February 19/Mark 7

Verses 1-23 > We tend to be a ‘do it yourself’ society. That is why places like Home Depot and Menard’s came on the scene. There are also tons of ‘self help’ books available on everything from cooking to character development to body building to improving your sex life! We want to change things. We want to be independent and not rely on other people. All of these things work on the outside of a person. So when it comes to religion we can tend to think that doing something on the outside, like going to church, reading a bible, volunteering at soup kitchens, giving to charity, going on mission trips, not working on Sunday are things that clean us up on the inside, change our hearts and make us acceptable with God. As we read these verses we see this ‘do it yourself’ mentality is nothing new. Admit it you feel better about yourself when you go to church, read your bible, give to charity and help little old ladies cross the street, right? These are things we should do; however they don’t clean up a heart. They don’t even change our hearts. You can do all those good things and still harbor a grudge, commit adultery, lie, slander, envy, be proud, and have a bad attitude etc.

The point that Jesus was trying to make in these verses is that you can’t do anything to change or clean up your heart. You can’t do it yourself! Someone else has to do it for us. His name is Jesus!

Acts 15:8–9 (NLT) — 8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith. (faith in Jesus is implied)

Romans 3:22 (NLT) — 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

Romans 3:25 (NLT) — 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.

Psalm 51:10 (NLT) — 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.

Verses 24-29 > these verses answer the questions, Is healing for today and does God want to heal me? This lady was asking for a healing and deliverance for her daughter who was possessed by a demon. Notice what Jesus said about those who belong to him. Verse 27 >First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews.* It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.

We are God’s children and healing and deliverance is our daily food! Let that strengthen your faith Hilltop! I didn’t just say it Jesus did.

Verses 31-36 > If we are not hearing the word of God we probably aren’t speaking the word of God. Remember that old slogan “Where’s the beef?” People said that a lot because they heard it over and over. Well if we continue on this daily reading plan we will be hearing the word over and over and pretty soon we will find ourselves bringing this word into our everyday conversations and giving ourselves and others advice from the word!

Be Inspired Hilltop!




  1. Shawna Zelinsky says

    What you said makes sense. I guess I understude that clean and unclean parable a little different. What I got from it is that when temptation comes to you to have the temptation is not unclean it’s not sin to have the temptation. It becomes unclean or sin when you act out that temptation. When that temptation comes out of you and you go along with it, it is now sin and unclean .

  2. Mark Gundersen says

    The woman asked for healing for her daughter but understood that having faith I’m Jesus meant that even a crumb of Jesus’s power could heal. She did not deny that Jesus was called to the Jews but even when called a dog, lesser entity, she knew His healing power was available to her.