The Text

Mark 8:14–21 (CSB)
14 The disciples had forgotten to take bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat.

15 Then he gave them strict orders: “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”

16 They were discussing among themselves that they did not have any bread.

17 Aware of this, he said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact you have no bread? Don’t you understand or comprehend? Do you have hardened hearts?

18 Do you have eyes and not see; do you have ears and not hear? And do you not remember?

19 When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?” “Twelve,” they told him.

20 “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many baskets full of pieces did you collect?” “Seven,” they said.

21 And he said to them, “Don’t you understand yet?”

The Devotion

Brand new heart: Father’s own

Ezekiel 36:24-28 (CSB) “‘For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God.

Brand new heart: Preaching of the word draws us or repeals us

Exodus 7:1-3 (CSB) The LORD answered Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother will be your prophet. 2 You must say whatever I command you; then Aaron your brother must declare it to Pharaoh so that he will let the Israelites go from his land. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart and multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt.

Romans 9:17 (CSB) For the Scripture tells Pharaoh, I raised you up for this reason so that I may display my power in you and that my name may be proclaimed in the whole earth.

Brand new heart: God sees what’s going on in the heart

1 Samuel 13:13-14 (CSB) Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you. It was at this time that the LORD would have permanently established your reign over Israel, 14 but now your reign will not endure. The LORD has found a man after his own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the LORD commanded.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (CSB) But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature because I have rejected him. Humans do not see what the LORD sees, for humans see what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

Brand new heart: God is tender in his mercies because you have his heart

2 Samuel 12:13-14 (CSB) David responded to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Then Nathan replied to David, “And the LORD has taken away your sin; you will not die. 14 However, because you treated the LORD with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die.”

Psalm 51:1–11 (CSB)
1 Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion.

2 Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me.

4 Against you—you alone—I have sinned and done this evil in your sight. So you are right when you pass sentence; you are blameless when you judge.

5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

6 Surely you desire integrity in the inner self, and you teach me wisdom deep within.

7 Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

9 Turn your face away from my sins and blot out all my guilt.

10 God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Brand new heart: It is part of the first and greatest commandment

Deuteronomy 6:5-6 (CSB) Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.

Brand new heart: God is your desire and he alone satisfies you

Psalms 37:4 (CSB) Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

Psalms 73:25-26 (CSB) Who do I have in heaven but you? And I desire nothing on earth but you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.

Luke 11:9-13 (CSB) “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

The Discussion

1. Don't overthink this: what do you really want in life?
2. If it isn't God, do you love and worship God to meet that end?
3. Do you think desiring something not God along with God will draw you closer to God?
4. Are you willing to ask God just for God or do you think something else will give you happiness and joy or fulfill your needs?

The Prayer from the Psalms

My All-in-all
Every day I am distracted and tempted by something not you.

I have chased after those things. And in the end, I found nothing and death.

God, cleanse me and draw me close to you till everything else in this world is just straight garbage.

Amen.