Missing the Point
Theme of the Week: Down-to-Earth Godliness
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: "These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Isaiah 29:13)
Dig Deeper: Mark 7:1-23
When we deny our humanity and try to become more clean, or more pure, or more sanctified, we end up on the wrong end of that word. The word instead becomes sanctimonious, and it means we hide our true human struggle and become self-righteous, smug, holier-than-thou, pious, pompous, and a few other lovely terms that describe humans trying to appear more godly than people around them.
Many Christians base their personal sanctification on whether they had a devotional time that day, avoided swearing, and went to church. But while they may feel great about their "walk with God," they have not loved their neighbors as much as they love themselves, they haven't cared for or [even considered caring for] the needs of the sick or the poor, and there's been no focus toward unbelievers in their lives.
On the other hand, there are many other people who swear and sometimes don't get their devotional time in but who wake up and spend their entire day doing the very works of God in the world. They throw parties for their friends, they take a few hours and help with practical needs, or they spend time with people whom most of the world would never touch. Which do you think Jesus prefers?
—Hugh Halter in Flesh
My Response: How do I measure my personal sanctification?
Thought to Apply: Hypocrisy can plunge the mind of a man into a dark abyss, when he believes his own self-flattery instead of God's verdict.—John Calvin (French theologian, pastor)
Adapted from Flesh by Hugh Halter. Copyright ©2014 by Hugh Halter. Flesh is published by David C Cook. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2014 by Christianity Today/Men of Integrity magazine. Click here for reprint information on Men of Integrity.
Prayer for the Week
Lord, please help me to not try to be holy in my own strength, but instead lean on the power of Christ's death and resurrection.
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