Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. Matthew 23:27
Outward appearance is only skin deep. It is easy for a person to look like a very good person on the outside, but be completely different in character on the inside.
Inner, true motives for actions are very seldom revealed by many people. Actions can often be driven by self pride, jealousy, revenge or some other sinful reason, even though the action looks good.
Jesus harshly rebukes the Pharisees of being hypocritical. They looked good on the outside, but inside were full of sin.
Just as many in this world can be very ugly on the inner character, while looking good on the outside, many believers can be the same way. Some in the church can quote lots of scripture and teach very well, looking good on the outside, but their thoughts are on sin all the time. They can be jealous, greedy, lewd thoughts, inner anger and more things that cannot always be seen on the outside. They are whitewashed tombs.
When Jesus came, He came to heal the whole person, from the inside out. Believers are to be a new creation, that takes captive their thoughts for God’s glory.
The inner heart must match the outer actions. One must never let his thoughts run rampant with sin. Ugliness on the inside will always override and destroy beauty on the outside. If they not match inside and out, there is hypocrisy, doing one thing, but thinking another.
Either the believer is serving and following Jesus with his whole life, inside and out, or he is not.
Only you and God can know whether your actions and heart line up with God’s word or not. People can only see your actions, but those actions come from the overflow of your heart.
Allow God to work inside of you to change you from the inside out. Let God give you a clean, pure heart that truly follows Him.
Do not do one thing on the outside, while having an inner heart full of sin and deceit. If you do that, God will spit you out for not truly making Jesus your Lord.
Have your heart and actions matching each other. Don’t be a hypocrite.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to change your heart and thoughts; that God will make you a new creation; and that your thoughts and actions will honor God.
They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. Matthew 15:9
Every nation on the earth has thousands of rules to govern how the people are governed. Regardless of how much some may like or dislike rules, people desire them, because they want to always know exactly what they can and cannot do.
As good as some rules may be, they are not able to completely change the heart of a person. People seek to find ways around the rules, or break them anyway, expecting to not get caught.
The Pharisees had come to Jesus about the disciples not following a traditional rule made by man, trying to appear righteous. Jesus said that their worship of God was in vain, because all they were doing was following man-made rules.
Every week people all over the world go to a church to worship God. On the surface it appears that they are being good Christians in worshipping God. However, many are going only because that is what a ‘good’ Christian does.
In the same way many believers, and churches, come up with many rules on what a person must do or not do. There can be rules on dress, appearance, political beliefs, and more governing what they do or don’t do. The heart of the people is in looking good to others, not in pleasing and worshipping God. When the heart is like that, worship is worthless to God and a waste of time.
True worship of God will seek to please God in every area of one’s life in gratefulness for what Jesus has done for the believer. His life becomes one of worship of God, not just following some rules of man. It will never be about pleasing others or looking good, but about worship of God from the heart.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek to please God with all of your life; that you will follow God’s ways over man’s; and that you will worship God from your heart with all of your life.
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Matthew 12:34
Every person has their own personal opinion about many issues in life. Most people are willing to share what they feel about some issue that is occurring. For some, they are very strong on what they think, while others hold loosely to their feelings.
When a person shares what he is feeling, one can tell where his heart is. It reveals what he is passionate about.
Jesus strikes back at the Pharisees and their heart and words. He points out that one speaks only what is hidden in their heart.
No person can truly see into the heart of someone else. However to see what is in the heart of a person, all one has to do is wait, listen and watch the person. No matter what a person says, it will always come from inside of him, from the heart.
Those who are not living for God will speak as one not from God. It may be peppered a little with love, but most often it will be filled with selfishness, pride, greed, and death. The world will try to say it is allowing life by promoting sinful practices, but in reality it is showing hatred and death, since all sin leads to death.
Everyone who has a heart filled with God’s love and Spirit will speak as God speaks. There may be harsh words at times, but they will also be filled with truth. Their words will always point back to God and His standards of life.
It is the words spoken that reveal what is in the heart. Is the heart filled with the ways of this world or the ways of God?
In order to know what is really in your heart, take a moment to listen to what you speak. Do your words mirror those of this dark and dying, sinful world, or do they mirror those of God?
What is coming out can be controlled by what is put in the heart. Fill your heart with the things of this world and all that will come out are the dead things and ways of this world. Fill your heart with God’s word and His Holy Spirit and life will flow out of it.
What does your words reveal about your heart?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will hide God’s word in your heart; that your words will be those of Jesus; and that you will be a witness of Jesus to everyone you meet.