Weather report from heaven: Sunny and bright with an abundance of light, and lots of singing and rejoicing.
Scripture- “ Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. “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 the bones of the dead 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 23:26-28
Insight: Sometimes song lyrics can give us great hope and put things into proper perspective. The simple act of worshipping the Lord is a mood elevator and needs to be an everyday occurrence as a Christian. The fact is when we sing, when we pour out our praise to the Lord, we feel better. This week we will look at some of my favorite Christian song lyrics that lift my mood and reset my focus on the strength, love and grace of our God. Today,let’s consider some lyrics from the song “From The Inside Out” by Hillsong United. One of my favorite stanzas from the song goes: “A thousand times I fail, still your mercy remains; should I stumble again, I’m caught in your grace…. My heart and my soul, I give you control, consume me from the inside out. Let justice and praise become my embrace to love you from the inside out. “Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fails; never ending, your glory goes beyond all things, and the cry of my heart is to bring you praise from the inside out, Lord my soul cries out. Yes, from the inside out Lord my souls cries out”
I love these lyrics because they speak right to my heart about how God began a work in my life by changing the parts of my life that were unseen, that were severely in need of mending. His grace and mercy never left me even though my actions many times deserved far worse. His never- ending grace and love kept picking me up from the scrap heap of my wrong thoughts, words and deeds. He dusted me off and got me back in the game with the simple advice to try and do better next time, not in my strength but in His. He knew me better than I knew myself and He alone knew that although I could look good on the “outside” for all the world to see, that on the “inside,” I was damaged goods, severely in need of a Savior.
This was His personal touch on my life, but it was really no different than when He walked the earth and let others who were willing to be vulnerable and admit their sinful condition see His great love in action. One group however who were always opposed to Jesus’s message of Godly redemption via repentance were the Religious Leaders of the day known as the Pharisees. Jesus made it clear in his ministry that He didn’t come for those who thought they “had it all together” or those who used their position of perceived power to cast judgment on others. Instead, Jesus made it known that he came for the sick, those who needed a Doctor. But not always a physical Doctor, but rather those who knew their souls needed mending. That would be all of us, according to Romans 3:23!
In Mark 2:17 Jesus says, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” The fact that Jesus often ate with and hung out with those the Pharisees considered unworthy drove them crazy. They lorded their religiosity over the common folks who they saw as sinners and Jesus was indignant. He wasted no words in letting them know that although on the “outside you appear to people as righteous, on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Jesus was no fan of theirs. They had it all wrong. They thought their legalism, which made the “outside” look good, would save them from God’s wrath and judgment.
However, it was their “insides” which were hardened with judgement and contempt that made them unwilling and unable to see their great need for a Savior. That is why the lyrics above speak so clearly and powerfully to my heart and soul. It is only because of Jesus’s love, mercy and grace that He can make our insides right before God. All we have to do is realize our need for the Doctor. He does the rest and transforms us from the inside out.
Prayer: Father God, thank you that you love us from the inside out. Though we stumble and fail a thousand times, still your mercy remains. We are all in need of Jesus, the great physician, to heal our souls. We are so thankful for your love, grace and mercy that never gives up on us. Amen!