Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.” Mark 12:38-40
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
In today’s first Scripture we are warned again by Jesus about the seemingly villainous Pharisees and scribes and all they represent. Jesus says in Matthew 18:7, “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! Jesus says in Mathew 23:13, “But woe to you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
When we hold today’s second Scripture up against the Pharisees and Scribes we can only conclude that they were lovers of self and not lovers of God because they knew nothing of the love of God in their own lives. Could it be that it is this absence of God's love in their lives that accounts for everything that is wrong with them and their convoluted religious system? We are on the path of living fully for God. The Pharisees and Scribes appeared to be in on the path of living fully for God but in reality they were not living for God at all.
In our pursuit of living fully for God, it is vitally important for us to pursue kingdom vigilance as well. When we do we will avoid the pitfalls into which these religious people fell, we will help others to do the same, and we will have a healthy indignation for anyone and anything that undermines what God is trying to do in in the lives of other people. So here is the safeguard: our seeking to love God fully will lead to our living fully for him. But there is more: it is the reality that God loves us fully that leads to our loving him fully. It all starts with God's love for us and that is where we must dwell, in the midst of the awesome love God has for us. Be assured that God's love fills us with deep and abiding attitude of love that keeps us safely on the path of living fully for him.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, what a blessing it is to know that I am safe in the arms of your love and care. How freeing it is to know that the life you call me to is beyond me but not beyond you. Help me to seek you with my whole heart, Lord. Help me to believe that at all times I will find you and the fullness of your love, the fullness of your power, and fullness of your life working in me and through me so that it will always be that I love you fully and live for you fully. Amen!
Posted on Sat, June 18, 2016
by Alan Porter