Are we doing things to impress others or out of love for our Lord
Luke 20:45 – 47
Warning against the teachers of the law
45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 ‘Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the market-places and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.’
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned in a prior Grow Daily about the RC Sproul Junior principle of bible interpretation, but there’s no harm in a reminder. He suggests that as we read the bible and encounter the ‘bad’ guys in any narrative or parable, the challenge for us is we are just like whoever is being portrayed in a negative light. Left on our own – without the prompting of the Holy Spirit – hypocrisy would no doubt quickly be a key behaviour for each one of us.
Looking at the comment about ‘devouring widow’s houses’ – that could mean the scribes were appointed as executors of the estate when a widow died. Instead of using the proceeds for the good of the church & community, it’s highly likely the scribes were lining their own pockets.
As I re-read this text, I’m also prompted to think about whether I have the right attitude and motivation for turning up to church on Sundays. Am I wanting others to notice me? When it’s my turn to pray in a group setting, do I try and put my knowledge and piety on show? Or, instead, am I looking out for the newcomer or the person who is alone? During prayer at growth group, is my prayer marked by humility and an acknowledgement of God’s continued grace and blessings?
Head: do my habits and judgement continue to inform my behaviour, even when no one else (except God) is watching?
Heart: if I praise or commend others, do I do so out of a genuine sense of encouragement, or only so that they’ll reciprocate and compliment me?
Hands: the next time you catch up with a fellow believer, ask what you can pray for them. And then remember to pray for them.
Lord, we know the devil tempts us continually, but you will not place us in a situation beyond our ability to bear. In your mercy, would you please help us to take the log out of our eye and seek to serve your people faithfully & humbly.
A song to listen to: Dust on the bible
Living Church – Creek Road