DATE POSTED: Saturday, 2023-03-18
WRITTEN AT: O’Brien, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 12:8-10
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)
BIBLE TEXT: 8 That’s why I keep telling you not to be intimidated. If you identify unashamedly with Me before others, I, the Son of Man, will affirm you before God and all the heavenly messengers. 9 But if you deny Me before others, you will be denied before God and all the heavenly messengers. 10 People can speak a word against Me, the Son of Man, and the sin is forgivable. But they can go too far, slandering the testimony of the Holy Spirit by rejecting His message about Me, and they won’t be forgiven for that.
OBSERVATION: Jesus had just addressed the subject of hypocrisy, a word that is rooted in the idea of hiding behind a mask, as if ashamed about someone or something. Do you suppose Jesus still sees this in Christians today, or have we learned from the great preaching of today, or possibly from the Bible, that we can be honest about our relationship with Jesus? Hopefully you will examine that thought in your own life as you read my full devotional today!
APPLICATION: To better understand where Jesus may have been coming from, it might be best that we consider how many people use the word ‘hypocrite’ today. If we blame others for abusing alcohol, yet we drink excessively behind closed doors, then we may be referred to as a ‘hypocrite’. If we say we are a Christian, yet there is no sign of Christ-like living in us, then we may be referred to as a ‘hypocrite’. In Jesus’ day, the Jews held claim to being the beloved children of God, so they heavily criticized the Gentiles who could never be ‘good enough’ for the Jews. What do you suppose might be our greatest form of hypocrisy today, as seen by Jesus? Inside our church walls, I believe that all Christians might feel free to claim the name of Jesus, and lift up ‘holy’ hands in praise to Him for His awesome works. And while I may accuse Christians of the road they travel that causes them to lose their witness, I can really only share with you my own personal list of why Jesus might refer to me as a hypocrite. As I leave the church grounds, I might be faced with a reckless driver, at least in my view, and I might struggle with being the same loving and caring child of God to them, as I was able to do inside the church. Some are afraid to attach a bumper sticker with words that might indicate they are ‘Christian’, because they’re afraid that other drivers might look at their driving, or their hand motions and realize that they are not as patient, kind and loving as anything they’ve learned about Jesus. What would Jesus do to those drivers? While waiting on line at the restaurant, we see what appears to be a friend of the host move straight up to the front of the line and escorted into the restaurant. Our faces will probably change color, our demeanor will probably change from bad to worse, and we will not enjoy our meal as much because of, what appeared to us as, unfair practices. What would Jesus do? In dealing with customers while at work, you might do an excellent job for your boss, but what happens when irate customers come in, and they take out their frustration on you? Are you able to keep your calm and let Jesus shine through you to love that customer and still help them all you can? Or do they become even more frustrated because they didn’t see the slightest hint of Jesus in your character? What might Jesus do in that exact scenario? Friends, as long as we are on earth, Satan will find ways to test us to see if he could dissuade us from the idea of keeping Jesus being prominent in our lives. Jesus knew how Satan would be after His disciples, so He helped them prepare the way for many of the temptations that would come their way. Hopefully your church has some strong ministries in place to help you prepare for, and/or harden your stance, while you wait for the day that God will call you out of here. Please try to take advantage of ministries at your church, Sunday School; Small groups; Men’s group; or as applicable – Ladies Group; Prayer and/or Bible Study gatherings; etc. Not only will you find peace in knowing that others share your frustration and/or temptations, but in many cases these groups will be encourages to pray one for another. This will act as a sharpening tool for your faith, persistence and your walk with the Lord. Times with these groups of Christian friends will serve to strengthen your ties with the Lord. Without these, you will face the constant bombardment of the evil one, but you will have no incentive, strength or encouragement to stand firm in your faith. We are challenged in every way by the evil one, so having no support on our side will really serve to weaken us and pull us away from our relationship with the Savior of the World. There is no need to worry when you follow Jesus in obedience to His Word, so be faithful to the One you surrendered your life over to and, stand committed and firm in the same faith that saved you.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: If you identify unashamedly with Me before others, I, the Son of Man, will affirm you before God and all the heavenly messengers! Praise God, if I am proud of Jesus before my peers, He will brag on me before the Father and His angels!
PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, You endured beatings for me, even though You could have called ten thousand angels to protect every lash of the whip. You endured the embarrassment of the townspeople as you were drug through the streets towards Calvary, and You could have called ten thousand angels to protect you from the lashes and relieve the weight of the cross you had to carry. You endured the agony of being pierced and hung on a cross before Your mother and the crowd – just like the two other criminals, even though they deserved their punishment. Again, You could have called ten thousand angels to protect You, but You were determined to do Your Father’s will, and not Your own. You did all this so that I might have access to an eternity in Heaven with our Holy and Righteous God. Thank You Lord Jesus! I may be called a hypocrite here on earth because I cringe from the questions of the enemy or try to avoid confrontation from them. I’m sure the unsaved must look on and question if I really do have a relationship with You. For my readers and/or listeners who may be facing the same challenge as I do, please draw them close and give them reason today to know that You are close and therefore every reason to stay committed to their union with You and to gain strength from You when times are really challenging here on earth. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: 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 might 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 subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!