This weeks Elevate Church message continues on Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. The message moved into Matthew 6, when Jesus teaches about how when we give to the needy, when we pray, and when we fast we should do it so not to make it a public spectacle but do it to please God.
This morning as I was reading my daily devotional it deals with this very topic and acts as a nice supplement to that message so I thought I would share it with you all.
Right From The Heart 1-Minute Daily Devotional
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private.
Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
"Jesus and Church Hypocrites"
One of the main objections to Christianity and the church is all the hypocrisy and, no doubt, there’s a ton of it. Most people outside the church don’t realize how much Jesus hates hypocrisy, as well. In his most famous sermon he blasted showy giving and praying that was designed to impress others rather than to please God and help our fellow man.
He says the best way to give to others, is to do it anonymously. The best way to pray is to seek out a place to be alone with God and privately pour out your heart to him.
It’s not that Jesus is down on doing good publicly; it’s the motive that matters to God. One things for sure…showy religious hypocrites don’t impress God at all. So don’t miss out on Jesus Christ because of the hypocrisyin the church. Take a fresh look at Him in God’s Word. The more you see, the more you’ll like, because He despises hypocrisy even more than you do.
If this works properly it is 6:01pm on Saturday May 21, 2011… and we are still here
By now I’m sure you have heard that today was the day that he Rapture was going take place and Jesus would return.
While I would love for this to have actually happened, it did not. Why not? Well the answer is a very simple one and found plainly written in scripture for all to see, and not hidden in codes that only a certain educated few can see.
The Bible states that:
"So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.
"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows.
For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:2
While Jesus return is going to happen, no one will be able to predict when it will happen. So the best thing we can do is to continue to read scripture and follow the teachings of Christ and live like we do know the time of the rapture.
"I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy." John 16:20 (NLT)
The above passage does a great job of encompassing what this day starts of as, then going on to show what it finishes as three days later.
While we as Christians look forward to Good Friday to celebrate the beginning of a chain of events that culminate with the glorious resurrection of Christ our Savior; I think it is important that on this day that we not forget what those events that took place today actually were.
He was betrayed by one of his inner circle, then put on trial three times (first by the religious leaders, second by Pilot, then by Herod) then convicted to death by Crucifixion. He was beaten and tortured as he was forced to carry the instrument of his own death to his execution site. Then upon arrival he was nailed to the cross and hung there in agonizing pain for 6 hours until his death. At which point his body was taken down and buried in a tomb.
While after reading this you would think that any celebration of these events should have a mournful tone to them. Which is what Good Friday should be about. Many Christians spend this day in fasting, prayer, repentance, and meditation on the agony and suffering of Christ on the cross. While we should do these things to remember Christ’s suffering, it is hard to mourn when we know what happened next!!
Take time from your day to read about the Crucifixion of Christ. The story can be found in the Gospels of Matthew 26:47-75, 27:1-61, Mark 14:43-52, 15:1-47, and Luke 22:47-53, 23:1-56, and John 18 and 19.