"... God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Matthew 22:32
Lately I've been contemplating what it means to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. What it means to be humble. What it means to be clean on the inside. What it means to have mercy and faith. And above all, what it means to have Christ as your master...
" For one is your master, even Christ."
Maybe all this stemmed from a recent visit to a group of people that take pride in their "cleanliness"... and having "orderliness" as a top priority. Lots of rules and regulations. I suppose there's really nothing wrong in being clean, it's a wonderful trait to have. But as I visited these people I was burdened. Can outwardly cleanliness count for anything in God's kingdom? Does it count for eternity?
How are we, as followers of Christ, able to shine clean in a world of "filth"? Filth being sin, and all things unclean. Well, I needed to go to the WORD... to find God's answers.
The gospel of Matthew relates Jesus' condemnation of those being clean on the outside and failing to apply cleanliness on the inside.
" Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter,
But within they are full of extortion and excess. "
The Lord sure is direct! How often we make ourselves look good so that others may see our "righteousness".
We can easily "pay" the tithe... whatever it may be that requires us to "look good". But we forget what counts most in God's eyes... judgement, mercy and faith.
" Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men,
But within ye are full of hypocrisy, and iniquity."
So as I was reading through the chapter in Matthew, I stopped a bit to evaluate my own life. How do I live for Christ? Do I worry about man's view of me? Or do I care about being clean before God?
If Christ is alive in me, then I too shall live... no longer for myself, or the world around me... but for the ONE who died for me. And if Christ be my master, the greatest amongst us(also a servant), then I too am called to follow in His steps.... to walk humbly, to show mercy, to be guided by Him in all things. No boasting in my own abilities...
What assurance to know that His blood has cleansed me from the filth and dross of sin. Great is God's power to cleanse!
His cleansing, not my own...
And so I delight in the wonderful work of God on my behalf... the joy of being clean within, by the power of His blood.
" Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean:
Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."
May you know the real meaning of being clean... and shine for HIM.