Monday, January 10, 2011
Today’s Topic: I See Hypocrisy
Today’s Text: Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.
Last Saturday was a very busy day for me. My wife rose early and went over to the grandkids house to babysit, and I remained at our house to get some work done. We have the blessing of having some students from the Moody Bible Institute Men’s Collegiate Choir staying at our house this weekend while they are in Eau Claire for a concert at our church on Friday night. I needed to get the house ready. Not only that, but on the following Monday, a week from today, our very dear friends Dudley and Inge arrive back in the States from Swaziland and they will be living with us for the next three months.
The details of my duties are not important, but suffice it to say they covered cleaning, carpentry, and cataloging. It took me well into the afternoon to get it all done, and there is still more to do. My point in telling you all of this is simple. While I did those things because I knew they had to be done, my motivation was the love I have in my heart for my wife. I serve her because I love her, and love has no limits on service.
Unfortunately that doesn’t always apply to the way we serve God, does it? Our worship of Him is not always the product of our love for Him. Isaiah saw that in the people of His day as well. They talked about their faith, they prayed, and they worshiped, but it was insincere. I think it will help us to understand the seriousness of this issue if we read this verse from the English Standard Version of the Bible. It says, And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.”
The hypocrisy of the hearts is obvious. But before we come down too hard on them, we must not be in denial about our own hardness of heart and double-standard lifestyles. We just might be as guilty as they were.
Here are some serious questions to consider:
- Do you truly love God more than you love yourself in EVERY area of your life?
- Do you do the “religious” duties of your church while in your heart you are longing to be elsewhere doing something else?
- Do you seek to serve God out of fear of His punishment or as a response to His grace and love?
- Is your worship of Him an expression of your love to Him?
- Is your whole life a living sacrifice given in service to your Lord as a reasonable act of worship?
Those questions give me cause to pause. It will be plenty to chew on for today.