Confronting A Devious Heart

So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. ā€” John 11:53

This verse could easily be read past, but I am not going to do that today because I believe it's one that should give us pause. A literal reading could be:

"So from the day that Caiaphas spoke to the Sanhedrin and collectively made plans to kill Jesus."

The decision has been made. All that needs to be determined now is how this will unfold.

Here's the predicament the Sanhedrin faces:

During the time of Roman rule, religious Jews had a religious law that governed their people. However, the Roman government had its own legal system and exercised authority over the territories it governed. This means that under Roman rule, Jews did not have the power to enforce religious laws on their own, especially when it came to capital punishment. There were certain Jewish religious laws that prescribed certain offenses punishable by death, such as murder, adultery, and idolatry, but Rome did not grant Jews the authority to carry out these punishments during their rule. This was a matter for the Roman government alone.

So Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin had to devise a plan to convince the Roman government to do their bidding, bypassing all Jewish legal proceedings. And we all know how it turns out.

This short text written by John serves as a reminder of how devious the human heart can be. It reminds us that when we desire something, we can go to great lengths to obtain it. It reminds us that when we feel like we are losing something, we can do anything to keep it. We seek like-minded individuals to validate our sense of injury and injustice, and then we make plans that conspire against them.

Therefore, today, cleanse your heart. Rid it of frustration, animosity, bitterness, and the anger you feel towards your wife, children, friends, boss, or coworkers. Confess these feelings to God and surrender them to Him before they become irreparable actions that you will regret for the rest of your life. Do not let this sin fester in your heart to the point where your mind starts devising plans that oppose God. You do not want to conspire against God.

ASK THIS:

  1. Reflecting on the deviousness of the human heart described in the devotional, share a personal experience or observation where you witnessed the lengths someone went to achieve a desired outcome. How did it affect them and those around them? What lessons can we learn from such situations?
  2. Considering the call to cleanse our hearts and surrender our negative emotions and desires to God, share a struggle or area of frustration in your life where you find it challenging to let go and trust God's plan. How can we support and encourage one another in releasing these burdens to God and seeking His guidance and peace?

DO THIS: Confess the sin of your heart.

PRAY THIS: God, I pray that you cleanse my heart from all bitterness, anger, and devious intentions, helping me surrender them to You. Guide me to trust your plan, seek reconciliation, and live with a heart focused on your love and righteousness. Amen.

PLAY THIS: The Cross Is My Confession.

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23 thoughts on “Confronting A Devious Heart

  1. Eddie Ackerman says:

    Struggling with my son as he has hit puberty already and has only just graduated 6th grade. I just sense so much anger from him, which means there is fear underneath all that rage. He won’t have a productive conversation with me but maybe once a month. The last conversation we had he said he didn’t know why he SHOULD believe in God. According to my wife, that was something he felt in the past, but regardless of past or present, the fact that he feels or felt this way is absolutely heartbreaking to hear. I know that he has felt, and might still feel, pressured into attending church and being around God-honoring people in his life, but I want better for him than I had at that age. I only had ONE mentor that brought me to the Truth, the Way, and the Life, and just 3 or 4 years after meeting this wonderful, God-honoring man, my mother got divorced from the only father figure I had in my life for 11 years, and we moved across the country as well. I was reasonably unhappy with those circumstances that I had no control over and ended up in a repetitive sin cycle of masturbation for about 10-15 years, until I found my home church. That’s not to say I don’t still struggle with lustful thoughts about beautiful women that are not my wife, I do, but now I take them to God and try to make every thought captive to Christ. I am not always successful about taking EVERY thought and making it captive to Christ, but the main thing I have learned is that I want to make them ALL obedient to Christ, where before I just gave into the thoughts and actions, whenever I was able to be in a remotely private area.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Peeking in to say thank you for the daily accent to The Compass ā€¦ and Iā€™m blessed my husband Sam wrote to you. We listen together šŸ˜Ž

  3. Mike Brister says:

    Hey Vince this is Mike from MS. I came to one of your conference in MN and it was snow everywhere. I listen to your devotions every day but I hardly ever reply. I could not keep from it today. Something happened a few days ago with one of my spiritual leaders and I turned it all personal against him and everything in me wanted to attack him back but gradually each day God began to soften my heart. He has reminded me in so many ways but especially in two areas: are you going to walk your talk & our battle is not against flesh and blood but… A very practical thing I do is to give a text or email 24-48 hours before I respond depending on the severity of my anger. Appreciate all you do Vince!!!

  4. Troy Theye says:

    As a single father and let me add……”a humble Christian I believe.” Today being the father of a 17 year old and hoping to emphasize the importance of giving some good “Christian” advice to my son “Jayden” accepting my view and obedient advice. I surrender my bitter heart today, to God to guide me. My ex…..does not practice the Godly advice……so God keep me present in “your” will today. Also he will be behind the wheel of a car as of today-solo. Pray for this as well. Thank you men!!!!

  5. Trent says:

    Any one else unable to reply to top comment or or even read the top comment well due to it being covered up by the comment boxes?

  6. Cody Talley says:

    I just recently got married. We have only been married a month and a half. Things have not been going well at all. She is from a different country, has completely different views and opinions on things. We have been arguing a lot about stupid things, like food. She stays angry with me and today I just lost my cool and I snapped at her. I have not told any of this to my mentor at my church, but Jesus must have spoke to him. He sent me this devotional today and it was exactly what I needed. I had no thoughts of killing anyone but I did have thoughts of divorce and that is just as bad. I really needed this today. Thank you.

    • Trent says:

      Read some Ephisians chapter 5. Life ain’t easy. Marriage ain’t easy. You married the girl so there must be something there. Remember it. Focus on it. And do as you are called to do and love that girl as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. It ain’t easy. Sometimes it does not work out. But as men of God we must fight with all we have to love (action word not mushy feeling word) our wives and treat them well. Regardless if they “deserve it” or things are going swimmingly…. just love and trust God. He will show up if we seek and wait. Strength to you.

  7. Joey Brewster says:

    Lord, I confess my bitterness and frustration with things going on with my wife and children. God I pray for the strength to not give up and leave.

    • Trent says:

      Do you notice there are several of us sharing in the family frustration? I believe it is a vulnerable spot for us men that the enemy just loves to throw fiery darts at. Protect it with prayer and intentional living. Put on your armour and keep fighting. Strength to you.

      • Joey Brewster says:

        Thank you Trent for the encouragement. I am a strong believer and have been under attack for some time now. Blessings to you and thank you.

  8. Trent says:

    In leading my family, I find it hard to see them struggle. Most certainly when they are obviously disregarding my direction. It makes me very frustrated and want to separate myself from them. If they will not listen to me what is the point of us being together other than for me to fund their failures, right? I have a hard time remembering what “leading” is and how to do so with love and grace as my example did, even unto the cross where the people he was trying to lead to rightwise living were killing him. I must make a very conscious decision every day to lead and let them find their own personal relationships with God in this life. Not work them like puppets.

  9. Sheldon says:

    I am angry at my son at times because trying to pass on important life lesson’s and he seem determined to life his own way and often end up in trouble and am always the one he has to turn to for rescue. pray that I would not be angry but trust God to change his heart.

    • Trent says:

      Read my post above if you have time. I believe we struggle in a very similar way. I think we must trust God to teach them and instruct them in His way through us and in ways we do not recognize. Often times we, and/or they, learn and grow more through failure and struggle than easy street and success. In the end that is what we truly want, is it not? Not a “well lived” life here but a smart strong God fearing young man fighting for our Lord? Keep the faith. All in His time.

  10. Bob Maixner says:

    Lord – take away the anger and frustration i have towards the demise of our country.

  11. Jon C. says:

    This hit home. My frustration and dislike of the man that is my supervisor. Pleas God take this from me. Lead guide and direct my eyes, my mind, my mouth and my heart. Thank you Lord in Jesus name. Amen.

  12. Brian says:

    Father help me honor You by following You in my actions. Help me accept forgiveness through Jesus, and walk as a new man. Heavenly Father I turn my marriage, which I have destroyed due to my evil desires, over to you. Help us both heal and restore what I broke. Amen

    • Trent says:

      Amen. Praying for your marriage. Praying for my marriage. Praying for the institution of marriage. Strength to you.

  13. Herbert H says:

    This was spot on for me today. Dealing with an issue at work Lord that has filled me with frustration and some anger. Please help me to throw it all on you and give me peace so that I can do your will.

  14. Alec says:

    Help me to not be a jealous person to give my best and to honor God through my actions and words.

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