Week 14 Sunday

Clean Inside and Out

Today’s scripture selection: Mark 7-8

Key verses: Mark 7:6-7

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
    They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”

It’s an old saying: “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.”

I’m not sure when or where I first heard it – but I’ve known about it for a long time.  And, sometimes when I look at my disorganized desk or cluttered closets – those words come back to haunt me.

But they are more than just something a Grandma tells her family to get them to clean up their act.  They are spiritual counsel.

When confronting a group who prided themselves on keeping things “nice and tidy” but neglected matters of spiritual cleanliness – Jesus quoted words from scripture.  And he reminded them that it’s what’s on the inside that matters most.

Did he have anything against religious piety or ritual?  No.  Did he advocate living life as a slob?  Not that I know of.

He simply wanted them to remember that housecleaning begins with a mental and spiritual change, long before it is exhibited outwardly.

We too need a reminder now and then.

While doing everything right on the outside is important – having our house in order internally is essential.

And, ultimately, it’s what comes out of heart that makes us clean or “dirty” as the case may be.

Is your typical language uplifting – or negative – tearing others down?  Is your typical attitude one of joyful appreciation of life – or a daily reciting of what’s wrong with the world (or others)?

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  And it doesn’t have much to do with whether the dishes are done or not.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, cleanse me from within, that on the outside, I may be an instrument of your grace.  AMEN.

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