September 29, 2014

Read: Luke 11:37-41

 How many of us, like the Pharisees of Jesus' day, are far more concerned with the external than the internal? His host was perturbed that Jesus had not ceremonially washed before eating. This was a teachable moment that the Master Teacher used to illustrate the hypocrisy exhibited by his host and the other so-called Law-abiding Pharisees, who held their own traditions above the commandments of God.                                                             
     
Before we become too critical of them, however, let's take a look at our own hypocrisy. Many of us in the church are far more interested in how the ministers and others dress on a Sunday morning, than we are in their spiritual condition, or whether or not they have a burden they are carrying. Have you ever been troubled by such trivialities? 
    
Many of us probably spend more time selecting our outfit for worship, than we do in preparing our hearts.  We, too, are more externally oriented than we realize. How can we begin to focus on the importance of what's on the inside, as Jesus was trying to teach the religious of His day?  
    
Just maybe, you and I need to remember that scripture tells us that it is from the heart that all of the issues of life flow.  God looks on the inside, at the heart; and so should we. Remember, if Samuel had anointed as king the brother that looked the part, it probably would not have been David. When we are tempted to form an opinion based on what we see, or on our own set of rules, perhaps we need to be sensitive to what Jesus sees in that individual, and considers important.

Pray: 

Adoration: God is holy, mighty, gracious, and merciful. Spend time declaring your love for Him and expressing your thoughts of praise and worship. 

Confession: Ask God to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness. 

Thanksgiving: Express your thankfulness to God for the blessings He has given you. When we consider that we deserve punishment because of our sinfulness, and instead God gives to us His love and mercy, our only response should be one of thankfulness. 

Supplication: Petition God regarding your family and your ministry.  Ask for help and guidance in sharing your Jesus with others and helping others grow in Him.  Offer prayers concerning your activities for this day and any special concerns you may have.  Intercede on behalf of local, national, and world missions.  Pray the Great Commission would be fulfilled and for any special concerns you may have for missions.