HERE: Day 18

Matthew 12:22-45

As a young college student, the soap opera “Days of our Lives” was such a hit. I can remember that everything revolved around making sure you were in the dormitory lobby with a Dr. Pepper and cold pizza from the night before in time to see the next episode. Always leaving you with a cliffhanger, you sat eagerly on the edge of your seat to see what would happen next. There was always a struggle over love. Women who loved two men and had to choose one or the other. Through her turmoil to decide, the song of Mary MacGregor played in the background of your mind, “Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool. Loving both of you is breaking all the rules.

The Divided Heart. Loving one thing, yet loving another. Such a tug of war on the emotions. The feelings are so strongly attached that the mind becomes confused, reality and responsibility get lost, inconsistency and impulse prevail, and life becomes unbearable. No one wins.

Jesus knew what happens when a person’s heart becomes divided. King David even prayed, “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Your body is the Temple or housing of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 6:19), so let me ask a few questions to think about: Is there division in your house? Is your home/family divided? Is your church not together? Is the Church unified? Division breeds destruction. Together breeds triumph.

KINGDOM LIVING PRIORITIZES AN UNDIVIDED HEART

 

How can we evaluate whether our heart is divided or not? By the fruit that is growing out of our lives. Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If the heart is completely given over to God, then that heart is receiving the overwhelming, unconditional love of God, and it overflows in word and deed. What is being stored up in your heart right now? What are you filling your heart with? 

KINGDOM LIVING PROVES GENUINE WHEN WORDS AND ACTIONS BEAR GOOD FRUIT

 

The Pharisees said that the miracle of casting out demons that Jesus was doing was of Satan. Jesus gives a harsh warning to not give the enemy credit for what the Holy Spirit is doing. It is blasphemy and it is a dangerous stance to take. Jesus was not living a divided life but rather a life completely and perfectly unified with the Father, and the fruit of His life made that obvious. The Pharisees HATED it. So, they asked for more proof.

Jesus gives them the example of Jonah and the Queen of Sheba. The people of Nineveh, when they heard the truth, repented and changed. The Queen of Sheba was desperate enough for truth that she spent much money and came from the other side of the world just to get it. Hearing the truth and being convicted by it leads to an undivided heart. A willingness to do whatever it takes to find truth drives a person to an undivided heart.

“THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING”; which means when you eat the pudding, you know what’s inside of it. Psalms says it like this, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

When you experience an undivided heart, it shows up in an undivided life. 

Jesus told the religious Pharisees, who had taken His commands and made them unbearable, adding a bunch of man-made rules and trying to enforce them on God’s people, that their divided hearts were going to be taken over and consumed by the enemy without them even being aware. This is another harsh warning to all of us that if you clean out your heart, be sure to replace the new space with the truths of God or else you will leave an open place for the enemy to return with a vengeance.

Many people today are hearing the truth, but they are not repenting or changing. You see, you can clean out your heart in an effort to make it no longer divided, but if you don’t fill those empty places with truth, and start walking and obeying that truth, the division will return with a vengeance, and lead to utter destruction.

FIGHT for unity in your heart. FIGHT for unity in your family, your home. FIGHT for unity at your church. FIGHT for unity within The Church. Jesus prayed for it in John 17. Jesus died for it on the cross. Jesus prioritized it in His life.

Father, give us undivided hearts. 

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