, Muskogee, OK

September 17, 2013

Purity goes way beyond the surface

By Barrett Vanlandingham
Fort Faith

— Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34).”

Have you ever been surprised when you looked at someone and thought they were one way, but when they opened their mouth and began to speak, they turned out to be something else?

In some cases it’s a pleasant surprise, while in other instances very disappointing.

This scenario crossed my mind the other day when I turned on the faucet, and filled up my glass with nice clear drinking water.

But then I discovered that what I thought was going to be a much-needed thirst quencher turned out to be … well … something that left a very bad taste in my mouth!

You may have noticed that Fort Gibson’s water has tasted like dirt lately. And when you ask, “What’s the deal?” Someone usually responds, “Oh, the lake turned over.” It happens at least once a year in many lakes as cooler water sinks to the bottom, and warmer water rises to the surface.

The impurities become stirred up, and the end result is that our water tastes bad even when it looks clean.

So, I called the water department and spoke to a nice lady who informed me that they actually have a technology to solve this problem.

It’s called Powdered Activated Carbon Treatment.

But in order for PACT to work, the plant has to add it to the water before it comes to your house.

When done correctly, PACT gets rid of any foul odor or bad taste in the water.

Christians have a “pact” with God. The question is whether we will allow Him to treat our heart and mind so that the sweet aroma we present to God and others in a public way, may be an extension of the true joy and real inner beauty that God desires for us.

In the Old Testament, God told a rebellious group of worshippers that He was sick of their worship because they continued to do wrong (Isaiah 1).

In the New Testament, Jesus had stern words for teachers of the law and the Pharisees. “You hypocrites!

You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness (Matthew 23:27-28).”

Overcoming the image of hypocrisy has always been one of the most difficult challenges for Christians.

May God bless us all as we strive to reflect the heart of Jesus inside and out.

Have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or