It’s easy to be a hypocritical Christian. The comparison game is human nature, so naturally we can start to think well at least I don’t do that…
I’ve been a Christian since I was young, but I don’t believe I took Christianity seriously all my life. I knew the things I shouldn’t do, but I never had a heart of obedience quite as big as my heart of guilt. If I felt guilty enough, I wanted that to convince me not to sin. It wasn’t a matter of loving God enough to stop, or at least it wasn’t until I was older.
I say all that to say Christians should be more careful. I was a good kid, and I was a Christian in my younger days, but I don’t know that I was a Christ follower in the areas I most needed to be one in, in those areas where I had so much influence.
See, I didn’t get drunk, but I did drink too much. I didn’t have sex, but I might have gone a little too far. I didn’t exactly lie, but I didn’t tell the whole truth either. In my mind, I wasn’t perfect, but I certainly wasn’t as bad as “her” or “him.”
However, the bottom line still remains that I was and am not as good as Christ. Which means that I am imperfect and flawed. I sin. The comparison of my sin to others was bad. But the hypocrisy of my Christianity was just plain sad.
James 2:10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.
Matthew 7:1-3 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat other. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.
“And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?”
As I read all that Christ endured, for me, I’m brought to tears. I’m nearly brought to shame in the behavior of mankind, mostly because that behavior is still alive today. And I just love Jesus. I think about how much I am not like Him, and I want to be. I really do. But he was so wonderful. He set such a great example for our ordinary lives, by enduring His extreme trials.
Let’s check this out:
12 But when the leading priests and the elders made their accusations against him, Jesus remained silent. 13 “Don’t you hear all these charges they are bringing against you?” Pilate demanded. 14 But Jesus made no response to any of the charges, much to the governor’s surprise.
When I’m right, it takes all that I have not to acknowledge how right I am. When I’m wrong, I still want to explain my perspective. But here we have Jesus, God, refusing to gloat. He’s refusing to state His case, although He has every right to if He wants to.
How divine is that? To know there is no need to prove your innocence or divinity, because you are God. What an example.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.
- Why do we want to procrastinate or to not try?
- We don’t want to work wholeheartedly – Colossians 3:23-24; Ephesians 6:7
- Selfishness says, “I don’t feel like it. So, I don’t have to.” – Jeremiah 17:9
- Pride says, “I shouldn’t have to.” – John 13:1-17 “Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet”
- Eric Thomas, “Behind your feelings is nothing.”
How do we overcome procrastination?
- Be immediate – Matthew 25:16, “He went at once…”
- Appreciate time – Psalm 90:12
- Discernment – Psalm 32:8; 1 Corinthians 6:12, 10:23 (Just because it’s good doesn’t mean it’s necessary)
- Serve – Galatians 2:10, 6:10; Proverbs 21:13; Psalm 82:3-4
So, last week, we were watching a choir, and my uncle was asking why he couldn’t hear anything. Somehow, the TV had been muted, so my cousin said, the TV is muted so turn mute off.
What’s interesting is that we could see what was happening, but couldn’t take part in it because we couldn’t hear. We had the resource, we had the access, we were tuned in and could see it, but we couldn’t get involved. Not until we activated something.
We had the access and the resource, but we hadn’t activated them. And the same thing applies to our lives. Today, we see needs. We know we can meet them. We have access to people who could use our help. We have the resources. But have we activated them?
We’re waiting on something else to happen when all along we have the access and resources in our own hands to get involved and make it work.
Tomorrow is only found in the calendar of fools. – Og Mandino
Every week we are challenged to take the next step, everyday really. So, why don’t we? We don’t have time? We don’t have resources? We’re waiting? In the last couple of months, I’ve heard several references to Pharaoh and the frogs. So, I felt like procrastination would be a great topic of focus. After all, I can’t tell you how many times I put off preparing this lesson.
As we approach a new year very soon, there will be moments that we put off taking the next step. Or we may be procrastinating right now because we’ll start next week or next year. So, let’s not wait any longer and jump into this lesson!
The question is, why do we wait?
- Waiting on God.
- Are we waiting on a sign from God or do we just want Him to do everything?
- Exodus 8:8-10
- Active waiting – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Matthew 7:7
- Excuses – Proverbs 22:13, 26:13
- Annie, “Tomorrow” – Tomorrow might only be a day away, but it is ALWAYS a day away.
- What if God is preparing me today for what I’m trying to put off for tomorrow?
- Fear of Failure (FOF)
- What makes failure fearful?
- God can’t bless an effort I don’t make. – Psalm 90:17
- Proverbs 16:3; 1 Corinthians 1:27; Isaiah 55:8-9
- If God’s ways aren’t like ours, then wouldn’t His idea of success be different as well?
Where’s my daddy?
That’s my 2 year old nephew’s only concern. When his dad comes around his only care in the world is being where daddy is. It really doesn’t matter that usually it’s about being wherever someone who has food or candy is. When Daddy is home, it’s only about him. Where is my Daddy? Where is my Daddy?
Am I ever like that?
When I wake up in the morning is the first thought that comes to mind about being with my Heavenly Father? When I’m home am I adamant on being where God is? When I’m “away’ from Him do I long to be with Him?
Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m like that. I want to be, but I don’t think I am. Because even when I have my alone time with God, it’s so easy to think about what I need to do next. It’s so easy to start thinking about what’s on my to-do list. And it’s easy to put that alone time on a to-do list, when it’s not a “to-do” but a priority of life.
I want to be where Daddy is. And not because I’m supposed to want to be there, but because I really want to be there. Because I know I need to be there. Because I know He wants me there.
In Matthew 18:3 the Bible tells us to be like children. And after watching my nephew, I think I finally know why…
Matthew 18:3 (NIV) And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
In Bible study we discussed love. And I think that love has been so romanticized by society that we don’t understand what it truly is. Love isn’t about what you do for me, but it’s about what I do for you too. We forget that.
Love is service. My exhibition of love is not about me receiving gifts and service from you, but about me giving to you. Love is how I serve you.
Love is also ignoring some things. Love is accepting some of those traits that aren’t appealing because that’s who you are. Because that’s what makes you unique. It’s knowing what’s worth fighting about and what’s worth fighting for.
Love requires you to inconvenience yourself a little bit. Not because love is difficult, but because it’s not always easy. Love isn’t love because it’s easy all the time. Love is love because it requires something of you.
Matthew 5:43-47 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.
Yesterday I talked about how easy it is to worry. And then how hard it is once you start. Today I want us to look at Matthew 9:29.
The he touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
For some, this is a very exciting verse to read. For others, it is scary. Why? Faith levels.
If you read the Bible and at any point read that God says based on your faith, and you don’t get excited, that’s not good. You see, the Bible is full of promises and confirmations. God is not any different today than He was back then (Hebrews 13:8). He is the same God that will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). He is the same God that has never failed, and guess what, He won’t fail today.
So why do we fail to plant our mustard seed? Why are so afraid to have faith in a God that will water and fertilize the very seed that we cling so tightly on? Why are we still operating at ground zero faith levels?
I think it’s time we start individually asking ourselves, because of my faith, what will happen?