July 14, 2022

Forsake Appearances

Key Verse to Read and Treasure

Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. (Matthew 22:16, ESV)

For Insight

For some, appearances matter more than anything. They go to great lengths to appear to have it all together, know the answers to every question, have life or relationships under complete control, appearing to be emotionally, mentally, relationally, financially sound and spiritually grounded but are anything but. Leave it to them and they would have you think nothing throws them, confuses them, gives them pause, puts them in a quandary or leaves them without answers. Their life is built on sand, a house of cards waiting to topple, and they live in fear of someone discovering they are not as grounded, together or on top of things as they appear to be. What a burdened way to live!

The man who came to Jesus was trying to throw a trick question at Him to make Him stumble, but Jesus was not one who built His life or ministry on appearances; He was the real deal—take Him or leave Him, accept or reject Him—He was not interested in making Himself appear anything other than who He was nor seeking the approval of man, or please others.

Just as much as God approves and applauds truth and authenticity, the devil loves to set us up for failure and embarrassment. He loves to shame us and to accuse us, so he promotes and encourages doing things for the sake of appearances because he knows in the secret places and in the times when no one is looking we are trembling in fear, anxious, worried, stressing, planning, plotting, arranging. God does not want us to burden ourselves with putting up the perfect presentation or building a life, ministry, church, marriage, business or anything else on appearances but desires us to be comfortable with the truth of who and what we are, and knowing because the Father accepts us for who we are (fragile, bruised, broken, forgiven sinners saved by the grace of God and sacrifice of Jesus) that is enough.

Praying Matthew 22: 16

Jesus, we appreciate that You are not swayed by appearances, we desire to be the very same way. Sometimes we are impressed by what others appear to be and sometimes we also try to appear to be things we are not. Keep us from this kind of fraudulent living and lifestyle and help us to become comfortable with who and what we are; to be more like You in this and every way. Amen   

Prayer Challenge

Confess the ways you tend to put up appearances and ask the Lord to help you reject the temptation to do so.  

Digging Deeper

Read John 7:24

Read James 4:13-17

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