Friday, May 18, 2018

Fall in Love with Jesus

The Pharisees and some of the scribes gathered around Him when they had come from Jerusalem, and had seen that some of His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the traditions of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they cleanse themselves; and there are many other things which they have received in order to observe, such as the washing of cups and pitchers and copper pots.)
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

‘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.’
Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

    The Pharisees were watching the disciples eat with unwashed hands and began to find fault with them.
The word, “Pharisee,” means, a separatist and the Pharisees were constantly looking to find fault with others because it made them look better. Jesus said that the Pharisees are always looking to put themselves in the seat of Moses, a place of prominence or authority for all to see them. You can constantly see this type of behavior even amongst those in the church. 

One person is upset because their co-worker was promoted but their own hard work wasn’t noticed. Another complains because they didn’t get the raise they wanted. Someone is passed over for a ministry opportunity given to someone with less experience than they have.

We are desperately seeking the acceptance of others and to promote ourselves. We want others to recognize us and say something good about us. 

In the book of James chapter 3 verse 16, we are told that wherever there is strife(selfish ambition), there is disorder and every evil thing. 
Listen, I can remember when Joyce Green first invited me to come into the prison and preach. She would get up to introduce me and would start to share some scriptures with the men. Before I knew it the service was over and I didn’t get to teach anything. This happened many times and I began to get frustrated and grumble in my heart. When I finally came to the place that I was just as content to sit and visit as I was to teach and share, God began to open up doors for me to preach. 

 I remember a few years ago, I was in one of the prison units and a young guy came up to me who was recently saved. He asked me what he needed to do to become a minister. Maybe he thought I would tell him some classes he could take or books he could read. I told him that all he had to do is fall in love with Jesus Christ. 

  The moment you begin to pursue ministry, people become objects to get you where you want to go. When you pursue the person of Jesus Christ, when it’s His timing He will open up doors to minister that no man can shut.

I genuinely believe God is raising up Shepherds in these last days. Shepherds with hearts like His. 

First He wants to get to the root of selfish ambition in our hearts. Then we will be truly seeking to please Him and not just seeking to promote ourselves. 

The word “ear” is in the center of the word “heart”. If you want to know what’s in your heart, listen to what’s coming out of your mouth. Sometimes you can’t really see what’s in there, but God is faithful to show you through those around you. 

As we are steadfastly seeking the Lord, He is constantly uprooting things in our hearts. Our part is to continue to agree with Him and come to the light.

Lord help me to love you more than selfish ambition or the approval of others. Help me not to seek to promote myself but to encourage others in knowing you. Open my eyes to see the hurt and need around me. Help me hear your voice and walk in obedience to what your Holy Spirit would have me to do. In Jesus name, Amen.

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