Where do you need God’s healing, cleansing, and forgiveness in your secret heart? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: – For a Virtuous Heart (Thomas Aquinas)

Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag down; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose can tempt aside. Bestow upon me understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and faithfulness that finally may embrace you. Amen.

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Psalm 51 (Wisdom in the Secret Heart) -Shane & Shane

Behold I was brought forth in iniquity
and in sin did my mother conceive me
Behold you delight in the truth and the inward me
and you teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

My sin is not far but right in front of me
against you and you alone God I am guilty
Wash me thoroughly cleanse me from iniquity
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
Renew a right spirit within me, oh God
Cast me not away from Your presence
take not Your Holy Spirit
restore in me the joy of Your salvation
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Send me the chief of sinners to proclaim
come be forgiven the sin of the lamb of God was slain
Open my lips and my mouth will declare your endless praise
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
Renew a right spirit within me, oh God
Cast me not away from Your presence
take not Your Holy Spirit
restore in me the joy of Your salvation
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart
wisdom in the secret heart

The Lord is gracious
and slow to anger
Rich in love, He is good to all
good to all

Create in me a clean heart, oh God
Renew a right spirit within me, oh God
Cast me not away from Your presence
take not Your Holy Spirit
restore in me the joy of Your salvation
and teach me, wisdom in the secret heart
wisdom in the secret heart
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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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