Jesse has a great Word for you today!
After a wonderful sermon on Mark 12:35-44, how can we apply what we heard to our lives? Let’s consider verses 38-40 in particular. “And in His teaching He said, ‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widow’s houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
How can we possibly be compared to these hypocrites? The very idea to accuse us of such arrogance! Oops, who was that I just heard pray for ten minutes using highfalutin words obviously trying to impress everybody with their pious sanctity? Couldn’t be me or any of my Christian friends.
Wow, who was that in the new stylish outfit just off the rack at the most expensive clothing store in town? They definitely won the best dressed contest at church today. The way they keep walking around they seem to be flaunting their fashion statement! Couldn’t be me or any of my Christian friends.
Gee whiz, who is that parading down the center aisle, fashionably late and taking their reserved seats on the front row? They must be dignitaries or heavy tithers. Couldn’t be me or any of my Christian friends.
Reminds me of my golf pro days when the old axiom was “dress and talk like you shoot under par, and it doesn’t matter how you actually play, especially, if you never tee it up!” The clubhouse always had a few of those hypocrites around. They were all eventually exposed and the laugh was on them.
It is human nature to seek attention, acceptance and approval of others, but rarely flattering when we perform as though for an audience, but It’s especially egregious while doing so in a spiritual or religious setting.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
We will always have an audience at church; sometimes many, sometimes few, but our most important audience is One, and He knows our heart and what motivates our actions. He can detect self-righteousness and hypocrisy before we even enter the building. God begs for our humility! We serve an audience of “One”.
Maybe you’ve heard the story of the church member that was recognized as being the humblest man in the congregation? They gave him a beautiful pin to wear. The next Sunday he wore the pin to church and they took it away from him for being proud! As soon as we think we are humble, we are not!
Sometimes I wonder if we don’t still believe that “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck.”
God prefers that you walk like a Christian, talk like a Christian, act like a Christian and have the heart of a Christian so everyone will recognize you as a Christian, because He already knows!