READ: Psalm 43, Jeremiah 22-24, Matthew 15, Acts 22 


The primary message of prophet and apostle is, “Repent.” It is not a popular message, nor is it a discriminating one for it is preached to both believer and unbeliever. Jesus taught that what comes out of the heart and passes through the mouth is what defiles a man (Matt. 15:11, 18). According to Jesus, this is what is naturally in my heart: evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemy. Not very pretty, and let us be brutally honest with ourselves–these things are still in our hearts even after we are saved.

This is why morning by morning we must go to Jesus and repent, why we must daily ask for His cleansing. In the night, in my sleep, my soul accumulates to itself filth. If my dreams (which emanate from my heart) were broadcast to the world, it would be ugly, scandalous viewing. I must live repentance and it must be a vibrant, daily experience, not a fading historical memory. I am prone to wander. I am prone to leave the God I love. I need Jesus more today than I did yesterday. The message of the Scripture (mouthed by prophet and apostle, pastor and evangelist) is refreshingly simple and repetitive. It is proclaimed to both sinners unregenerate and sinners redeemed, graciously covered from the wrath of God by the blood of Jesus despite what lingers in their hearts. It is this: Repent! Turn! Moment by moment, day after day, turn to the Savior. Turn from the allure of the world. Turn eyes, heart, feet, and mind to Him.

As a man I am attracted by flesh. This is true for all men and all women. Though men are more simulated by the physical, women too are sexual creatures and not unaffected by what they see. My eyes are drawn to both the beautiful and provocative. It doesn’t matter that I live in a Muslim city with a pretension of modesty; my eyes are still drawn to bottoms and breasts. Every day gives me an opportunity to turn my eyes to Jesus. Everything I see gives me a choice–will I let my gaze linger on what feeds my corrupted heart, or will I turn my eyes to Jesus and fix my adoration and worship on Him?

Matthew 15:21-28 gives us the beautiful story of a woman of Tyre and Sidon choosing to fix her eyes on Jesus. She came to Jesus and “worshipped Him, saying, ‘Lord help me” (v. 25)! Her asking for help was considered worship. As what our eyes see provide fodder for our fallen flesh, we are given the opportunity to worship Jesus by asking for help. Repentance is asking for help. Turning to Jesus is worship. We are inundated by images crafted to destroy us. We must respond by worship– and we begin to worship by turning to Jesus and asking for His help. This pleases Him and it rescues us.

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