Years ago, Queen Elizabeth traveled to one of Great Britain’s poorer colonies. Prior to her arrival, the local people tirelessly worked to prepare for a royal welcome. They especially gave attention to the routes her motorcade would take from the airport into the city and other points the Queen would visit during her stay.

The local government made sure that each house on the Queen’s journey received a fresh coat of paint. However, they only painted the front of the houses. They gave the appearance of prosperity and economic satisfaction, but it was a mere superficial display rather than an honest revelation of the country’s true condition.

Following Christ is more than just putting on a display that others can see. It’s more than church attendance, cleaning up your language, and putting some money in the offering plate. Unfortunately, there are those who want to give the appearance that they have it all together. They strive to look good on the outside while their inner life is dirty and depressing. They think they can produce change from the outside in, but in reality it’s just the opposite.

Following Christ starts deep down on the inside. It involves heart change. When a heart is changed, we become new creations from the inside out. When we face our dirt and realize the essence of the gospel story is that Jesus took care of our sins on the cross, He brings a change of heart. He cleans us up on the inside, and the byproduct of a new heart is an entirely different countenance on the outside.

The apostle Paul wrote that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

When we experience the life change that Jesus brings, he makes us a new person. It’s a complete renovation! Not only does He paint every side on the outside of our house, He paints the whole inside of the house too. Has your spiritual house been completely renovated or have you only painted the front of the house?