Matthew 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
This is a message to pastors everywhere! Seek the anointing of God that your flock shall not be lost on account of you. And also to all the people, everywhere, for we are the light of guidance for all the unsaved to see the way of God…God’s most perfect way. Seek God’s anointing and guidance. However, we each tend to go too far in our own decisions and our actions and with that bad habit we go beyond the boundaries of God’s ways. So, woe to you and beware of your actions!
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.~Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV
We are to walk in God’s ways, live by God’s rules, be forgiving of others (no matter their transgression against us), be loving of ALL our neighbors, and we are to be that guiding light by which our neighbors, our unbelieving friends, and those we come in contact daily (yes, they too, are our neighbors!) It is only through constant and never ending prayer, reading the word, following and applying those very same words within the Bible.
In order for others to be captivated by our actions, our actions must have changed in some way, shape, or form. Man has this horrible problem with starting and not finishing because it is too hard. Being good is hard, especially if you’ve been doing what was wrong all your life. Just like any bad habit that you, or I, have attempted to break…it is very difficult to accomplish. But you need to remember that God is with you every step of the way. If you need to complain about how tough a time you are having…God’s ear is just a shout and a prayer away from you.
It is sad to admit this, but I get angry all the time. Yes, I do; and sometimes I sin in my anger…more than likely…all the time. Why? Well, that really isn’t relevant because I can come up with all sorts of excuses which are meaningless. The fact is, I know that it is wrong to get angry over the majority of things that I do; and therefore, I believe I am sinning when I get angry. After all it is foolhardy, don’t you think?
Some of the worst sins we can commit are based in our anger. We become skewed in our reason as to what is reasonable, what is right, and what is just. When we walk away from the Word of God, we skew our perception toward the wrong…this is automatic. Why, you ask? Because we, by casting aside God, begin to follow a trail hard to recover from where wrong is the new right.
“If there is no God…then everything is permitted…” ~Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
“Без бога-то и без будущей жизни? Ведь это, стало быть, теперь всё позволено, всё можно делать?’ ‘А ты и не знал?'” (The original Russian)
Though the sentiment is true to secularistic and athiestic thought, there are also Christians who maintain that all things are permissible as a Christian and as a follower of Christ. Just simply by misreading or misinterpreting the writing of the Apostle Paul:
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.~1Corinthians 10:23-24 NKJV
Everyone seems to read what they want to read and hear what they want to hear, and to heck with the actual facts before you…yes, I include Christians in that statement!
We are all warned because we are all called by God to follow Him. That being said, we are also called to the priesthood of God, to minister the Word of God to all of mankind (remember the Great Commission?) Our purpose, as mentioned in previous blogs, is to glorify God in all that we do. We are to do the best we can possibly do, with every fiber of our body, mind and spirit!
Just thinking how lax I tend to be, it is a wonder that anyone gets into heaven. The more I place thought toward the subject, a great number of Christians will be surprised as to their final resting spot! Many believe they are saved from the pit of hell because they proclaimed Jesus as King and the Lord and Savior over their lives…but then turn to do some of the most despicable things which God would not approve. ‘
God judges our hearts, based upon what is in them and what we do with our time, our efforts, our charitableness, etc. Are we giving because we want to or because we are suppose to? Are we following ritualistic beliefs, or are we praying what is in our hearts? I could go on and on with this list, but like beating a dead dog…what exactly is the use???
God desires us to follow Jesus freely and without reservation. Breaking the habits of old, yes, they do come into play here–we tend to put off til tomorrow what we should have done yesterday, more than likely…last week or last year, even!
My friends you are forewarned! WOE to YOU! We each sin and we each tend to follow the wrong path at times, but God tugs at your heart to get back on track! REPENT of what you did and move back onto the narrow and rarely followed path of God’s righteousness!
Only God can SAVE us, ’tis true! Only God will judge us by the content of our heart, ’tis also true! Unless many of us do not change our directions and begin to walk the path that God laid out before us (namely, the one written on the pages of the Bible), then we do not stand a chance of gaining entry into heaven…despite our affirmations. God wants us to live the bible in our heart of hearts, and walk the walk, as well as – talk the talk!
Can I challenge y’all to live the life set out in the Bible? It is not easy, due to all of the bad habits we must break…but I believe in my heart of hearts that it is well worth it!
Brothers & Sisters —
May God Richly Bless You My Beloved!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD