It’s been an absolutely BEAUTIFUL summer here in Northwestern Missouri — it hasn’t been too hot, and this week has been in the low 80’s. The apples on our State Fair apple tree usually ripen mid-August, but the hubby and I took advantage of the cooler temperatures and decided to pick apples two weeks early.
Surprisingly, most of our apples have had very few worms this year (we don’t spray our trees with chemicals). As I was cutting up apples for freezing and canning, it was easy for me to just cut out the portions of apples that contained any worms. Every so often I found an apple that appeared flawless on the outside, but once I cut it in half I found that worms had ruined the seemingly perfect apple.
As this disappointment occurred several times over my 4 day process of preparing apples, I realized this is similar to the sin in my life. I may appear clean from the outside, but on the inside I am just as wormy as the apple in the above photo — anger, jealousy, or any other unrepented sin sure can “eat” away at me if I am not careful.
Jesus told the Pharisees that it wasn’t things like dirty hands that make people unclean, but that it is what comes out of a person’s heart — their core — that makes them defiled. In Mark 7:20-23, Jesus explained this further to his disciples:
“What comes out of a person is what defiles them.
For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
The prophet Samuel learned this valuable lesson when he first thought Jesse’s son Eliab was the one God wanted him to annoint as the new King of Israel:
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Heavenly Father, thank You so much for this wonderful season of summer. Thank You for cooler temperatures and the bountiful harvest you’ve given us. Thank You for continuing to love me even when I look good on the outside, but am a wormy mess on the inside! Holy Spirit, please continue to convict me of my sin of anger, unforgiveness and jealousy, and please show me if I have any unrepented sin in my life. Thank You, LORD Jesus, for Your gift of salvation through Your death on the cross. Thank You for loving me that much!! In Your Precious Name I pray. Amen.