As I’ve said, Jesus isn’t satisfied with a few adjustments on the outside that make us look a little more “Christian”.
He wants to do a complete renovation on our heart. He wants to change us from the inside out.
Being Clean on the Outside Is Not the Point
Good behavior by itself is not our ultimate goal as Christ Followers.
Look at what Jesus said to those who focused on behavior alone:
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 NIV
The religious folks of Jesus’ day were caught up in their traditions and laws – the external. They missed the point and they judged everyone else harshly for not doing things their way. They were mean and tyrannical and it went to their heads. It blinded them.
God’s desire is not reluctant or forced obedience.
God wants what is best for you, which is just another way of saying He LOVES you. When you love someone, you do all that you can to take care of them and you yearn for their good.
Let Jesus Clean the Inside
In the Bible, Jesus communicates to us a very different way of viewing and interacting with the world around us. But, it all BEGINS with being transformed on the inside – in our hearts.
He equates this spiritual transformation to being born again because you emerge SO different.
If we remain lost, wandering and living according to our own reasoning, the Bible tells us the results we’ll get:
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Galatians 5:19-21 NLT
All these things leave us feeling unfulfilled, insignificant and empty. They can seem like fun for awhile, but in the end, they become a bottomless pit that can never be filled.
The renovation that Jesus wants you to submit to will produce the fruit of the Spirit:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV
See the difference in these two lists? Which do you prefer? Which will you choose for yourself?
Jesus Offers a Renovation and Rest
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29 NLT
Even if you’ve been a Christian for a long time, you may have never really submitted to Christ’s complete spiritual renovation. He has rest for you. Let Him teach and transform you.