Friday, August 14, 2009

August 14, 2009

"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." Matthew 22:34-40

This is an amazing encounter between a man who was trying to look good and a Man Who WAS good. This Pharisee soon discovered he was out of his league. His lame question which was intended to trap Jesus allowed Jesus to turn the spotlight on their hypocrisy.

The Pharisess had taken the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses and had expanded them to 632 rules and regulations. Now, thanks to them, instead of being guilty of breaking 10 rules they could be guilty of breaking them by the hundreds. Hypocrisy was elevated to a whole new level.

Jesus got to the very heart of the hypocrisy problem which is, well........the heart. He says the solution to hypocrisy is to fully engage the heart and the mind.

Loving God with all your heart and all your mind solves the basic issues that lead to hypocrisy - double-mindedness and a divided heart. And when you love God with all your heart He will give you love for others. When you love others with a godly love you don't feel pressure to impress them.

Believing that they could keep ALL the commandments led to the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. Jesus was trying to simplify it for them. They only had to focus on two things - one thing, really. Just love God with all your heart and live in that relationship and He will do the rest. He will be your righteousness. He will love through you. His Spirit will lead you in truth.

Jesus has the cure for hypocrisy. Jesus IS the cure for hypocrisy. He will cure you from religion and bring you into relationship.

Are you tired of trying to impress God? Worn out by being religious? Exhausted by trying to achieve self-righteousness? Stop lying to yourself and start loving God. It is not about anything you can do - its about what He has done!

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