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Matthew 23:27-28

“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.

Sometimes the duplicity in my life really gets me down. I love the Lord, but that love does not always show up in my thoughts, words or actions. Take this morning, for instance. My son has some challenges at his first “real” job, which have been quite frustrating. In trying to counsel him through it I got upset, not so much at him as at the situation, and my tone turned ugly. I could tell it was upsetting him but I kept burrowing in. I left the house in my anger, throwing a book across the garage in the process. Fifteen minutes later I called to apologize and seek forgiveness. Nice dad, huh? What a great Christian role model.

I host a daily Christian talk radio show. I teach the Scriptures. I organize and lead large-scale Christian events. I’m working on a Masters in Christian Ethics at a nationally known seminary. I look “beautiful”, Godly and effective on the outside…but on the inside, from time-to-time, I’m unclean and full of hypocrisy and wickedness. Do you ever see yourself that way?

Rather than continuing to kick a dead horse, I’d like to throw some encouragement your way…and mine. When we see ourselves like this we should rejoice! It’s a great sign that the Holy Spirit is alive and well inside of us, and convicting us of our sins. It’s also a great sign of your sanctification, or the road to becoming more Christ-like. You WANT to me more clean…more holy…more like your Savior, and THAT is another reason why these moments make you feel bad. Praise God that we feel anything when it comes to our sin. I don’t know about you, but I can remember the days when my sin didn’t bug me at all.

God’s promises are abundant and powerful. Take 1 John 1:9 for example. When you confess your sins God is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness! How about 2 Cor. 5:19? Through Christ, God reconciles us to Himself, not counting our sins against us! Finally, consider John 8:32. Through Christ we know the Truth, and that Truth sets us free from the power of sin! Christ is always there to pick us up and cheer us on while supplying the very power we need to do so. Can I get an “amen?”

Let Christ wash you and empower you. Allow His love of you to flow through your life and into the lives of everyone around you. Be slow to anger, slow to speak and quick to listen (James 1:19). Jesus has removed the “bones of the dead” from your heart so walk in that victory and love today!

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