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Are You Clean?
 

On a sheet of paper have everyone answer the following questions:

On average.
- How many showers or baths do you take a week?
- How many times a week do you brush you teeth?
- How many minutes per day do you spend getting ready for work/school?

If you dropped a piece of bread on your kitchen floor, would you eat it?

Would you ever use your spouse’s/roommate’s toothbrush?

Q: What do these question have in common?
Hygiene, cleanliness, taking care of yourself

Q: Are people in Southern Cal into taking care of themselves? How so?
Health, hygiene, physical fitness, fashion, style, trends, music clothes, cars, hobbies, appearance, image, public relations

Q: What does it mean to be image conscious?

Q: Are Southern Californians image conscious? How so?

Marketing advertising hype is all based on image, appearance

Consider the hype, promotion, fluff over a can of beer, a car, a cigarette

Example: Ronald Reagan and his “Photo opportunities”

The “Car Phone” a dummy car phone that’s only purpose is to impress.

You might think that Californians invented the ideas of image consciousness but there were some people into appearances a LONG time age!

Matthew 15:1-9
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
4 For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,'
6 he is not to 'honor his father ' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8 "'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.'"


Pharisees were concerned about cleanliness, Jesus talked about real cleanliness

Q: How were the Pharisees being image conscious here?
Ceremonial washing, gave appearance of taking care of parents, but didn’t

Q: Why was Jesus so upset with them?
- They had the appearance of being loving and devoted, but they weren’t
- They were really selfish and greedy

One thing I love about Jesus, is that he always told the truth. He never minced words, but told people straight up the truth... and he did it in love.

Matthew 23:1-7
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2 "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.
3 So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.
4 They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 "Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;
7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'


Matthew 23:23-28
23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 "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.
26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 "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 dead men's bones and everything unclean.
28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.


These are super religious people and Jesus blasts them

Q: Why is Jesus so hard on them?
- They were concerned about how they looked, not with being righteous
- They were blinded by religion, hypocritical
- They were focused on the external appearance, not true righteousness

Q: What is Jesus concerned about?
The heart.... the inside of the cup!

Q: Why is he so concerned about the heart?
- Jesus wants us to be IN LOVE with God
- He wants us to have a “WANT TO” attitude, not a “HAVE TO” attitude

EXAMPLE. How would you like to be married to someone with didn’t want to be married to you?

You might DO all the right things, but if you weren’t in love....

The challenge for us is to not be like the Pharisees: They cleaned the outside of the cup, but left the inside dirty.

Q: How do we show more concern for the outside of the cup than the inside?
- Show up for church or Bible Talk, but not want to be there
- Talk real spiritual around spiritual people
- Act like we have no sin, hide our flaws, cover our faults
- Put on a religious front, but hate it when you are alone

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life.

Your heart is so important. It is what you are!

Q: Why aren’t we more concerned about the inside of the cup?
- It is harder, it takes more work, more persistence
- It isn’t as glamorous and flashy
- It isn’t as obvious.... it’s easy to dress nice, talk nice, act spiritual, but very hard to BE spiritual

Some of you:
- Need to start cleaning the inside of the dish
- Need to spend less energy LOOKING good, and more energy being good

Worry more about what people think of you than what God thinks of you

Play religion, but your heart is far from God

Jesus has the answers. He does heart transplants

Challenge

Start making the effort to be right with God, not just play religion

Grab someone who is spiritual and get some help

Start reading / studying the Bible to see how to clean the inside of the dish.