Matthew 23:25 Clean the Inside

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.” Matthew 23:25

Jesus is in the process of bringing many accusations against the Pharisees and teachers of the law. These are the people who are leading the temple worship.

In this verse He tells them that they clean the outside of the cup, but leave the inside dirty.

Cleaning the outside of a dish is good. It will make the dish sparkle when it is setting on the shelf in the cupboard. Would you use that same cup if you pulled it off the shelf and looked in it and saw coffee and coffee grinds in the bottom?

No one would want it. You would also be upset with whoever said it was clean and put it in the cupboard.

Jesus was looking at the Pharisees in the same way. They stated that they were clean because they went through the ceremonial washings and did all the correct sacrifices. Yet, Jesus stated that inside they were full of greed and self-indulgence.

Greed and self-indulgence is the center of self. It is looking out for yourself before anyone else, including God. The Pharisees were saying to the people “do as I say, not as I do”. They knew the laws of God, and yet broke them all the time in their hearts and lives in private.

Why do you do or say what you do and say? All too often it is to build yourself up. Many people in position, in and outside the church, often are doing things for themselves, rather than to help someone else.

Jesus had stated that every believer is supposed to be a servant to everyone else. You are to live like Jesus lived. You are to give like God gave.

It is not about you. It is not about what you can get. It is all about God, being like Jesus, and bringing others to Jesus.

Make sure your life is clean on the inside. Make sure your heart is clean before God of all greed and self. Let God’s Holy Spirit reveal to you where there is sin in your heart and allow yourself to be cleaned.

I pray today that you will seek to be clean before God; that you will allow the Holy Spirit to clean you; that you will be the same both inside and outside; that you will remove all greed in your life; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 23:12 Don’t Be Humbled

“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

Men and women like to be exalted, to be lifted up, praised, and honored. It will make them feel like they have done something good or of great value.

There is nothing wrong in getting honored for something you have done. The problem comes in when you seek that honor yourself.

Very often people place themselves in a position of honor in order to receive that praise. They are telling people to look at them and see what they have done. These people are full of pride.

Pride tells everyone to look at me and lift me up. In Proverbs, you are told that pride comes right before a fall. Now, Jesus is stating the same thing. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled.

To be humbled, is to be put down, put into your place. No matter who you are, you are not as high or great as you may think you are. If you climb up on a pedestal, remember that now you are higher and have farther to fall.

Every person puts on their pants the same way, one leg at a time. This makes you no different from anyone else. Everyone also has been given the breath of life by God. Without God no one can do anything. Without God you are nothing.

Keeping this in mind, you must then humble yourself. Be real with yourself and with others. You may be doing great things, but it is because God has allowed you to and given you that ability. It is not because you are great.

Be willing to be the low man on the totem pole or ladder. God will lift you up in His time. Jesus said whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Just as Joseph was lifted up to the position of second in command of Egypt, so God may lift you up in the right time.

Don’t lift yourself up, it is a long fall down. Let God lift you up and you will rise and stay much higher. Jesus humbled Himself by dying on the cross, can you do any less?

I pray today that you will let God use you as a servant to others; that you will not lift yourself up, but let God honor you; that your heart will not be filled with pride; that you will keep yourself humble before God and others; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 22:31-32 God of the Living

“But about the resurrection of the dead–have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Matthew 22:31-32

Some Sadducees had come to Jesus trying to trap Him. They knew the Law stated that if a man dies without children, his wife is to marry his brother. They set up a situation where one is married multiple times with no children. Then they ask whose wife she will be in heaven.

Jesus first points out that there is no marriage in heaven. Then He points out that God is the God of the living, not the dead.

The Sadducees were focused on those that were dead. They could not comprehend that when people die physically, they are not necessarily dead spiritually.

Every person born has died spiritually with God. Sin brings about the spiritual death, a separation from God.

When a person dies physically, their spirit lives on. The difference is where their spirit will live–heaven or hell. It will be an eternal life of suffering or of blessing.

God is worshipped by those who are living. When a person begins to serve and worship God, he is truly living life. Jesus stated that He came to give life and life abundantly.

It is easy to look at God as the God of your parents or the founding fathers. You need to see God as the God of the living, both past and present.

Jesus is alive, even today. If you see Jesus as the God of the living, you will see that you can have that life today also. You will know that you can have that personal relationship directly with God, rather than just through someone else’s words and experience.

Seek the God of the living today. Know the true life that He can give you. Know that all who die today in Jesus, will be seen some day again in heaven.

I pray today that you will know God in a personal way; that you will know the life God provides; that you will not fear death; and that God will help you show others the life God can provide.

Matthew 22:14 Many Invited

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14

Jesus made a statement that is difficult for some to accept. How can a loving God invite many, but only choose a few? Why would He not chose everyone?

Look at the parable that this statement comes from. It is about a king who was putting on a wedding. People who were of “good” standing were invited. These were the influential business people. Every one of them came up with an excuse as to not be there for the wedding.

The king then goes out to the streets and invites the common, “low-life” people to the wedding. These people do not have the proper clothing for such a wedding. The king is willing to provide the needed clothing.

At the wedding there was a man who was there that did not have on the proper clothing. The king kicks him out of the wedding ceremony.

The king had invited many people to the wedding, but only those who were properly dressed were allowed in. Those who were not properly dressed were not allowed in.

God sent Jesus to save every person in the world. Every person is called to be a child of God. Every person has a chance to be saved and get into heaven, but the only ones who will actually be saved and get into heaven are those who believe and follow Jesus.

In yourself, you are not dressed to get into heaven. You are dressed in sin and filthy rags. You have on the clothing of the world. Even with all the good works you do, you are still in dirty, raggedy clothing.

Only the righteous clothing of Jesus can cloth you correctly. When you believe in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, you can be clothed with His righteousness.

When you have on Jesus, God sees Jesus in you and will allow you to be saved and get into heaven. Any other clothing is disrespectful to God and will not be allowed into heaven.

Make sure that your life is clothed with Jesus. Live, act, and talk like Jesus did. Put on His righteousness and be saved. Make sure you are ready for the great wedding when Jesus returns for His bride–the church, which you are a part of.

I pray today that God will reveal ways to be more like Jesus; that you will put on the righteousness of Jesus; that you will trust Jesus alone for your salvation; and that you will allow God to dress you for heaven.

Matthew 21:44 Don’t Be Crushed

“Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” Matthew 21:44

Jesus had just quoted from Psalm 118:22-23, about the stone builders rejected becoming the cornerstone. The cornerstone is the most important stone in a building. It is what holds the building up and together.

Jesus calls Himself that stone, the chief cornerstone. In today’s verse, He states that anyone who falls on that stone will be broken, but if it falls on the person, he will be crushed.

Falling on Jesus is a point of giving up your life to Him. Letting Him have full control.

In life, many people feel they are in absolute control of their lives. Everything seems to be going just right for them. When a person comes to Jesus, they realize that they really do not have any control. This will break a person up.

No one likes to be told they are not in control of their own lives. No one likes to be told they are a failure and a sinner. Yet, that is just what each person is, without Jesus.

Coming to Jesus will break those walls down. He will break the arguments, thoughts, and customs of this world that has taken control in your life.

There are those who have chosen not to follow Jesus. When the end comes and Jesus returns, it will be the time the rock, Jesus, falls on them. At that point, there will be no more hope or salvation. They will be crushed and their soul destroyed for eternity in hell.

In the workplace, often a boss will tell the workers that if they make a mistake, it is better that they come forward first with it, then for him to find out second-hand. There may be a price to pay for the mistake, but it will not be as great as if found out by second sources.

In the same way, if you come to Jesus first, He is willing to forgive you. Admit you are broke and need to be fixed. If Jesus comes to you first, in the end times, He will crush you.

Allow yourself to be broken by Jesus today and receive the life He is willing to give you.

I pray today that you will fall on Jesus; that you will allow yourself to be broken by Jesus; that God will reveal faults in your life; that you will allow God to make you into the person He wants you to be; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 21:13 Den of Robbers

“It is written, he said to them, My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21:13

During the time of a feast, the people were buying and selling in the temple courts. They were doing these things at high prices, robbing the people. Jesus goes in and makes a mess and tells them they had turned God’s house into a den of robbers. He quoted from Isaiah 56:7.

Some churches will take this verse and ban any type of selling in the church. This will even include fundraising for any ministries. I will not try to argue for or against fund-raising using this verse.

Often, however, in churches you will see the church as a den of robbers. Many people in the church will rob others of joy by placing great burdens on them. They will require certain dress codes, a long list of things to do and not do, and demands on ministry.

Others will rob the people by taking excessive amounts of money and not being wise stewards with it. Raising money for a ministry is not a sin. It is a sin to take that money and not use it properly or wisely.

People in churches will also rob God in the church. During the time of worship they are thinking about a situation at home or work, or what they will do after church service. During the service God should be the focus.

Be careful in how you act and what you say. What you say or do can rob others of what God has given them, or it could rob God of what is His.

Today, you are the temple of God. God’s temple should be a house of prayer. Do not allow God’s temple become a den of robbers. Do not rob others or God. Give all praise, prayer and worship to God. Build others up in the Lord Jesus Christ, not man-made rules.

I pray today that God will help you to focus on Him; that you will worship God at all times; that you will build up others in Jesus; that you will be a house of prayer to God; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 20:26-28 Be a Servant

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-28

A mother of some of the disciples came to Jesus asking that they could sit at His sides in His kingdom. Jesus stated that it was not His decision to make. Then He tells them that He did not come to be served but to serve.

People in the world are usually looking for ways to get things and be served. All over the USA people are asking what the government can do for them. Men and women like to be served.

In the workplace, many people want to be in a supervisory position so that they can be served. Most people do not like to be at the bottom of the ladder, doing the serving.

In the church, people want the glory positions that everyone sees. Most do not like to be the one to clean the bathrooms, or sweep and mop the floors. They would rather be in the teaching, leading position.

Yet, would you want to go to a church that had filthy dirty floors?
I know I would not. Someone has to be the one to do the “dirty”, unseen work. That unseen work is what makes a difference in the place.

Jesus stated that you are to serve in order to be great. He even went to the point of being a slave to someone in order to be the first.

The whole purpose Jesus came to the earth was to die for you and everyone else. That is not a picture of being served, but of serving.

Ask God how you can serve someone today. Get rid of the pride in your life, and become the servant. In God’s eyes you will great.

There are many ways you can serve another person. Be willing to serve those you are close to, those you don’t know, and even those you do not care for. God will use you in great ways if you are willing to serve.

I pray today that God will show you ways you can serve others; that God will fill you with His love for others so you can serve them; that God will strengthen you and redeem your time; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.