FROM THE INSIDE OUT Andy Hollifield 3-1-19
Mark 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
Have you ever stopped to think about where an oak tree or stalk of corn comes from? How does it grow and become the finished product that it is? It first begins with a seed but that doesn’t make it grow. The seed just determines what it will wind up being. What produces the tree or the stalk and eventually the fruit is what goes on inside the seed or acorn. You don’t really know if that seed or acorn is good until the change takes place on the inside and there underneath the topsoil is a corn stalk or a mighty oak. No that’s not how it works either. The only way we can know if that seed or acorn is good is by what happens on the inside of it. But when that change happens inside of the seed or acorn, it is only known to those around when the sprout that got produced inside that seed, breaks open the seed or acorn and shoots up through the ground. That is how you know a change has taken place on the inside is because eventually it will show up on the outside.
I know that is a long way of saying something simple. I’m no plant biologist but I learned that in elementary school. Jesus explained it a lot quicker in Matthew 13 and Mark 4 speaking about the mustard seed. He spoke about the fact that even though the mustard seed was the smallest of all seeds, mustard is the greatest of all herbs and also becomes a great tree under which birds can lodge. That’s simple enough but when it comes to the Lord living in our heart, some people who have accepted the Lord never grow because the seed has not changed in their heart. If that seed never takes root in their heart, there will be no evidence on the outside. The reason it never changes and changes them is because they have put forth no effort to nurture that seed. They have not been studying in God’s word, they never water that seed with righteous living, and never fertilize it with fellowship of saints to make it grow. Without the effort to nurture that seed, the sprout on the inside will never be able to break the seed containing it and shoot up through the flesh and begin to control the flesh and produce a change on the outside because of the change on the inside.
This lady with the issue of blood knew immediately when she touched Jesus, that something had happened inside of her. Mark 5:33 says that she knew what was done in her. Luke 8:47 says she knew she wasn’t hid. It didn’t take but a split second for the change inside to become apparent to everyone around her. She hadn’t planned it that way. She had figured she would just touch his clothes and be healed and go on about her business believing in him and always be grateful. She was wrong on that part. Jesus knew that someone with faith had touched him because virtue went out of him. Virtue is defined in one meaning as “righteousness.” If the righteousness of God gets planted in our hearts, we won’t be able to contain it. It will eventually break through and shoot up and produce fruit in our lives to the point it will be apparent to all those around us.
I believe that in our church world today, we have a lot of people who are changing the outside without ever having received Christ’ righteousness on the inside making a change in our lives. It is a movement being promoted from pulpits by teachers having itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3). I have a problem with folks trying to change the outside and not the inside. Paul said in Romans 10:10 “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Where is your heart located? It is on the inside. The change takes place on the inside and then is manifested by God’s grace on the outside. Receiving God’s righteousness only works by getting it inside first by believing in your heart and then it will show up on the outside by the way you live. The woman above knew that she was not hid. The reason was that it became apparent to all around that something had taken place that changed her. You can’t do it in reverse order and change the flesh first because our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). I worry about people who claim to have had a life-changing experience of salvation with the Lord, but you don’t never see where it changed their life. If that is the kind of salvation you have, you don’t have salvation from the Lord. God always works from the inside out. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!