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Whitewashed Tombs

February 18, 2019 0 Comments

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of the bones of the dead and every kind of impurity. In the same way, on the outside you seem righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” – Matthew 23:27-28

As a pastor I frequently stand before my church, Life Church in Conyers Georgia, and preach a sermon / lesson based on the Bible; the Word of God. If I am honest, I almost always feel completely inadequate to take on that task. I can relate with the Apostle Paul when he said he is chief among sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) I wonder, am I a Whitewashed Tomb?

Most people show up on Sunday’s with their church face on. The try to hide their pain and most of all they try to cover up their sin.

We are all hypocrites

It is easy to read this passage and seem to think this only applies to church leaders (and it does apply). However, we all have a tendency to apply a lot of whitewash to our own lives.

Yes, we are hypocrites. People love to attack the church saying we are nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. And they are correct. The church has always been filled with broken, sinful, messed up people. Instead of trying to cover it up, we need to recognize our sin, confess it and accept the full forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

After Paul admits to being the chief among sinners he proclaims:

But I received mercy for this reason, so that in me, the worst of them, Christ Jesus might demonstrate his extraordinary patience as an example to those who would believe in him for eternal life. – 1 Timothy 1:16

God is illogical (at least to our human minds he is illogical); he chooses to work through broken, sinful messed up people.

As a pastor one of the greatest things I can do is to make sure the people who call Life Church family is to make sure I let them know my true self. No I don’t confess all my sins before them but I want them to know that I am human and have the same struggles they have. My spirit and my flesh war within me.

For in my inner self I delight in God’s law, but I see a different law in the parts of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and taking me prisoner to the law of sin in the parts of my body. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am serving the law of God, but with my flesh, the law of sin. – Romans 7:22-25

I want to wake up every day with the realization that I am 110% dependent on the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and in the total dependency in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Come Lord Jesus and change our hearts. Renew our minds and reorder our desires and passions to line up with your Holy Law. Come Lord Jesus; our only hope is if you work this in us by the power of your Holy Spirit. May we never lose sight of your grace and mercy.

Photograph is my own. It is a cemetery at an old church in Norwood Georgia.

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Filed in: All In, Faith, Life

About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 30 years. We currently live in McDonough Georgia with our daughter. Our two boys have left the nest and we have two wonderful grand kids. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Bear.