BE Real and Beware of Hypocrisy

 Luke 12:1

The word ‘hypocrisy’ could be translated as ‘hype.’ And hype, no matter how religious it is, is only a charade. Jesus denounced it. Speaking about the religious leaders of His day, He said: “…Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops” 

(vv. 1-3 NKJV). Why was Jesus so hard on hypocrites? Because hypocrisy accuses in others what it excuses in us, says one thing but does another, puts popularity above principle, loves admiration but cuts corners when it comes to integrity. 

Take Peter, for example. He preached that all people are equal in Christ, but he practiced it selectively. 

And Paul confronted him on it. “When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth …I [spoke] to Peter in front of them all…” (Galatians 2:11-14 NIV).

God understands your weaknesses and He will work with you on them, but He won’t put up with your hypocrisy. So be real!  


Why God Accepts You

‘..Approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him….’ 2 Corinthians 5:21
God loves and accepts you as much on your bad days as He does on your good ones. In a  performance-based society, that’s easy to forget. But you mustn’t!
God’s acceptance is  based on your standing in Christ, not the state of your life at a given time.
‘For our sake He  made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might  become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what  we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His (not our)  goodness].’ 
Think of the cross as a trading post. There God took every sin you’d ever  commit and laid it upon Jesus. And the moment you place your trust in Christ, God takes all of Christ’s righteousness and wraps you up in it. From that point on, He sees you only one way – in Christ.
How liberating! Liberating, because now you realize that your worth isn’t  based on what you do but on who you are in relationship to Christ. God actually assigned  value to you by allowing Jesus to die for you. ‘But I can’t believe that God doesn’t care about  what I do.’ You’re right! And your rewards in heaven will be based on your stewardship here  on earth. God wants you to do good works, but He doesn’t want you to depend on them; He  wants you to do them out of love for Him. Once you understand your position, who you are in  Christ, you begin doing the right things for the right reasons. Amen.

Living Fearlessly

‘…You are my servant; I have chosen you…’ Isaiah 41:9

Have you ever wondered how animal trainers used to control a five-tonne elephant and keep it from running away? They did it by controlling the animal’s thinking. When a baby elephant was being trained, a rope was put around its leg and then tied to a wooden post secured in the ground. The elephant, which was not yet very strong, pulled at the rope but was unable to break it or to pull up the post. Eventually it gave up. From that point forward when the elephant’s leg was secured it believed it couldn’t get away-even though it was fully capable of escaping, and had been for a long time. It remembered its struggle. That’s one reason it’s said, ‘Elephants never forget.’

And we are like that too. Our thinking limits us, just as an elephant’s does. Usually it’s because of fear. The truth is fear can steal your dreams. You may be afraid of failure. You may be afraid of rejection. You may not want to make a fool of yourself. You may be afraid of trying because you believe you can’t succeed. If you give in to these thoughts and believe that you can’t achieve your dream, you’ll be right-and therefore unable to achieve your dream.   Often what we fear has no connection to reality. But here’s the good news: Fear can be overcome.

The first step to overcoming it is to believe God when He says about you: ‘…You are my servant; I have chosen you…do not fear, for I am with you…I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’ (vv. 9-10 NIV).