|Mark 7:20-23 (TLB)|
|20 And then he added, “It is the thought-life that pollutes. 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, 22 wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God.”|
|Jesus had to get the Pharisees straight on their line of thinking, for they went out of their way to criticize Jesus and His followers for not following lots of manmade rules, while all the while harboring awful thoughts inside of them. As we study this today, I can assure you that we are no different, and would therefore recommend that you do some soul searching and honestly consider whether you are truly fit for meeting the God of this universe.|
|Before we think too critically of the Pharisees, please allow me to challenge us to think about the many unwritten rules that we use when analyzing (judging) the behavior of those that we come into contact with. Often this really gets into our pious minds as to whether we think a person is fit for the kingdom of God. We tend to consider whether the place a person visits make them unfit; the words they say that might offend God; the people they hang around, that makes them guilty by association; the church they attend or the frequency of their weekly visits to that place of worship; or even the duration of their time meditating on God’s Word. Does this sound familiar friends? What do you think, do we really need God to judge our friends? So what exactly is it that God is teaching us here? He certainly is not teaching us how to judge someone, so we could erase that thought! Instead, I believe that God is teaching us to:
This Brother cannot tell you what you need to do to align yourselves properly with God. So present yourselves to God and ask Him to assume, or resume leadership in your life. Ask Him to fill you with His power and His grace, so that others will see Jesus in everything that you say, hear or do, knowing that He will ultimately reflect in the way you speak or act around others.
|Lord Jesus, who is man that You would sacrifice Your life for us? Who is man that You would use us to minister in Your name and share Your gospel with others? Lord, we want to be fit vessels that will represent You well before a lost and dying world, but we can’t do it on our own. To be filled with You, we must totally surrender ourselves to You and ask You to assume control. Please work in and through us to accomplish Your perfect will for mankind, especially my family and friends within my realm of influence. The glory belongs to You as Your perfect will is accomplished oh Lord. AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Hypocritical’ Category
Bible Reference: Isaiah 1:14–17
Bible Text: I’m sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning. When you put on your next prayer-performance, I’ll be looking the other way. No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I’ll not be listening. And do you know why? Because you’ve been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody. Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don’t have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong. Learn to do good. Work for justice. Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless. Go to bat for the defenseless.
Bible Translation: The Message (MSG)
In the days that Isaiah addressed his writings, there were sacrifices at the temple for just about every thing imaginable. However, based on my understanding of Isaiah’s message, I believe God became very agitated at all of the sacrifices while still seeing the same folk who brought the sacrifices live just like the rest of the world, trying to cover up their worldliness by bringing sacrifices and visiting the temple often. In The Message, I feel like Eugene Peterson did a great job in presenting this scripture in terms that really opens our minds to where, and how, we still live today. For I believe that way too often we sit back and read about Old Testament teachings and just can’t get over the awful things they did back then. Friends, unfortunately I believe that God had these words placed in His Book of Instruction (the Bible), because He knew that His people who are often called by His name today, would still try to pull off the same nonsense, assuming that their testimony to man is taken at surface level, because they just can’t see what goes on in the hearts and minds of so called ‘Christians’. I believe that God would have me remind us today that it is the testimony before God that really matters, for only He can match the words from our lips with the intent of our heart, our very thoughts, and our outward actions. I can give you a good example, I believe: I live in a small community where it appears like very few attend a regular church service – a normal indication of an inward decision they may have made to the Lord. My wife and I usually hear comments about how often we leave for a church meeting of one type or another. And not that we have attained perfection, by any stretch of our imagination, but we often hear remarks about our attitude, our commitment and our stand as a Christian. Imagine if those things were opposing to the first remark that I said we often hear, do you suppose we would ever be able to witness to our neighbor. However, as indicated already, God is able to deal with me in passages of scripture like this, because He knows my very thoughts, and He sees my actions in all aspects of life, so I feel like God is ministering to me in much the same way that I pray you would be impacted as you meditate on this devotional today. Friends, I am convinced that God wants us to reach for the perfection that He demonstrated for us, and stop using the excuses like “Well, I’m only human”, or “Oops, I shouldn’t have thought or said that, but God knows I’m not perfect”. I believe that God wants the church to be the church. In other words, I believe that He desires to see the world become confused when they deal with Christians and find them to be totally different to the rest of the world. In fact, it should make them feel like they just had an encounter with Jesus! Unfortunately we still find today that there are multiple opportunities for folk to attend church. I pray that as we exit the doors of our churches, we would carry with us the likeness of Jesus Christ. That we would unashamedly be His hands; His feet and His witness to a world that desperately need Him as Savior and Lord. May our actions, attitudes and thoughts enhance the picture that the world sees, and not be a stumbling block to those who need to know our Savior, because of the hypocrisy that they may witness in our lives.
Heavenly Father, You were so serious about Your love for us, that You allowed Your very own Son to die a cruel death for our salvation. Yet I believe that You probably have as much need as ever before to be upset at us for being so casual about our Christian life and walk here on earth. Please forgive us Lord, and renew within us a right spirit so that the words from our lips, the thoughts from our hearts and the desires of our very being, may always be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock; our Redeemer; our Savior and our Lord, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
THE HOLY BIBLE (God’s Word Translation – 1 John 1:6-10): 6 If we say, “We have a relationship with God” and yet live in the dark, we’re lying. We aren’t being truthful. 7 But if we live in the light in the same way that God is in the light, we have a relationship with each other. And the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we say, “We aren’t sinful” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, he forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong. 10 If we say, “We have never sinned,” we turn God into a liar and his Word is not in us.
THOUGHTS: There is a saying, that if something quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, it probably is a duck! In these verses this morning we must first recognize that in the introductory words to these verses John tells us that he is sharing words with us that came directly from his interaction with Jesus Himself. I believe that the words in these verses are really powerful, yet simply very true. For how can we say that we belong to Christ, yet no part of our actions or words show any evidence of that? Friends, if we have committed to a change in our lives, then that change will be evident in every aspect of our lives. Let’s always be cognizant of the fact that God knows and sees all things, so there is no value in trying to fool Him like we do our friends or relatives. Ever heard of a chain smoker that tells everyone that they stopped smoking, yet every evening their spouse could smell smoke on their breath and on their clothes? This is precisely what happens in the face of Jesus when we tell Him, and the world, that we have sought His forgiveness and committed our lives wholeheartedly to Him, yet we live like we always did prior to our conversion. We make a mockery of ourselves and have just shown everyone that we can’t be trusted by our word. Friends, we may think that we can fool some of the people some of the time, but rest assured that we can never fool all of the people all of the time. Furthermore, we can never fool God. As I have been challenged and reminded to always live in the light of knowing that God knows, hears and sees every detail of my life, may I also encourage you to do the same? Our God is an awesome God, who loves and cares about us a great deal. Let’s not disappoint Him with our littleness in trying to fool the Creator of all things, our all-knowing God.
PRAYER: Father, what an eye-opener/reminder for us today! We are so accustomed to making ourselves look good in the face of our friends and/or bosses, that we perform, say and act the way that we know they are expecting from us. We have been reminded that You are well aware of our outward expressions that are representative of our inward self, and that there is no value in Your eyes when we do this, other than to prove to humans that we have really not changed anything about our lives. Please forgive us Lord, and please continue to work on us towards an honest relationship with You that will be reflected in every aspect of our lives. We Need You every Hour and every day, oh Lord. Thank You for Your faithfulness! I bring my petitions before You in the name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!