How do I look?
What do I say?
Do I go to church regularly?
Am I in a small group Bible study?
Am I serving at church?
We often focus on the outside and the activities on our calendars.
What other people see.
But God focuses on the inside – our hearts, our minds and our souls.
In Matthew 23, Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites because, on the outside they look clean and nice, but on the inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Wow! Self- indulgence. That’s the American dream, isn’t it? To have what we want when we want it. It’s obviously not God’s dream for us.
Jesus commands the Pharisees to clean up the inside and then the outside will also be clean.
Going to church is good – unless we’re just there to see and be seen.
Being a part of a small group Bible study is good unless it turns into a social club not centered on growing our relationship with God. I’ve known about small groups that have turned into gossip cliques filled with negativity and judgement of others – especially the leadership of their church. That is the total opposite of the purpose they should fill in our lives.
Serving at church is good as long as we balance it so we still have time to spend with God to grow our personal relationship with him. God ‘busyness’ can easily distract us from what God really desires – our attention.
When we give God the chance to work in our lives, he always starts on the inside – redeeming our souls, changing our thoughts, opening and softening our hearts. When we are in a close relationship with God, we don’t have to worry about the outside. As God transforms what’s inside of us, it gradually begins to show on the outside.
How much transformation have you experienced this last month? This last year?
Please open our hearts to you, Abba Father.
4 thoughts on “What’s Inside?”
For ‘beginner’ Christians I think doing outside ‘stuff’ leads to the inner stuff. When you see others doing what they are supposed to do, you want to do it too . . . maybe sorta like a kid copying his Mom or Dad even if he doesn’t know what or why. Sometimes it takes going thru the motions to get you where you want to be . . . not for everyone, but I think I am somewhat like that. Just my opinion . . .
I agree that every time we start a new habit, there’s some ‘faking it until you make it’. And I think God honors that – he knows our hearts, he knows if we genuinely are trying to change. Its important this effort comes out of our love for God and our gratitude for what he has done for us. I’ve talked with several new Christians who are really tired because of all of ‘God Activities’ they’ve gotten involved in and they aren’t seeing real change in their hearts and minds. Our personal, daily walk with God is what fuels our love for others, our serving and our Bible study. Its a marathon, not a sprint. Baby steps while focusing on God helps us persevere in this journey of faith. May God richly bless your journey!
We all just need to rethink our reasons to believe in God. Ideas, philosophies and ways of life contrary to Biblical Truths have been created and followed by many people for centuries. We must be ready to give an answer. Admitting we still do not know all about God invites discovery together until we all reach maturity “if God permits”. Hebrews Chapter 6 warns us to not be a public disgrace. So what would a private disgrace be? Every sin I commit effects the whole body of Christ. Daily His grace leads me home as I remember “the marathon” and not get totally burnt out on my own silly sprints.So…on to prayer I go,