Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clean On The Outside, Just Don't Look In There

What condition is your heart in?

Luke 11:37-41  As Jesus was speaking, one of the Pharisees invited him home for a meal. So he went in and took his place at the table.

38 His host was amazed to see that he sat down to eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony required by Jewish custom.

39 Then the Lord said to him, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness! 40 Fools! Didn’t God make the inside as well as the outside? 41 So clean the inside by giving gifts to the poor, and you will be clean all over.

Most of us that have grown up in church have seen the ridiculous business meetings, the ones where the dumbest issues are fought for long and hard, most of the time the issue isn't anything that matters to God and yet the battle rages on.

Usually the problem is that we care too much about traditions and rituals. We would fit in just fine with the Pharisees that Jesus reprimanded for going through the motions with keeping rituals and the law but doing it all for the wrong motive.

I don't think that Jesus is endorsing the concept of eating with dirty hands but what he is saying is that the condition of your heart is so much more important. In the following scriptures of this chapter Jesus spoke out against the legalism and rituals that the Pharisees were using as a disguise, they looked like they had it all together but Jesus didn't see it that way. (Luke 11:37-54)

The condition of your heart is often displayed by the good deeds that you are willing to do, seeking justice and helping the poor is mentioned in these verses, love for people and giving them a helping hand rather than legalism and traditions are a good indication of the condition of your heart.

Focus on what's important

Micah 6:8  O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
The condition of my heart matters more to God than the traditions and rituals that I obey. I need to be authentic in my relationship with my Savior by loving people, justice, humility and mercy, after all those are the things that Jesus loves.

Help me to know the condition of my heart Lord.