[Jesus said]: "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." --Matthew 23:27-28
At her launch in 1936, the Queen Mary was the largest ship to sail the oceans. She served faithfully for four decades, even through a world war, until she was retired in a Long Beach, California harbor.
After her retirement, she was transformed into a hotel and museum. During the conversion, she was given a complete facelift. Her three gigantic smokestacks were taken down to be scraped and repainted. But once on the dock, they crumbled as soon as the makeover began.
Nothing was left of the ¾-inch steel plates that had once formed the stacks. All that remained were more than thirty coats of paint, which had been applied over the 40 years she was at sea. The steel had rusted away and left the stacks without substance.
Similarly, when Jesus called the Pharisees "whitewashed tombs," He meant they had no substance. They were merely concerned with externals…how they appeared before others. Jesus said, "On the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness" (Matthew 23:28).
Oh that we, as followers of Jesus Christ, would never be compared to the Pharisees! As children of the King, we must "first clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean" (Matthew 23:26).
The Scripture says God does not look at outward appearances or the things that man looks at, but instead He looks at the heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7). Seek daily a pure heart and your outward appearance will reflect your inner beauty and God's love.
PRAYER CHALLENGE: Ask God to cleanse and purify your heart, removing anything unclean from your life. Pray that He would create in you the inner beauty of His love,shining through to a lost world.
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