Tuesday, August 30, 2011
"Don't Be a Walking Billboard for Christianity, LIVE IT"
Good Evening to All!
Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels for everyone to see. They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting 20places. And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers . . . .
You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You'
re nothing but show-offs. You're like tombs that have been whitewashed. On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth. That's what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good. (Matthew 23:5-7, 27-28 CEV) In the King James Version, He called them Hypocrites.
I personally think we should ALL (myself included) concentrate more on "practicing what we preach". I try, but a lot of times I fall short.
Jesus said these things to bring notice to the problems of the Jewish religious leaders, scribes and Pharisees because they advocated strict obedience not only to God's laws but also to their own laws and traditions. They went as far as to wear Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms.
It sounds to me like they liked to flaunt their religious "power", but when it came to walking the walk, they totally missed it.
Jesus pointed out to them that all of that meant nothing if they didn't live the verses which they had put on their bodies.
He pointed out the ugliness of their inner greed and of their selfishness. Selfishness is focusing on what we want without regard for others or the hurt we might cause them. Greed is an excessive desire for possessions or position. The Pharisees thought they could win god's favor by doing the "right" things. Their pride became more important to them than God, and they wanted to show off and "look good" to gain the peoples attention and praise.
I like the last paragraph of the devotional I read. It said "We can't win God's favor or life with Him forever by anything we do--only through our faith in Jesus. The first antidote to selfishness, greed, and pride is faith and a humble look at ourselves. Then gratitude and generosity can flow. When we share what we have and share our lives with others, we have no need to show off.
If we are truly living the Christian way of life and abiding by God's Word, then we have no need to "be a walking billboard for Christianity". Having tattoos of Christian art, or wearing loads of crosses. People will be able to tell we are Christians by our attitudes, and how we act. If we give to others, whether it be our time, money, food whatever is needed, that is the Christian way. As a matter of fact, it even speaks against doing this in God's Word. He wants His love to be able to shine through and people to focus on it rather than what we look like, with all the "accessories or the body art" that is a distraction.
The thing is, if we have the right motives for doing things Jesus will be "up front" at all times. We will do Everything IN HIS NAME, not for us to gain recognition.
The more we place our faith in God, give Him the glory, the easier it will become until it will become natural to us. To do things just because He wants us to, not because it makes us look good. God looks at the motives in our hearts for everything we do. He knows whether it's for Him or for our own pride.
We need to take stock in everything we do. Are we doing it for ourselves, or for God? I we doing it for His Glory, or for recognition for ourselves?
I'll be the first to admit it. I have done things where I expected someone to at least come up and say thank you, or good job, and got my feelings hurt when it didn't happen. It has taken a GOOD WHILE to MAKE my flesh not think that way anymore. Now, whatever I do, before I do it I say out loud, "Lord, I'm doing this in Your Name, help me to do it to the best of my ability for Your Glory, and that has helped me tremendously with my "prideful" attitude.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!