Matching the Outside to the Inside
Delivered By
From Pastor David
Delivered On
March 30, 2016
Subject
Matching the Outside to the Inside
Description

 

Matching the Outside to the Inside

(Suggested Readings: Numbers 20, Mark 7:1-13)

Then the Pharisees and Scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. and in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men--the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do." Mark 7:5-8

I was speaking with someone the other day who used to take part in church activities. Although they did not tell me exactly why they are not presently involved in worship, they did share with me an observation that was apparently at the root of their issue. This person commented that people act a certain way in church but a different way outside. Obviously, this person was bothered by the Christian’s hypocritical behavior. Many of us look really good on the outside but are falling apart on the inside. In other words, we put on a good show. The problem comes when we try to put on an act before the Lord. We honor Him with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. Jesus doesn’t want us acting out traditions and doctrines, but to have love and truth in our hearts. Clearly, He sees the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

The Pharisees kept the law and man's traditions to the strictest of standards. Their hands were ceremonially cleansed before they touched any bread to eat. Even their utensils were cleansed with the same ceremony. The outside looked spotless to the point that they believed themselves to be more spiritual and pure than those who did not perform these rituals. The same is true for people in the church today. Many Christians work hard at being righteous and look the part to those around us, but God knows what is in our hearts. If our activities are whitewashed by our traditions, then our hypocrisy will become obvious. There will be a lack of sincerity and realness with people. Not only does the Lord see through it, but so do others.

Where is our heart today? Are we worshiping with our lips or with sincerity in our heart? Do not just keep going through the motions, whether in your ministry services, church activities or daily checklist of religious do's and don'ts. Get real with the Lord today. Let’s be careful in following the age-old traditions of the church to the extent that the Lord is far from our heart. Pray that our outside will match our inside and ask the Lord to remove our fears about how real that might look. As we all commit to being authenic, we might just see a lot more people in ministry in the church…and in other places as well. It might amaze us at what God can do when we truly turn our heart over to Him.

Grace and peace…Pastor David

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