Saturday, March 14, 2015
Saturday Sermonette - The Road to Golgotha, Part 4: Justice, Mercy, and Faith
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Matthew 23:14, NKJV
Most of you at one time or another has heard that churches are full of hypocrites. That's one excuse some folks use to explain why they won't won't go to church. You see--it has always been and always will be. There will always be some who will attend church, give their tithes, and figure that's all they need to do. Jesus didn't see things that way.
Yes--it's important to go to church and donate as generously as you are able--but Christianity doesn't stop there. There are always other things to pay attention to.
The most important is always giving yourself to the Lord. He doesn't want your money near as much as He wants your heart. And always, he wants you to be just, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8, NKJV).
Are you just? Justice goes beyond obeying the law, doesn't it? There's no law that tells us to give to people in need, for instance.
Love mercy. Hm. Even more difficult. Granting forgiveness to someone who doesn't deserve it--AND to love doing just that.
Walk humbly with your God. Do you? Do I? Do you judge yourself as better than everyone else? than anyone else? Better than that homeless man or woman? Better than folks in other cities? On other teams? in other offices? Walking humbly is pretty difficult, isn't it?
In order not to fall into Jesus's hypocrite category, a person has to look hard into the mirror. There've been a lot of times I haven't much liked what that woman in the mirror did. How about you?
Father, forgive us please, when we fall short of the standards You give us. Sometimes our best intentions miss not only the boat but the entire lake. Help us, please. Only You can overcome our pride. Thank You, Lord. Amen.