Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 September 2010 Luke 16:15‏

Luke 16:15     And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Oh Friends, one more day has waned and passed into eternity, while another is on the rise for us to experience. Let’s be thankful that we’re alive to enjoy it, through God’s enduring mercy. ‘Thank you Lord for allowing us to be a part of another one of your marvellous and miraculous days on planet earth. It’s a rough go down here, but though coming home to you brings everlasting peace and comfort, many of us still want to spend more time in this ungodly and evil world. Anyway, you’ve left us here for a purpose; to transform our lives, and help others transform theirs into the image of your Son Jesus. Please help us to do a good job today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.’ And my Friends we can’t do that unless we have a right heart; not the kind Jesus said the covetous, idolatrous, men-pleasing Pharisees possessed. ‘Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.’ Jesus laid that accusation after telling the parable of the dishonest steward, (Luke 16:1-13) and the money-hungry Pharisees laughed and turned up their noses at him. But my people that statement contains awesome truths that are still very applicable today, perhaps more so, simply because the boundaries of our world are wider and there are so many more things now to entice us. And do they ever entice us! And do we ever succumb to the enticement! Yes Friends, too often we sell ourselves and our souls short to obtain some glitzy, fanciful thing we think we need, using some unethical, nefarious means, or by fawning and trying to please whoever has what we desire; be it power, fame, influence, social position, money or other worldly possessions. And the sad part is that some of the stuff may indeed be useful, but the means we use to get them are not justified. Oh Friends, whatever we do in this life should be able to withstand God’s careful scrutiny, and if it can’t, then things bad with us. We ought not to justify ourselves to men, but to God. However seeking and holding the approval of men has become increasingly prevalent, especially in rough times like we’re currently experiencing. To make ends meet now, many of us are liable to do stuff that we wouldn’t dream of doing when times are good. And if we’re not trying to get something, then we’re trying to impress someone so that they will think more highly of us. Now believers ought always to do good things, but when those things are done first and foremost to look good in men’s sight, to please men and not God, then we’re in trouble with the Father. As Jesus noted when He preached on almsgiving, prayer and fasting: ‘Take heed that ye do not your alms (charitable deeds) before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of (from) your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have the glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.  And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites (pretenders) are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, (inner room, private place), and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly….Moreover when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.’ (Mat.6:1-6, 16-18) Now praying, fasting and doing charitable deeds are all good and worthwhile endeavours, but my people, when we do it publicly, just to get men’s attention, so that we’ll look righteous and make a good impression, then according to Jesus’ principles, we’re only wasting time and fooling ourselves and those around us. It actually displeases and turns off the most important person, the one we should always try to please, the Father. That’s because He reads our hearts and knows the true reasons for our public display, finds them disgusting and won’t reward us. Note, Jesus isn’t saying that we have to hide to do good or pray or fast, because sometimes that’s just not possible, but we must not make them a public display or spectacle for self aggrandisement in whatever form. Unfortunately though my brethren, in this supposed modern day and age, self-aggrandisement, ‘showoffness’, boasting, holding ourselves up as great righteous and moral beings is so prevalent that it’s become second nature to many of us. Our world has become such a den of vipers and nest of hypocrites that we often don’t know what or who to believe, for everybody is just intent on pushing their own private agendas, regardless of the cost to others.  All our deeds ought to come from a pure and righteous heart, and though we can fool others with our outward show, we can’t fool God, for as He says through Jeremiah: ‘I the Lord search the heart, I try (test) the reins (mind, secret parts), even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings (deeds).’ (Jer.17:10) And sadly mih breddren, is not like we don’t know the fallacy involved in public posing or haven’t experienced its disastrous repercussions, but yet we continue to live the keep up with the Jones and cult of celebrity lifestyles which are in direct opposition to God’s wishes. Many of us are in a serious slump now; economically, mentally and spiritually, because we refused to adhere to Jesus’ directives and instead ran headlong into the foolishness that the world’s promoting. Oh Friends, I don’t know what it’s going to take for us to stop, but I certainly hope we do before it’s too late to reverse the process, else a whole lot of us will be busted and end up in God’s doghouse. And believe you me, that’s not a very nice place to be. So for our sakes, and those around us, let’s stop pandering to men and their evil ways nuh, and instead pay more attention to what Jesus says. That way, we can never go wrong. We’ll continue this tomorrow, God willing. Till then, walk safely with the Lord mih people. Much LOVE!…to obey…is better than to sacrifice…

 

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