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What an Ugly Mug (4 of 6)
Series: Stumbling Blocks to Spirituality
Matthew 23:25-26; Luke 11:38-41
INTRO: My son Jeremy often came in from playing outside to eat supper with mud all over him ... his hands were so dirty but he sat ready to eat. Then the strangest thing would happen, he'd ask for a clean spoon for dessert because the one he used for his dinner had food particles still on it; all the while ignoring his own dirty hands! (Some adults are like this too!)
How like this we are sometimes spiritually ... so concerned about some speck of dirt on some outward action of someone else, while failing to notice the dirty hands we have ourselves! It is an easy error to fall prey to! The Pharisees and Scribes had already done this with their hearts; they were like cups that were washed on the outside but dirty inside!
This is unappetizing to God and to mankind, just as it is unappetizing to you when you go into a restaurant and when you finish the soup and you find dirt or old food stuck to the bottom of the bowl ... even though the outside looked so good! We would find this offensive ... and God finds this offensive in our lives!
ILLUS: The number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim God with their mouths and deny Him with their lifestyles is what an unbelieving world finds simply unbelievable. -- Karl Rahner, quoted in the Wittenburg Door (June/July l988). Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 8.
PROP. SENT: The Word of God teaches us that God is deeply concerned about what we are in our hearts, and not just what we seem to be by our appearance!
I. SOAP IN THE HAND Matt. 23:25-26; Luke 11:38-39
A. Unrelenting Myths Matt. 23:25; Luke 11:38
1. The Talmud records a Jew by the name of AKHIBHA (ak-heeb-a) – A man who died of thirst rather than break the Jewish customs of washing before eating, he used the little water he had to wash and so had none to drink, and thus died of thirst! This was rec ...
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