Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director LHBC
Matthew 23:26 (NLT)
“You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.”
If you’ve ever cleaned out a closet, you know that emptiness and tidiness doesn’t often last. Sooner or later that closet needs another spring clean-out. Why is that? Perhaps two main reasons are to blame: 1). What’s out of sight, is often out of mind, and 2). Empty space has a tendency to be filled.
A clean closet never lasts very long at my house. It gets easier and easier to toss in shoes or bags or sports equipment and shut the door, rather than place them in a designated bin or rack. With extra room available, it’s even easier to store additional items. A bargain too good to pass up easily finds a new home. Why put a broom in the hall closet, when I can stick it here in this one? In no time at all, I’m back where I started. Although the closet appears tidy when I shut the door, inside it’s filthy-much like the spiritually blind Pharisees!
The Pharisees were meticulous at following the law, but lacked heart change. Jesus rebuked the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees and called them hypocrites for appearing righteous, yet remaining inwardly corrupt. He explained that what appeared beautiful on the outside, was actually rotting on the inside (Matthew 23: 25-28). Like the Pharisees, it doesn’t do us any good to only know the law and “look the part.” God calls our hearts to change.
Have you ever stopped to think about why we read and study the Bible? Is it to be smarter? To learn truth? Not bad things, but if we only stop there, we are just tossing His Word in the closet and shutting the door. Out of sight, out of mind takes over. We remain unchanged on a heart level. If additional junk gets thrown into the empty spaces, and piled on top of God’s Word, we drown out His voice. If our attitude towards the Bible is only an item we grab out of the closet on Sundays, we are missing out. God wants to change us by the power of His Word on a daily basis. It is not a bad thing to have a lot of head knowledge of the Bible, but we can become a modern-day Pharisee if we don’t live it out. 2 Timothy 3:17 says that God uses scripture to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. May today’s passage challenge us to daily, tend the inside of our heart and to live changed by God’s Word.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Lord, change me daily from the inside out. May Your Word never collect dust in my heart. Create in me a pure heart O Lord, one that lives out your love in everything I do. Help me remove any junk and filth that has taken up residence in my heart. Write Your Word on my heart instead, and prepare and equip me to carry out your will today. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.