| Hypocrisy |
[i]I ran across this today in a devotional called "You will Never be the Same Devotional."[/i]
To live hypocritically means to think that we are committed Christians, to pray much, read the Bible, be active in a Christian fellowship, perhaps even do missionary work, yet not practise what we read in the Bible, pray about and tell others to do. As hypocrites we do not realize that we have fallen into the sleep of the self-certain, who are sure that they have been saved and will go to heaven one day, while Satan laughs scornfully. To a great extent we do not practise what we preach. This is a shocking fact; it ought to shake us up. When we live such a hypocritical life, we become guilty towards our fellow men. We not only destroy the credibility of the Gospel for others, but we even cause them to reject Jesus. And we ourselves will be struck by Jesus' shocking verdict, "The hypocrites will be cast into outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth" Mat_24:51. As hypocrites we will become children of hell Mat_23:15.
Our hypocrisy provokes the wrath of God, because He is only pleased when we lead our everyday life according to His Word. There is scarcely any other sin that Jesus threatens to judge so severely as the sin of hypocrisy. Therefore, we have to put all our efforts into being freed from the chains of this sin.
How does this happen? First, by recognizing the root of hypocrisy. Jesus called the pious, hypocritical Pharisees "blind" Mat_23:16. What were they blind about? Their weaknesses and their sins. They thought they were perfect. So whenever we think we are good Christians, we ought to be filled with holy uncertainty and ask ourselves whether we are leading a hypocritical life. If we do not want to fall into this sin, we have to ask Jesus ever anew, "Place me in the light of Your truth-reveal in Your light everything in my life that is not pure!"
To be saved from this sin and to be kept from falling into it entails asking for the light of truth over and over again. Our eyes have to be opened so that we can see our blindness, our self-certainty and sleepiness. For only if we can see our sins and be frightened by them, can we bring them to Jesus and be freed. A sick person can only be helped if he recognizes and admits that he is sick. Otherwise he would not go to the doctor and the disease would get worse and worse, and, if it is dangerous, it could lead to death. Disciples of Jesus should follow this advice: Do not be sure that you are all right. Unknown to us there may be a very serious sin in God's sight that is covered up by a pious life. Only if we have a holy uncertainty and alertness, can we deal with the danger of hypocrisy.
We will probably all experience the same thing. Whenever we bring our thoughts, words and actions into the light of truth and measure our lives quite concretely according to the standards of Holy Scripture, we will be amazed and frightened at the difference between pretence and reality in our lives. We know what is in the Scriptures, yet we do not practise it in our lives. We confuse knowledge and action. If we use the Holy Scriptures as our standards, we will begin to hate hypocrisy, and our repentance will drive us to a battle of faith to lead a genuine life of discipleship.
Being alert in our effort to live up to the standards of the Word of God, requires time for meditation. It is advisable to take one Sunday every month, or any other definite day (besides the usual daily quiet time) to settle accounts. Then we will have several hours of quiet when we can do our spiritual bookkeeping, using the commandments of God as a mirror of conscience, and asking God to test the genuineness of our discipleship. His light will fall into our imaginary world and we will recognize the truth about ourselves and will once again recognize sin for what it is.
It will also help us if we ask those around us to tell us what we do and say that is wrong. Only those who are willing to hear the truth about themselves will be freed from the sin of hypocrisy. Those who admit their hypocrisy will be compelled to go to the Physician, who alone can heal this disease: Jesus, who is the Truth. His redemption is the guarantee-if we claim it in faith-that we can be freed from all untruthfulness in our pious lives.
| 2009/2/13 8:54||Profile|
| Re: Hypocrisy |
I was also looking through today's Devotional Sermon by George H Morrison. Here is a quote from it:
He is a wise father who knows his child, but he is a wiser child who knows himself.
Here is the whole section that the above quote is taken from.
[i]The Passing of Time
In the first place, we are searched and known by the slow and steady passing of the years. There is a revealing power in the flight of time just because time is the minister of God. In heaven there will be no more time; there will be no more need of any searching ministry. There we shall know even as we are known, in the burning and shining of the light of God. But here, where the light of God is dimmed and broken, we are urged forward through the course of years, and the light of passing time achieves on earth what the light of the Presence will achieve in glory.
[b]He is a wise father who knows his child, but he is a wiser child who knows himself.[/b] Untested by actual contact with the world, as children we dream our dreams in the sunshine of the morning. And then comes life with all its harsh reality and the changes of the years, and we turn around on the swift flight of time and say, "O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me." We may not have suffered anything profound, we may not have achieved anything splendid. Our life may have moved along in quiet routine, not outwardly different from the lives of thousands. Yet however dull and uneventful, God has so ordered the flight of time for us that we know far more about ourselves now than we knew in the dawn of our morning. Brought into touch with duty and fellowmen, we have begun to see our limitations. We know in a measure what we cannot do, and thank God, we know in a measure what we can do. And underneath it all we have discerned the side of our nature which leans towards heaven, and the other side on which there is the door that opens to the filthiness of hell. It doesn't take any terrible experience to learn our power and weaknesses. Each single day which makes up the passing years, slowly and inevitably shows it. So by the pressure of evolving timeand it is not we, but God, who so evolves itfor better or for worse we come to say "O Lord, thou hast searched me and hast known me."[/i]
| 2009/2/13 9:00||Profile|