Look Beyond The Externals

Look Beyond The Externals

Let’s continue looking at our lives and look beyond the externals; remember it’s not what we see externally, but what is actually going on internally.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16

Let’s take an example of Jesus. Jesus talks about letting your light shine, letting others see your good deeds. What’s the difference? The difference is your motivation…why you are doing it. Jesus says to do good deeds so others see them…and give God the glory! You do them not to have them see you, but to have them see God.

The people of Jesus’ day, wanted Jesus to come displaying awesome power especially after the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus actually tells them that.

Jesus could have done as they requested but that would not be the real Jesus. Jesus wanted us to strip away all those distractions as good as they were so He could show us the real character of His heart. 

It is the reason He was born in a stable, associated with the outcasts, cared for the sick and finally gave up His life for us on a cross. For those who look only on the externals, Jesus seems a loser, but for those who look at the heart, Jesus is authentic, believable and attractive. Who else would set aside all His glory to win the heart of those He loves – you and me?

Remember yesterday we looked at Aladdin and how he falsely tried to impress. Aladdin still thinks it is in all the stuff that he never had. He’s trying to impress Jasmine with externals. Jasmine is looking at the internals.

So, Aladdin goes to Genie to ask his opinion. What should he do? Genie says to level with her…to tell her the truth. 

We should resist the temptation to try to be someone else. You do not need fame, fortune, fashion or any of those things we strive after to fit in; you just need to be yourself. 

You have been created in God’s image. You are special and interesting and worth knowing just as you are so be yourself and you will come across far more authentic and believable and attractive.

Jesus is not impressed by what we do or what we have but who we are. Jesus has the ability to open doors for us, He makes us worthy just by the fact we belong to Him. We are sons and daughters of the living God. How impressive is that?

So are we trying to impress others? 

How do you try to impress people…with what you wear, what you drive, your house, weekend exploits or position at work?

Aladdin discovered deceiving a girl you love is serious business. Trying to fool the ever-present God is even more serious. 

Jesus calls us to grow beyond showy holiness to genuine inner love. 

Finally, in one part of the film, Jasmine demanded of Aladdin “Who are you? Tell the truth.” What barriers make it difficult to face the truth about ourselves?

This week do a caring, generous thing without letting anyone know about it. Consider your feelings afterwards. You will learn a lot about yourself.

Stay safe and blessed.