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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Inside Counts!

"'Are you so dull?' He asked.  'Don't you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?'" (Mark 7:18).

I have a pool!  It's one of the highlights of the summer season.  Seeing my children jump, splash, laugh and giggle in and around the water floods my heart with joy.  Recently, however, the pump that is connected to the pool's filter stopped working.  Although the problem ended up being an electrical problem, it prompted me to do something I have never done in the two and a half seasons that I've run the pool.  I opened up the filter and took out the cartridge.  It was disgusting.  Outside looking at the tank, you'd never guess what was going on on the inside.  It was dark brown, slimy and grimy.  It would never effectively provide for the pool all it was created and designed for until I dedicated some care and attention to that which may not be seen, but is definitely noticed by what it can and cannot do.  So it is with the inside of our lives.

There was so much attention placed on the outward appearance and the acceptance of what everyone else saw.  Jesus pointed out this apparent ignorance among His team.  It wasn't about how well you could dress the outside.  If the inside didn't change, the outside could only serve as a temporary mask that would eventually be removed, exposing that which was never dealt with.

What do people see in you?  What do they think of you?  Who do you feel that you need to impress?  These inevitable, almost unavoidable thoughts and questions, can not serve as the GPS for your life.  You must take a constant inventory of what is going on in your heart.  The inside will affect the outside.  The outside will pass away, as the inside will press on.

What does the inside of your heart look like?  Like pool pumps, cars, and the inside of a refrigerator filled with leftovers, it needs regular maintenance and upkeep.  Ask God, as David did in Psalm 139, to search your heart and to reveal to you what may be standing in the way between where you are and the more complete greatness that He has for you!

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