What Is Inside Of You?

What Is Inside Of You? By Kirk Hunt

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.   Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Matthew 23:27–28 NKJV

Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees is sharp and pointed.  Our Savior called the elite religious leaders hypocrites.  Their sanctimonious words and ceremonies were a thin veneer over their sinful actions, thoughts and intentions.  All men and women are containers of something.  What is inside of you?

In those days, a tomb would be beautiful from a distance, but up close it would reek of death and decay.  Un-embalmed bodies would be placed on a shelf inside, then left to decomposition to run its course.  A carefully crafted and expensively finished sepulcher would be a shell around corruption and putrefaction.

In Matthew 23, Jesus is not criticizing the occasional harsh word or stray thought.  Instead, He rebukes sanctimonious words that end in naked greed, lust and exploitation.  Jesus does not value high-form ceremonies that are followed by base-form lives, devoid of any attempt at true holiness.

In these days, men and women speak high-sounding words, but their actions too often reveal gutter-level intentions.  “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”  Disciples of Jesus Christ, most of all, must make sure their actions match what they preach.

Think:       Inside of my heart, mind and soul am I full of God’s Word, or something else?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to be full of Your Word, Your grace and Your truth.”

 

Copyright © October 2018, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press.  You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.

Observe And Do

Observe And Do By Kirk Hunt

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying:  “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”

Matthew 23:1–3 NKJV

Jesus observed and commented.  He clearly and plainly told the majority of folk that their religious scholars and leaders preached one thing but clearly practiced a different thing.  How is it possible to mess up, “Observe and do the right things”?

Was Jesus critiquing pagan Romans?  No.  Was Jesus rebuking Roman collaborators or prostitutes?  No.  Jesus criticized the very people who should have known better than anyone else.

The Pharisees preached righteousness and adherence to the law, but their motivations however were corrupt or self-serving (Matthew 23:5)Of course, these high minded religious experts were not above exploiting the poor or vulnerable in the name of profit (Matthew 23:14).  In general, the Pharisees did the easy part of looking sanctimonious, but did not do the hard part of living righteously (Matthew 23:23).

Living righteously before God and man is easier said than done.  That is why the Holy Spirit helps those men and women who seek Him.  Religious law can only help you realize how sinful you are.  It takes God’s spirit and grace to fulfill the law by living a sanctified life.

Take a good look at how you actually live.  Does your life match what you preach (or say you believe)?  Seek the Holy Spirit and ask Him to help you live out what you say.

Think:       Observe yourself.  Are you really doing the hard work of living righteously?

Pray:         “Lord, help me to live righteously, no matter the difficulty.”

 

Copyright © October 2018, Kirk Hunt

This devotional is brought to you courtesy of CadreMen Press.  You can purchase a copy of Blessed and Blessing: Devotionals For Gospel Champions from your favorite bookseller or directly from CadreMen Press.