But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:25-27
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?’ For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,” and, “He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.” But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God, he is not to honor his father or his mother.” And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.” Matthew 15:1-9
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?” The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Then He will also say to those on His left, “Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.” Then they themselves also will answer, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?” Then He will answer them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:31-46
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
There is a truly detrimental thing that happens when we as Bible believing people become entrenched in the mire of being merely hearers of the word and not doers of the word; we lose our ability to hear the word fully and accurately. This really makes sense when we think about it and helps us grasp the folly of giving lip-service to God and his Word. If our goal is to feel good about ourselves and how we are doing with our “Christian” life and we repeatedly don’t do what we have heard the “word” to say, we will become selective to what we pay attention from the word and twist what it says to fit who we are. In this we create our own little religious system that we can manage to our own satisfaction. Trapped in our own self-righteousness, we deceive ourselves into thinking we are all set with God, righteousness, and spirituality. The outcome of this is devastating to the personal life of the believer and inflicts unbelievable harm to the cause of Christ everywhere.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I want to be the real deal for your glory, the sake of your kingdom, and my ultimate good. Reveal to me the religious deceptions in my life. Strip them away and build true righteous into my life through the transforming power of your Word. Make me spiritually alive through a vital relationship with you and your living Word. I bow before you in worship and surrender. Amen!