Mathew 7:15-18, Reference: Luke 6:43 – 45

Appearance is defined by Oxford Dictionary as; a look or seems like; to give impression of doing or being something.  It is also viewed as outward expression of either a true or false image, position, personality or attribute.

Everything God created has this problem of truly appearing or representing outwardly what is on the inside, therefore giving false identity and demonstrating to be what they are not.  A lion or a cat appears to be calm, gentle and quiet outwardly but very wild inwardly.  This disguise enhances their ability of targeting  their prey.  For humans, we see such false expressions like pretense, disguise, make-up and cover-up, all of which mislead or misrepresent about one’s true person.

For a child of God, what should be our approach to this problem?  Should pretence, disguise or make-up be part of our lifestyle?  Is any of these negative attributes part of Godliness and righteousness?  Should the church be permissive of what cannot support spiritual fruits of maturity such as self-control, gentleness and humility?  Does God not care about how we appear externally?  Is order and decency, moderacy and honour not part of our growth and spiritual development process?

From creation, you can recall that God gave identity to all creatures; when mankind failed and found himself naked, God properly clothed them. Genesis 3:21  Lets see God’s opinion about this; in 1st Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel (the prophet), Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward (or see the outward) appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”  Here, God was making direct reference to King Saul’s physical stature and not dressing as is particularly misrepresented.  God can use a tiny man, a child or a huge man like Saul, but when He wants to consider who to use, stature is never part of the qualification, rather, the inner strength, virtues of the heart such as obedience, submission, humility, etc.  Clearly God stated here that man can only look at the physical, what he can see, observe, notice and read meaning to.  So what you present on your physical appearance should follow 1st Corinthians 7:31; 1st Corinthians 8:9-13; 1st Corinthians 10:31-33.  The disciples of Christ were so perfect that the heathen nicknamed them “Like Christ” or “Christians” but you see, even the heathen today are despising the holy God and attracting some negative identity to the church because of how many of us have defiled and compromised decency and godly integrity and moderacy.   1st Corinthians 2:15 “But he that is spiritual judgeth all things”.  God expects us to judge all things that we do.  Dear, if you cannot discern or distinguish right from wrong, then error is certain.  Wrong judgment produces wrong decision.  Godly and right action is a product of right decision.

The heart is the seat by which decisions are made.  That is why Proverbs 4:23 admonishes us to keep it with all diligence for out of it comes issues of life.  What we see, hear, know, meditate and say provides and feed our heart with information and these influence and direct what we do or practice.  There are many opinions and choices to make such as what environment says, what the scripture says and what man say, you are to make a choice of one.  If our heart is already filled with lust ( or evil, canal desires and pleasures of the physical world) as the Bible declares in 1st John 2:15-17 then our choices will follow that way.

Righteousness is not sensual, immodest, seductive, sinfully enticing, No!  Rather, it is sober, temperate, lovely, moderate and humble.

Friend, as a child of God, Proverbs 23:7 says “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” what you are on the inside must be what you show on the outside, no hypocrisy.  How you comport, conduct and present or package yourself is a clear evidence of what you feel like.  There are exceptions as we said before of those who deliberately disguise to deceive; but that does not negate the right standard and quality.  Check what our text says; Jesus clearly pointed out that the substance within is the author of the fruit on the outside. In Mathew 3:8 we are enjoined to bring forth fruit that prove we have really repented.  So if you have been dressing or presenting yourself in the past to benefit from sin or its pleasure, or you were being motivated by reasons other than truth and righteousness, is it correct to maintain that old self and style as a new creature?  The devil now has a popular slogan; “Religion is a thing of the heart” but psalm 40:10 declares “I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation:”  Beloved, someone might be pretending to be born-again and yet live in sin, its no excuse for you to be attached to things of mundane and canal values that takes away the fear, reference and love of God in your heart, replacing it with idols of fashion, with pride, arrogance and stubbornness.  We are the light of the world and its salt.  They are supposed to follow us and not vice-versa.  Why should the devil use you as a symbol of seduction, evil enticement and a stumbling block to others?  Why should the world convert the church to their side and not the way the Lord Jesus commanded, that we should make them His disciples? Why should we convert their ways and lifestyle?  Can one be a Sarah inside and appear like a Jezebel outside?  Or have you forgotten that in James 4:4 “…friendship with the world is enmity against God?  Let who you are be made known to all men.  The Lord is at hand.  Only children are attracted to everything that catches their fancy.  As they grow mature, you see that they adjust to a higher level of reasoning and practice.

As you mature and grow in the Lord, show it practically.  You were not saved with corruptible things like gold and silver, why then should they control your life?

Please consult the following nuggets:
Romans 8:1-10
1st Peter 1:13-25
1st Peter 3:1-6
Romans 12:1-2
James 4:4-6
1st John 2:15-17
2nd Corinthians 7:1
John 6:63
2nd Corinthians 5:17

Jesus loves you, Love Him too.
Remain blessed.

"And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God." Mark 3:11

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