Daily Devotional

Matthew 23:27

“Woe to you...For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence....For you are like white-washed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

My dad was a lumber salesman. Every once in a while he would call in the middle of the afternoon and tell my mom he was bringing home a customer. Usually it would be for a brief visit before he took him out to dinner. As soon as my mom would get off the phone she would call out to all us kids and say, “Quick, we need to pick up the house, your dad is bringing someone home!” We would jump to it, throwing things into drawers and closets, or back into the bedrooms, run a vacuum and sweep the floor. From the outside the house looked like everything was in top shape. But, we knew the mess that was underneath.

On the other hand, there were the days when time was set aside to intentionally clean. Truthfully, it was my dad who taught me what it meant to clean on the inside. I can remember him opening the drawers of the living room furniture, running his finger along the top ledge to see if we had dusted correctly. Or the time we pulled everything out of the garage, sweeping and putting it all back in...three times... because we hadn’t done it correctly the first two times.

There are so many life experiences that I can relate these verses to. LatelyI have considered my own child rearing days. We all want our kids to loveJesus, to be loving and kind to others and to behave.But truthfully, there were times I just wanted them to “look good” to others.As my children got older and I learned that Jesus was the Word and spending a daily time withHim is what produces His life in me, I realized more and more that the fruit of the Spirit that grew inside my children was of way more lasting value than what they looked like on the outside. Our flesh can get in the way of so much that the Lord has designed. I continued to learn that my faith in what God said, and my obedience to it, would result in His power to accomplish what He desired.

So I’ll leave you with this reminder in 1 Peter 3:3-4,  “Let your beauty not be external—the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes— but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.”
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