TODAY’S DEVOTION (FRIDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 2023)
“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.
One of them, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”
This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men who turn from the truth. To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” Titus 1:10-16 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 272ND DAY OF OUR YEAR OF SIGNS AND WONDERS
We give God the glory for keeping us alive and bringing us to another day.
It started 28 days ago, and today, we have just one day to end the month. He has kept us, and dealt with us according to His love all through the month. To Him belong all the glory. Amen and amen.
Today we will be looking at matters of hypocrisy. Yes, hypocrisy! It is one of the spots and wrinkles the LORD want to remove from our lives. We are in a season of the washing of water by the word. God the Holy Spirit, wants to present you and I to Christ, a glorious church. The Bible says,
“ Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-26 NKJV
The vision of the cleansing truths that we hear on this platform, and the one we are about absorbing today, is driven by the desire of Christ to make us part of those He will present to Himself as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish.
Hypocrisy is one of those things that must be removed from our lives, as believers. It is one major spot and wrinkle, a blemish and an unholy thing that must live our lives as we all thrive to become part of the glorious church.
The reason Jesus had a running battle with hypocrites, but constant friendship with sinners who were willing to repent, gets clearer and clearer by the day. Jesus was called a friend of sinners. But I am yet to see a place in scriptures where they called Him, “a friend of hypocrites.”
HE WAS A FRIEND OF SINNERS BECAUSE HIS PRIMARY ASSIGNMENT WAS TO SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS.
But not a friend of hypocrites because they claimed they were healthy spiritually, and that they were without sin. They never admitted that they were sick spiritually and needed a doctor. To Jesus, it is the sick who admits that they are sick, that needs a doctor.
I believe He saw things in the hypocrites that made Him scream from time to time. One of it was self-denial and self-righteousness – they never admitted that they were spiritually sick and needed His sin curing medicine.
A hypocrite is always self-righteous, and hates righteous rebukes. That is why they are the most dangerous persons to deal with. Yes, they are like a concealed bomb that explodes on you when you step on it.
I am discovering daily that it is safer to deal with an outright sinner, who tells you he or she needs help, than a hypocrite who is also a sinner but acts as if he or she is righteous. At least a sinner will tell you who he really is, and that helps you to guard yourself, and also positions you to offer help in time of need. But a hypocrite does not, making it impossible for you to guard yourself.
Outwardly they are full of God, but internally they are very wicked, malicious, and have tongues and hearts that can easily turn against you when they explode on you.
The hypocrites Jesus dealt with in His days were outwardly known as the teachers of the law – the scribes and Pharisees. Meaning a hypocrite is quick at wanting to teach others. He or she is quick at trying to lead others and showing them the way while they themselves are lost. They are quick at doing things that will make them the objects of attention.
When they are doing any giving in Church, it is to have something to talk about, and if they are contributing towards something, it is to have praise about themselves to sing about – yes, it is to sing of how much they have done this and that.
God does not want you and I to be like that. We will be ruining His plans for our lives if we do.
In fact, hypocrites crucified Jesus, and can still crucify, speak ill, or assassinate the character of anyone who is truly carrying Christ and His word today, or walking in His ways. They are potential tools in the hands of the devil for killing genuine servants or people of God.
THESE HYPOCRITES CONSTITUTE THE BULK OF US, WHO BELONG TO OUR DIFFERENT CHURCHES TODAY.
Again, I state that God does not want us to be hypocrites. I have come to discover that the kind of falsehood that thrive among us church people, and wickedness that lives in our hearts today, is alarming. God wants that to change.
If you look at even us preachers, you find this scourge. Many times, they are quick at pointing at our members but we are so perverted that we make Heaven sick. Consequently, we have lost what it takes the raise disciples of Christ. We have rather raised members who serve us but do not serve Christ.
In fact, some of the members are contributing to our spiritual decay and death.
Sincerely speaking, most ministers of the gospel became what they are today because some wicked Church members killed what God gave them for their generation and turned them into wicked men with no sexual discipline or compassion for the suffering.
These hypocrites we treat as Church members have a way of casting evil spirits on God’s servants.
They can submit to the devil to sway a servant of God to do things that are capable of knocking out love for the sheep from their hearts, or deep concern for people, or genuine commitment to the work of God. It is the mercy and Spirit of God, that has been helping some of us navigate through the storms of hypocrites, being used to contaminate servants of GOD.
For instance, it is very difficult to be deeply and genuinely concerned for people, as a man of God, after being betrayed and bitterly wounded for being deeply and genuinely concerned for people you believe God brought you to raise. So many have been hit that way and have fallen from grace.
I have seen the agony of most genuine men and women of God on the field. Can you imagine, kneeling down to pray for God to bless someone you did not know will soon do things that will destroy your genuine care, and concern for people? No church member should allow the enemy to use him or her that way.
NONE OF US SHOULD BE AN INSTRUMENT IN THE HAND OF OUR FLESH OR THE DEVIL TO DESTROY GOD’S WORK OR WORKERS.
We should not weary those who are laboring for our souls with hypocrisy. A man or woman of God can not spend hours in fasting and prayers for us, then we turn to explode on them with evil deeds at a later date. It will not advance God’s kingdom.
Can you imagine sheltering someone who will not be compassionate towards you when you will need help? Can you imagine going out of your way to pull people out of the fire – people you thought were your assignment from Heaven? Most hard-working servants of God have suffered because of helping people. They have so much wounds in their lives because of the hypocrites they ministered to who later turn around to ruin them.
One thing I discovered is, Jesus never prayed for Hypocrites. He never delivered them from anything. Their hypocrisy neutralized His mercy and power to save them.
Understand that hypocrisy is one thing that neutralize God’s power to save us in the day of adversity, even if prayer is made for us.
All the hypocrites in Jesus’ day ended very badly. No hypocrite has ended well. I have come to discover that even when you prophesy peace to them, your peace will return back to you. When you try to help them, your help will do little or nothing to save them. We should never be hypocrites in the house of GOD.
It is a curse to be one, my brother and sisters.
The characteristics of hypocrites varies. Some sit as teachers, while they ought to be students, hence missing the help they need. Others call themselves, spiritual fathers and mothers, while they ought to be Children to be fathered.
Naturally, when you see a child calling something, “My Son,” that thing is a dull baby not a real person. Have you ever seen those little children who carry dull babies behind their back? You got it! That is who you are if a hypocrite who needs fathering is calling you “My spiritual son” or “my spiritual daughter.”
As they yield to the devil to destroy the deep concern a preacher has for the lost and suffering, so they are destroyed by the same devil whose influence they are under.
HYPOCRITES HAVE INDEED MADE CHRISTIANITY HARD FOR MANY.
It has sent those who came to seek God away from the Church. It has destroyed even the lives of the hypocrites themselves.
Friend, if we choose to be hypocrites, we should not forget that our hypocrisy is destroying us more than anyone the enemy may be using it to target. I have seen so many hypocrites destroy themselves. May we not be counted among the number.
One thing the devil does to stop a work that is pulling men from the fires of hell is to surround it with hypocrites – people who have God on their lips but not in their hearts. People who are quick to make a pledge they will never pay, or commit themselves to doing something in Church they will never do.
They rush out to tell you, “Pastor you can count on me,” but will never be there when you may need them. It is part of the warfare hell musters against divine purposes! That is why Jesus declared woe upon them. The same woes will follow us if we be like them.
The Bible says;
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Matthew 23:13-15 NKJV
UNDERSTAND THAT, THE EASIEST WAY TO WALK INTO THE CURSES IN THIS SCRIPTURE IS TO BE A HYPOCRITE IN CHURCH.
In fact, no hypocrite needs anyone to curse them again because they are already cursed by Christ. If you understand what it means when Christ says “woe to you” you will never follow the paths of a hypocrite.
A scriptural verse in our devotional text says “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” I think there is no description of a hypocrite that fits like this one.
He or she profess, act, preaches, behaves and do all to show that they know God but, in their works – inner or private life, they deny Him. They live like lost sinners on the streets. We should not be like that because it will harm us severely!
If we become hypocrites, we become more interested in Charisma and not character. We may miss Church for years but the day we appear we will tell everyone how far we have gone with God. That is not good for us.
There are some we are always learning the word but never coming to repentance due to their hypocrisy. They see themselves as world changers, but inwardly need a lot of Change themselves. Jesus said they are like grave yards that look beautiful outside, but inside are full of rotten bones.
One other thing our devotional text today said is;
“For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.”
This scripture made it clear that the mouth of the hypocrite must be stopped because he or she is not circumcised at heart. The Bible calls them deceivers, insubordinate and idle talkers. If they are in ministry, their ministry will be producing sons of hell instead of sons of God. That is why Jesus said,
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Matthew 23:15 NKJV
From these scriptures what Paul said becomes clearer. They are great at having forms of godliness but deny the power. Paul said from such people we should turn away. He did not say we should marry them, make them our Church members, accept them as sons and daughters in faith, make them our spiritual fathers, destiny helpers, or even financial supporters.
He did not say we should make them Church workers or give them some pastoral assignment. He said we should turn away from them. If we do otherwise, they will explode on us and kill everything that is God, either in our lives or around our lives.
God’s will is that we should not be hypocrites, neither should we have them in or around our lives.
MAY THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR US TODAY
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Matthew 23:25-30 NKJV