God Knows Exactly Where We Are; But Do We?
Matthew 15: 8-9 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.' (NLT)
Harsh words from our Lord and Savior. Harsh but also foreboding. For as in the time Jesus walked the earth, the same problems exist today. When Jesus spoke these words He was referring to the Pharisees the embodiment of religion in His time. They were the experts of the law. They served the self righteous rules they created though and not the true God they claimed. The spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well today in the church. Too many man made ideas and not enough God. These two verses provide us with an excellent opportunity to check ourselves. Four vital questions for us as we make sure that we are on the right track.
First of all, where are our lips today? Is our Christianity the best kept secret in the office? Are we living out our salvation? Do we properly attribute all glory to God for all He has given us? Or is it difficult to tell based upon our lips, whom we serve? Do we spend our time slandering others, tearing down people instead of bearing them up? Even the people we think "deserve it" or have somehow "wronged" us - we are supposed to bear them up; not just those we get along with:
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Galatians 6: 1-3 (NLT)
That is gently and humbly, not smugly and self-serving. We should take no joy in the other person's plight and seek no malice towards them. Where are our lips today? Are we spreading gossip even if we think we can justify it somehow? Are we praying to gossip? Confiding in counsel to gossip? The tongue is a powerful weapon the enemy uses against us and the body of Christ:
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! James 3: 7-10 (NLT)
Do we check that poison or do we spread it throughout the body? Are we engaged in the practice of edifying the body or destroying it? According to Jesus, this is serious business beloved: