‘How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees’ You hypocrites! You clean the outside of your cup and plate: while the inside is full of what you have gained by violence and selfishness. Blind Pharisee! Clean what is inside the cup first, and then the outside will be clean too!’ (verses 25,26)
Read Matthew 23:13-26
When you’re washing the dishes, do you wash the inside first or the outside? How about the silverware, or trophies you may have? What about the car – do you wash the outside first and then worry about vacuuming the inside if you have time? When you wake up late, do you have a shower and skip breakfast or skip the shower and eat?
Sometimes I find myself more worried about looks than anything else, but it’s pretty hard to smile when I’m feeling like a wreck ms1de. W T Gaston once said, ‘When the charm wears off, you have nothing but character left’. Looks don’t last; we need something more than that. God isn’t worried about how we look, because he cares about our hearts. What’s the point of a beautiful lantern if there is no light inside it making it shine?
Jesus came to earth to remove our sin, that ugly part of our heart we try to hide. Because of his love for us and because we can’t do it ourselves, God cleans our insides for us. In the end we are beautiful, and it will even show on the outside.
Lord Jesus, thank you for taking away my sin. Please continue to clean away the ugly part of my heart. Amen.
by Jorg Ernst, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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