Out of the heart of men proceed words and actions

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness (Mark 7:21–22 KJV)

out of the  hearts of men showing water coming out of  a faucet

Jesus made the remarkable statement above that highlights the preeminence of our hearts in our daily activities. In essence, He said thoughts, words, and actions proceed from a man’s heart! There is so much to talk about in this verse, but I would like to focus on the word “proceed” in this devotional.

The verb “proceed” in this context means “to go out.” Think of water coming out of the tap into the sink in the kitchen. The faucet is the origin or source from which the water proceeds. However, note that the word “proceed” is used in this verse to describe spiritual and not physical entities. That is, it is used in a metaphorical sense. How do thoughts “go out of” somewhere? Or how does adultery go out of its source?  

‘Proceed” describes the activity of the spirit. It is used here to describe the action or moving of the human spirit. In John 15:26, Jesus uses the same word to describe the moving or activity of the Holy Spirit proceeding or going forth from the Father. This word describes a mystery of human life, how our personality flows out of our hearts for people around us to see. If you can catch this mystery, John 7:38 will become life-transforming to you:

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38 KJV)

Jesus said out of your belly, rivers of living water (the Holy Spirit) will flow out or proceed. Why? The Holy Spirit is now in your human spirit as one and so proceeds out of you like a river. How does He proceed? Thoughts, words you speak, and your actions!


I have condensed a handful of profound spiritual truths in the devotional above for the sake of brevity. Please take a moment to reflect on what you have just read.


Waters are pouring out from your belly every day, whether living or deadly. As believers, living waters should flow out to refresh the world around you.


Ask the Father to help you make your heart a source of living waters for the world around you to drink and live.

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