Topic: Hypocritical? [Sunday 26, February 2017]
Memorise: But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites? Matthew 22:18
Read: Luke 11:37-44 (KJV)
39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?
41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.
Bible in One Year: Genesis 21:23, Isaiah 45:14-25
One of the characteristics which the Holy Spirit warns us will be rife in the last days is hypocrisy (1 Timothy 4:2). No wonder the Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that many who expect to be granted access through the pearly gates will be turned back on the last day (Luke 13:24-27). Do you know that many bishops, pastors, general overseers, apostles, etc who are professing Christ today will not make it on the day of judgement? May that not be your lot in Jesus’ Name. To prevent this from happening to you, you need to periodically examine yourself to see if you are still in the faith, as received from the Lord. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says,
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Ask yourself if your name is still written in the Book of Life. Does the Spirit of God still bear witness with your spirit that you are a bona fide child of God? Is your conscience free from guilt and dead works? Can the devil and his agents testify that truly, you are no longer in their camp? Don’t pretend to be a child of God when you know you are on your way to perdition.
The greatest challenges Jesus had with the Pharisees was the issue of their mindset. They appeared to have good intentions, but it was all a lie. Jesus knew the state of their hearts. The human heart is like a computer. Whatever you feed it with will determine what comes out of it. The heart of a man is what shapes his destiny. The reason why some people come to church and are still not blessed is the state of their heart. Their hypocritical hearts are hardened, and so they cannot receive anything from God. If the Pharisees had allowed the message of Jesus Christ to penetrate their hearts, their perception would have been different. If you allow God to work on your heart, your breakthrough will be immeasurable. Our heart is a reflection of who we are. Every time Jesus performed a miracle, instead of being happy that someone in need had received help from God, the Scribes and Pharisees would rather question by what authority He did it (John 9:13-27, Luke 20:1-2). That is what a hypocritical heart looks like. I wish we all knew that God is watching not just our actions but also our motives. He hears and watches everything we do behind closed doors. There is nothing hidden from Him that will not be exposed on the last day. Hypocrites know how to find faults in the lives of others, but their own lives are like sepulchres which appear beautiful on the outside but are full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27). God wants us to reflect a life of righteousness and transparency, a life that radiates the glory of God, a life of virtue and of good works.
Prayer Point: Father, deliver me from all forms of self-deception.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional guide was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, one of the largest evangelical church in the world and also the President of Christ the Redeemer’s Ministries.