When i think about the things we do to make ourselves look good, I’m reminded of some of the things we do to make ourselves look good spiritually. Jesus addressed this issue with the religious leaders in Jerusalem (Matt. 23). They followed an elaborate set of religious rules that went well beyond the ones God had given them. They worked hard to look good to their peers, to prove that they were better than others. But their hard work didn’t impress God. Jesus said to them, “You cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside [you] are full of extortion and self-indulgence” (v.25). What the Pharisees did to make themselves look good to others actually revealed that they were not good at all.

Every culture values different religious behaviors and traditions, but God’s values transcend cultures. And what He values isn’t measured by what others see. God values a clean heart and pure motives. Spiritual health is expressed from the inside out.

"You know me, Lord, for who i am. My motives
and heart are open before You. Cleanse me
from the inside out. And please help me to live as
Jesus did—with pure and true motives, in Jesus Christ name, Amen."

We might look good on the outside without really being good on the inside.

~Read: Matthew 23:23-31 ~Insight: 
Matthew 23 uses the phrase “woe to you” eight times when Jesus condemns the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. They displayed outward religiosity and piety, but neglected the truly important matters of justice, mercy, and faith (v.23; Mic. 6:8). They presented themselves as upright and holy, but inside they were utterly corrupt and evil (vv.25-31).

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