HOST: Ron House
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel! “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
These condemnations of the scribes and Pharisees all deal with the outward actions vs. the inward attitudes. God is certainly concerned about our outward lives—the things that we teach, practice, say, and do. He desires that our actions be godly and obedient. But there is more to being what God would have us to be than just the outward actions. God also cares about where those actions come from—the heart. He cares about our attitudes, motives, and thoughts. He wants the outward man to be a reflection of what the inside looks like. How often do we read in the New Testament about the importance of having both the proper heart and actions involved in our worship (John 4:24), teaching (Ephesians 4:15), and lives (1 Peter 1:22)? It is easy for us, like the scribes and Pharisees, to become so consumed with maintaining the outward appearance of righteousness that we can neglect the heart and spirit that is to motivate our Christian lives. May we ever strive to have hearts that are filled with love and faith and that motivate lives of obedience and service.
Why is the heart so important to God?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!