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The Heart of God (Episode VIII)

February 21, 2008

Proverbs 11:9  “An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.”

The following link; located on Susans site, highlights the dangers associated with chronic hypocricy. 

 http://faithwalk.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/whatever-happened-to-the-good-news-part-one/ 

It’s a most heartbreaking situation; all the more so when one considers the eternal souls that are being hindered because of professing christians are primarily concerned with securing monitary gain.  (I Timothy 6:5-7)  Yet there’s nothing new under the sun and each of us shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 

Spiritual disingenuousness has been in existance for generations; varying in degrees from one who simply wants to be the center of attention, to those who use a facade of christianity for material gain.  (Even at the expence of others.)  In the sixth chapter of Matthew, Jesus brings up the topic of “putting on a religious show” to impress the contemporaries instead of seeking the Lord in sincerety.  Our fallen nature likes to be held in high regard by those in the ambience and therefore a continual examining of ourselves is a must; lest we begin seeking the praises of people over our relationship with the Lord Jesus.  The shift is subtle, and if were not atuned, can transpire without causing so much as a raised eyebrow. 

Matthew 6:1-2  “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your father which is in heaven.  Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be seen of men.  Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

Jesus spoke much about putting on a show but having a heart that’s far from God.   Engaging in activities; many of which, if only their heart was in the right place, would result in the laying up of heavenly treasure.  But because it was a show and not reflective of the true intentions of the heart, it profited them nothing.  I would list matthew 7:22 in the following set of passages, however, since it’s found in the sermon on the mount, it will be covered later on in this series of posts.  That is, unless the Russian submarines sitting off our coast are ordered to carry out their assignments before I get that far.  (We never know what a day may hold in store and these are very strange times) 

Matthew 23:27  “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleanness.”

Luke 11:52  “Woe unto you, lawyers!  for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye enter not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.”

Luke 16:15  “And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

Putting on a show with no regard to the eternal souls who may be genuinely seeking the Holy One of Israel.  Hypocricy, spiritual pride, and merchandising the faith are three things which grieve the Lord more than words are able to describe.  Yet all three are alive and flourishing in this age of acute apostasy where anyone who teaches how to have “your best life now” instead of taking up your cross, is sure to draw a crowd.  It points, all the more, to the lateness of the hour and to the truth that, if it were possible, even the very elect would be deceived.  The lack of basic discernment in these days is heartbreaking. 

This is a side track, but it’s something that I’ve noticed lately.  Those four words, “Your Best Life Now” have, in effect, become a proverb of our day.  Numerous times, I’ve seen this phrase utilized by folks who are crying out against the shallowness and rampant materialism of our age as gain is associated with godliness.  Sorry for drifting off topic, but the prosperity message is sidetracking the faith of many and has become, what my pastor in Virginia used to term, my “hobby horse.” 

Matthew 6:3-4  “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”

In other words, if our heart is right with the Lord Jesus, we’ll desire to do things for the purpose of pleasing him, serving others, and furthering of the gospel.  Self-notariety will not even be a consideration; nor should it be.  The only name that we should be seeking to lift up is the name of Jesus Christ, who shed his blood for our sins to save us from spending eternity in a lake of fire where the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever.  When we begin to grasp just how great our salvation is and how imperative it is to reach the lost, we’ll put aside our pettiness and be about the things which truly matter. 

Ours is an age when multi-million dollar ministries dominate the landscape and the airwaves are saturated with wealthy preachers telling how God wants you to have four cars and two boats while souls in Kenya are slipping into eternity.  (Maybe I shouldn’t go here. Uhhhhhhhhhh……well……oh well)  We’ve become so focused on the accumulation of wood hay and stubble that we lose site of the eternal souls who are looking for something authentic to cleave to.  (Please read Susans post at the above link) 

Well, it’s time to wrap this up as going into verse 5 would result in this post being far longer than normal.  “Keeping our heart with all diligence” and “ensuring that Jesus is truly our first love” should be high on our list of priorities.  When our heart is in the wrong place, all of our works become nullified.  But when we give a glass of water in Jesus name for the right reason, the reward is an everlasting one.   Well, it’s time to feed the goats.  I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus. 

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5 comments

  1. Always right to the realities of life, Brother!! I know a few people who go to church as a means of “networking”, which is as bad as the “give me your money so God will bless you ” message. The only reason I am aware of this attitude is that the first guy I heard say it made it a point in not being “embarrassed” about attending church. The saddest part is that so many others are put off from learning why we love Jesus so much by these ideas being in the way. I think of the young in age and the young in belief. . .

    So many stumbling blocks and such a minefield to not become one.

    I keep looking for “the church” to share with and I am so very thankful for you, Tim, and the others you have led me to study with!!

    In Christ’s Love.


  2. Timbob,
    So true. Aren’t Christ’s teachings the best? Oh’ the doctrine of Christ, let it ring!
    Richard


  3. “your best life now” pleases those who follow the leading of the flesh. Jesus came that we might have life and have it in abundance but that abundance is not found in material things. The life I have since I believed in Jesus is my best life but only because my life is hid in Him. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life, your friend in Jesus, Vince.


  4. Hey Timbob, I thought i already commented on this post but apparently not…
    May the Lord help us to be of humble heart and spirit, quietly going about our Fathers business while it is yet day.

    The night comes when no man shall work but it is not yet, and there is work to be done!

    Jesus love and grace to you,

    Susan


  5. Greetings to all. As usual, I’m way behind on commenting, but with the strike in full swing, I may have time to catch up.

    Odale: It’s heartbreaking to know the truth that will set people free and then to see those who are unsaved completely put off concerning the truth because of those who are hypocritical. It is so imperative to be mindful of all that we say and do.

    Richard: Always great to hear from you and about the great things taking place in the streets of Portland.

    Vincent: I wonder if the author of that book is aware that “Your Best life now” has become a proverb of those who seek after the things of this world? I mean iot’s a straight-forward and revealing title.

    Susan: Greetings. Indeed the hour is coming when no man can work. May we all put off everything that’s not of God and be about the business at hand.

    Thanks to all for taking time to comment here. Have a blessed day in Jesus.



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