May 7, 2003
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah
© 2003 by Mary Ann L. Diorio, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved. This devotional may not be copied, in whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without the written permission of Dr. Mary Ann Diorio. Copies may, however, be forwarded by email or printed out for personal use. All copies must be forwarded or printed out in their entirety.
Precious Disciple of Jesus Christ, the Daystar,
The closer we get to God, the more aware we are of our sinfulness. Like Isaiah, we realize that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64: 6).
Actions I would not have considered sinful a few years ago I now realize displease our Heavenly Father. And so I seek to be alert to subtle sins.
Our Lord wanrs us in this week’s Scripture verse that the heart is more deceitful than any other thing. This warning should serve as a flashing red light to our spirits. It should cause us to be obedient to God’s command for us to guard our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4: 23).
We guard our hearts in two ways:
1) By protecting our hearts from outside negative influences that would cause us to sin;
2) By ridding our hearts of inside sin that may be hiding there.
Most believers focus on the first Way of guarding their hearts, but they do not pay attention to getting rid of the sin already in their hearts. This failure to discern the sin already in the heart is most often due to pride.
Pride is, perhaps, the most deceptive of all sins because, by its very nature, it refuses to recognize and acknowledge itself. Pride manifests in a variety of ways. One of the most dangerous is self-righeousness–thinking that one is more righteous or holier than fellow believers.
As we begin a new week with our Lord, let us ask His Holy Spirit to expose anything in our hearts that may be keeping us separated from Him in any way. Then let us ask Him for the grace and the courage to repent and change course.
Noe of us is immune to any sin. Therefore, let us be diligent in guarding our hearts and in asking God to protect us from all deceit.
NOTE: A wonderful friend of mine, Mr. Jim Russell, has written a very insightful book titled Overcoming Subtle Sins. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please contact the AMY Foundation at www.amyfound.org.
Your sister in Christ,
Dr. MaryAnn Diorio
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