Hello Friends, have you ever witnessed a person who loudly professes their love for Christ yet it just feels shallow? You find that they’re more wrapped up in their own performance than in sincerely caring for others.
Christ does not care about performance, showmanship or razzle-dazzle. He died for you because your heart is wicked, deceitful, and wretched. I know – dark. But all the drama in the world doesn’t move Jesus – nor should it impress you. Vanity is a calamity.
Christ wants us to live a life of sincere piety. Does that mean that we can’t be open about our love for Him? No. We can profess it from the mountaintops – yet if the motives come from places that are not pure, then there will be a high price to pay for this facade.
In Matthew 6:1-8, Jesus goes after these individuals with both guns blazing. He admonishes them and severely chastizes them, telling them that their works are only for show. Jesus tells them that in order to truly shine for Him, they must clean their insides.
Unfortunately, many people choose not to do this type of work. Why? Well, let’s face it – no one wants to hold up a mirror to look at their own sinful nature. It’s difficult, painful, and revealing. Yet, in order to have freedom in Christ, that’s exactly what you need to do.
It is for this reason that I strongly encourage you to take personal responsibility for reading your Bible and having your own relationship with Christ. My pastor also encourages this as well. I find him to be a very wise man.
A good leader will encourage their flock to have their own devotional time and personal relationship with Christ. They will not be intimidated or threatened when you ask questions about the meaning of a Bible verse. Oh contrare – they will welcome this exploration of God’s word and encourage your searching.
They will encourage you as you seek out the deeper truths of God’s word and help you as you wrestle with how these are applicable to your life.
Unfortunately, not all leaders are like this. Many might initially start off with good intentions, however because they have not dealt with their own internal issues, they allow fear, insecurity, ego, jealousy, greed and pride to creep into their heart.
The Bible warns us to “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
How do you identify these kinds of people? The Bible states it very clearly: you will know them by their fruit.
These individuals desire for everyone to know of their good deeds – just like the Pharisees. This is the exact opposite of what God tells us in Matthew 6:4. God looks at the motives of your heart. If your motives are solely to show others how wonderful you are and how much you give to others, than you have already gained your reward here on earth.
My friends, a word of caution here – these individuals can be extremely dangerous. Please hear what I am saying… because I care for you… I implore you to read God’s word, study God’s word, and listen to that still small voice.
The closer you grow in your relationship to God, the more you will grow in wisdom and discernment. Ask the Lord to open your eyes so that you may have wisdom, discretion, and be protected in all that you do, and that your thoughts, words, and actions may glorify Him.