Wednesday, January 24, 2007

God #7

But God #7

And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. -- Luke 16:15; English Standard Bible

I've always heard it said that you can't judge a book by its cover. I could tell you a thousand stories of how I've seen this proved true. Some have been very disturbing.

Let me tell you a funny one though. I used to dabble in the fight game a bit. I was scheduled to spar with this little gentleman. I took one look at him and thought, I am going to pound this guy! Let me tell you something...the bell sounded and that little guy hit and kicked me about seven hundred and eighteen times before I could say "Good luck!" Yep, I got fooled by that cover!

There is absolutely nothing funny about today's "But God" devotion. It's about seeing the "real you", just as God sees you.

There are a great many people today who put on a religious act that is an "abomination" to God. I want to be as straight and sincere with you dear people as I possibly can. The people who put on a fake life to impress others are like bad books with pretty covers. The substance of what's inside will come out, and even if it never does to people the Great Reviewer in heaven will open it and reveal all one day. Such a life can be filled with all the frills grammar can afford and say nothing of interest to Him who sees through the fancy language and into empty appearances of importance.

I long for people to just be real with me. I want people to simply be themselves. Lost people are easier to deal with sometimes because they are just being lost. Lying, selfishness, hiding their real identities are all "normal" things.

I cannot imagine how God must feel about such things. You see, people can fool me. I am pretty gullible. Most anyone can pull the wool over my eyes. It's not that way with God.

When Jesus confronted those religious leaders He called them out big-time! Particularly, He scolded them about their attitude toward money, but the principle applied to many things. At one point Jesus issued this scathing indictment: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27; ESV). What a incriminating statement for those that play at religion and holiness!

God knows the hearts and motives of every single person's acts and thoughts. That is a sobering truth.

Let's play dress up, go to church and smile and let the world think everything is okay. Let's pretend to love God and honor every ritual known to man. Let's find some kind of justification for every sin we enjoy.

Or let's just get real.

Sure, we can pull off the game with our church members, friends, coworkers, and even most of our family (though we only THINK we are fooling many of them). We can do it, at least for a while. We can fool the world and even ourselves.

But God...

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