Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for appearing saintly and holy outwardly but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed (Matthew 23:25-28).
Living our Christianity merely as a show for others is like washing a cup on the outside only. When we are clean on the inside, our cleanliness on the outside won't be a sham
There is a difference between our person and our personality.
We tend to emphasize the personality – what we want others to think we are. God emphasizes the person – what we really are. Jesus compared the scribes and Pharisees to whitewashed tombs. They looked clean on the outside but were full of corruption on the inside. Jesus called them hypocrites – pretenders (Amplified), frauds (The Message). Things are not always as they appear!
In our own lives things are not always as they appear. We always put our best foot forward. We want to make a positive impression on those around us – whether or not we are actually living what we are portraying. Again, Jesus had a name for these people – hypocrites, pretenders, frauds.
We like to stand around and tell one another how wonderful we are. Too bad God doesn't see things that way. Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf: and our iniquities, like the wind have taken us away
We are all infected and contaminated by sin . Our best efforts are as dirty, filthy, greasy, stained rags! Things are not always as they appear
God doesn't see us as we see each other – God sees us as we truly are! 1 Samuel 16:6-7 tells us And it came to pass when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord's anointed is before him. But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Looks aren't everything. Appearance isn't everything. God looks at people differently than we do. We tend to look at the outward appearance. Appearance doesn't reveal what people are really like or their true value. God looks into the heart. Fortunately, God judges by faith and character, not by appearances. Looks can often be deceiving
Many people spend hours each week maintaining their outward appearance; they should do even more to develop their inner beauty and character. Things are not always as they appear!
It's time to come clean with God. We can't fool God. Jesus said in Matthew 15:7-9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoreth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
There are those who say the right things, but the condition of their heart is one of being far from God. Their worship, therefore, becomes vain. When we claim to honor God while our hearts are far from Him, our worship means nothing. It's not enough to act religious. Our actions and our attitudes must be sincere. The Bible tells us in Luke 12:1-3, In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, He began to say unto His disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Jesus warned His disciples against hypocrisy. The Pharisees could not keep their attitudes hidden forever. Their selfishness would grow like yeast, and soon they would expose themselves for what they really were – power hungry impostors not devoted religious leaders. Each of us must resist the temptation to settle for the appearance of respectability when our hearts are far from God. Things are not always as they appear
We may be able to cover up the problem areas in our lives and even fool one another
But we cannot fool God! God sees us as we truly are – not as we want others to think we are. When you stand before God, and everything in your life is revealed, will it be a day of gladness or a day of sadness? The choice is yours. Things are not always as they appear! Come clean with God today!
Until next time...enjoy the journey!
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