Friday, March 24, 2006

It's What's On The Inside

Have you ever been given a box of chocolates as a present? I have and most of the time it is a great gift. However, there are certain boxed chocolates that come with assorted chocolates filled with many mysterious concoctions and you are given no clue as to which pieces of chocolate are filled with what you actually like. Each piece looks great from the outside, but when you bite into it and you find out that the chocolate has been filled with dark chocolate lemon cream with a touch of fake fruit syrup, or some other gross filling, you quickly realize that the chocolate’s outer beauty was misleading.

Like these assorted chocolates, many of us portray ourselves as highly religious and extremely moral people, but on the inside we are no better than anyone else. In fact, some go as far as to believe that, because of their “perfect” outward appearance, their path to Heaven is different than any “normal” person. In Luke 11:27-52, Jesus criticizes the religious leaders of that time for doing just that. In verse 39, Jesus says, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are still filthy—full of greed and wickedness!”

It is easy to put up a holy front without actually practicing a holy life. In fact, Peter, in 2 Corinthians 11:14, tells us that even Satan himself pretends to be an “angel of light”. But, as Christians we are called to be set apart, or holy, just as our Father in Heaven is holy (Leviticus 19:2).

Is your relationship with Christ only a front? Or are you actually working on allowing God to polish you from the inside out? If we want to live an abundant life through Christ, we must work hard at getting rid of the gross “concoctions” that are within our “chocolate shell”. In order to do so, we must constantly strive to be more like Christ by spending time in prayer and diving deep into His word. No matter how “clean” you are on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that speaks truth about the condition of your relationship with Christ.

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