February 12, 2023


You might think by this point in Jesus’ ministry (Luke 16) that he would have washed his hands of all these religious leaders who just didn’t have ears to hear what he was saying, but he hasn’t. The vinedresser is still planting and watering and looking for fruit, even as they “ridiculed him” (Luke 16:14) for what he is saying.

In this Sunday’s passage he will mercifully call them out one more time.

And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15)

Curb appeal is a realtor’s term for the attractiveness of a house as seen from some distance (“from the curb”) by a prospective buyer. Maybe you’ve sold a home and you went through that curb appeal process – a fresh coat of paint on the outside, plant some new flowers in the front planters, maybe some new kitchen cabinet counters, replace the carpet. Anything that might get that buyer in the door to consider making an offer.

But at some point the building inspector will come and open every closet, poke around in the attic space, check out the foundation, and inspect the plumbing. He’ll shine that little flashlight of his into every nook and cranny and then write his report. Anything that may have escaped the eyes of the prospective buyer will not escape his.

Spiritual “curb appeal” will not cut it with God. We may be able to fool everyone else with our “curb appeal,” but not God. God knows the heart. He is the ultimate heart inspector. But the good news that these pharisees and scribes just didn’t seem to get (do you?) is that the ultimate heart inspector was sending His only Son to the cross to give us more than curb appeal, but to make us new to the core!

Are you living for spiritual curb appeal and ignoring the inconvenient truth that God knows your heart and that in the end, his assessment is the only one that matters? Jesus has words of life and hope for you in this week’s passage in the Gospel of Luke.

Rob Lister will be preaching Luke 16:14-18 and Kenny Clark will be leading our sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And as we pray for ourselves and others, Psalm 51:9–10 models how to approach the God who knows our hearts. Rather than trying to hide our sins from His face (as if we ever could) we say to Him:

Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.”

See you Sunday, Grace. Come hungry!

Song Link of the Week

All Sufficient Merit by Shane and Shane (feat. Bethany Barnard)

In love He condescended eternal now in time
A life without a blemish the Maker made to die
The law could never save us our lawlessness had won
Until the pure and spotless lamb had finally come

It is done it is finished no more debt I owe
Paid in full all sufficient merit now my own