“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast our all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves. And said unto them, it is written, my house shall be called the House of Prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matt. 21:12-13
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whitened sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”Matt. 23:27
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
Today’s Christian Daily Devotional
Question of the Day: Was Jesus a “Conservative” or a “Liberal”? If you were to study Jesus’ life, walk and talk, I believe it would be safe to call Him a “Radical” man in His day. Jesus was actually a rebel that bucked many of the Jewish traditions. This (I personally believe) is WHY many Jewish people (because of culture and conditioning) automatically do not give Jesus a serious thought. Jesus actually did not defy the traditions of Old Testament law.
He was angry at the empty heart of service behind the individuals that “dotted all their religious ‘I’’s and crossed all their ‘T’’s but were not seeking to really serve God. Many of these men and women just wanted to look good to others and they thought that by being pious and doing “godly actions” that they were the ones who would be privedged enough to enter into heaven. Much like the corruption we see in the church today, Jesus was beyond disgusted by the hypocrisy He witnessed.
He would not ignore that the church was shunning to help and to serve the widows and orphans. Many of these family’s fathers had died, and the wives were forced into a life of prostitution just to provide for their children. These very women were then ostracized from the church because they were looked upon as “unacceptable.” The Jewish temples were supposed to help the poor and needy. Instead many leader’s lined their personal robes by skimming off the top, and charging exhorbant fees for the items required for the ceremonial acts of worship.
Does any of this sound familiar to today’s church? The government’s job was never to take care of the poor and needy. The church was created to serve the people and meet the needs of those who do not have the ability or means to provide for themselves. If you walk into any church denomination today—one of the sickest things to witness is excess from the leaders while many hurting people who are considered “un-acceptable” wander outside, un-helped and uncomfortable to even ask for it.
Jesus addressed the motives of the religious leaders. He saw their beautifully embellished clean religious garments, looked right past the outside and peered into their selfish, self-righteous hearts. He saw corruption and addressed the most important issue to God: The heart. God sees the heart of a man as the most important. No matter how man decides to “dress it up”; if a man’s motives are impure, that man is disgusting in God’s eyes.
If you have chosen to walk away from God because of the hypocrisy you witness in the religious organizations you have attended, I challenge you to consider seeking God in the privacy of your own home. Read the Bible for yourself; pray to ask the True God to show Himself to you. Once you start engaging in a personal relationship with Him, only then you will be recognize and understand God’s heart and beliefs. Only then will you be able to walk into a religious establishment and be equiped to make a sound decion to see if their practices line up with the actual word of God. A church may “look good” on the outside, but if it’s motives are selfish, self-righteous and heartless in showing the love of God with action, then you will not find the presence of God there.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I am empty inside. I crave to find out who you really are, but my past church-going experiences have left me confused and disturbed. Many places I have sought you in were cold and greedy. In the depths of my heart, I can see that this is not the sincere heart of the real God. Please show yourself to me. As I promise to pursue you with an open heart, I will read your word and diligently get to know you on my own. I am asking for your blessing and to give me a pure heart and an open mind. I need your supernatural assistance to help me to stay diligent and not get discouraged if I don’t see or understand your word clearly. I will pursue you as if my life depended on it—because quite frankly, my eternal future does. In the precious name of Jesus, bless me and lead me to the one true God, you. Amen.”