Tag Archives: hypocrites

July 22 – God Won’t Stay Where He’s Not Wanted

Hosea 1-7

Here is an example of how serious God is that we obey Him, that we worship Him as He demands:

For I will be like a lion… I will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver. I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.” (5:14-15)

Did you catch how many times God said He would go away? I don’t know about you, but that thought really, really scares me.

Later, in chapter 6, God tells Hosea He delights in loyalty more than people going through the motions of offering sacrifices. He honors people who seek Him, rather than mere burnt offerings.

In other words, calling ourselves Christians, going to church, tithing, even teaching Sunday School, are meaningless if we aren’t seeking God with our whole hearts. I think Scripture clearly teaches God hates lip service. Didn’t Jesus call the pharisees, those men who prided themselves on knowing Scripture and following the Law, hypocrites?

So what should our response be to God, who isn’t fooled by our outward appearance, and who will leave us to our own devises and the consequences that come because of our disobedience?

Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will  heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. (6:1-3)

I love the line: let us PRESS ON to know the Lord. To me that indicates a purposeful, determined action on my part to really know God by reading His Word, by spending time in prayer, by talking to others about Him, by including Him in every minute of my day. It’s not a one time prayer of “Father, forgive me.” It’s a minute by minute choice.

Don’t think God isn’t serious about going away. He’ll try to get our attention, He’ll forgive us when we ask, He’ll walk with us when we seek Him. But He won’t force Himself on us. If we want Him out of our lives and our country, He’ll go.

Holy God, I bow before you a sinner saved by grace. I confess that there are times when I don’t follow You with my whole heart. Forgive me when I get busy, when I get caught up in things of this world, and neglect my relationship with You. I want to worship You as You demand. I want to serve You as You deserve. Don’t go, Father. I need You. We need You.

 

 

July 25

Jeremiah 2-4

Jeremiah is expressing God’s longing for his people to love him. God remembers the early days when Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. He remembers Joseph and Moses and David. And God longs for people who love him like they did.

The other day I shared with you a loved one’s concern for her newly redeemed dad. I told you her dad doesn’t want to go to church because he thinks it’s full of hypocrites. What would this man see in you or me if we attended his church?

I’ll tell you what God says about hypocrites. In 3:6-11 God is upset with Israel for their faithlessness. That nation openly rejected God and served gods made of stone and wood. Judah on the other hand, gave lip service to God. They did not worship him with all their hearts, “but only in pretense.”

Look at verse 11. “…Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah”.

God certainly isn’t saying either nation is righteous. He’s mad at all of them for their disobedience. But God holds a little more contempt for those who profess to be his children, yet live lives that say otherwise.

I’m challenged to check my heart this morning. Am I loving God the way he longs to be loved? Am I serving him 24/7 or just on Sunday mornings? I don’t want to be accused by God or man of worshiping him only in pretense. 

Father, you deserve to be loved. May I show you how much you mean to me today by the things I do and the words I speak and the thoughts I think. May others recognize my love for you by the life I live.

July 21

Isaiah 56-60

If you’ve ever been involved in the running of a church you know how complicated it can be. Sometimes a pastor displays unyielding power or an elder refuses to back down. Sometimes gossip causes ill will or opposition over worship causes division.

Hopefully, a worship service doesn’t end in a fist fight like Isaiah’s day of fasting in 58:3&4. But any time people try to work together there usually is a difference in opinion somewhere.

The other day I talked to a dear one whose father recently gave his heart to the Lord. The man wants to be a Christian but he doesn’t want to go to church because of the hypocrites there.

The thing is, Christians aren’t perfect even though we might want others to believe we are. If we’re honest we’d have to admit we sometimes stumble in our walk with the Lord.

What does God want to say to us through Isaiah today? God doesn’t want us just going through the motions. He wants us to humble ourselves, then get out there and make a difference. Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Be that light in a dark world.

As you worship today in that fellowship of believers, I pray you will lay aside the conflict and turn your eyes on Jesus. That’s where our focus should be anyway. Then get out there and live like you mean it so no one can point a finger and call you a hypocrite.