Do we like to do things so other people see what we are doing? Maybe we pray publicly at church, or we do things just so we can be seen by other people.
Is our Christian faith outward, or inward? Is it just a show for others, or is our heart truly changed?
Matt 12:38 Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,and the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: which devour widows' houses and for a pretence make long prayers. These shall receive greater damnation.
Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.
The Jews used to tear their clothes, as an outward sign. Here, we are told it is not in this outward sign, but rather inwardly in our hearts. True repentance comes from the heart and only the Lord knows if we are truly sorry.
In the society in which we live, so much is focused in making a name for oneself and being seen and obtaining honours from men. We are indeed egocentric at heart, worshipping self. Other religions are an outward show, certain rituals must be performed, or certain clothing worn. True Christianity is no such thing, it is a religion of the heart. A heart truly humbled in repentance for all the sin we have committed and fully giving ourselves as a living sacrifice to God, accepting his free gift of salvation. Yes, that's right, it is a free gift we need do nothing except come in humble repentance and accept his sacrifice on the cross, which paid for our sin.That is not to say we come to Jesus and then carry on as before, that is not true. If we still want to carry on in sin, we need to question our salvation, as true Christians we will want to follow Jesus and do good and be very sorry when we get it wrong. It is not egocentric, but God focused and content for him to have all the glory.
Amen, that we need not a whole list of rituals. Amen that salvation is free. At one time in my younger days, I thought I was a Christian, but nothing changed, in fact I wanted to carry on in sin, just as before. A couple of years later, I had the most awful conviction and burden of sin. I confessed it all and my spiritual eyes were opened. I am pleased to say my burden went and I had a new joy!
If we are not convicted of sin we need to pray for that conviction and take care that we are not one who is just an outward show. A bit like a Christmas present, with all fancy wrappings, and yet when we open it contains nothing, it is just a showcase for a shop front.
Jenny is a Christian home educating Mum of 9 blessings, living in the flat plains of England's green and pleasant land. She blogs at Be Fruitful.