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I have come across some interesting characters in my journey, people who claim to know the Lord but have Pharisee spirits. People who know the Bible in and out but still choose to walk in selfishness. People who abide by the law of the Word so much that they completely forget about grace…and love.  This is for you….

love11Matthew 21:22 – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

You are such a good student of the Word of God, but you missed a few sermons. You are a law keeper, but along the way, you began to focus only on the laws. There were over 600 laws that the Pharisees followed. They focused on controlling those laws, were incredibly prideful, self-centered, and they hated grace. Moreover, they followed those numerous laws more than the 10 commandments given to Moses. They became hypocrites in their own making and made others miserable. My dear friend, we must make sure our actions match our beliefs and Jesus came to throw our the laws…all but two. Ten commandments to 600 laws to two commands we are to live by.

Matthew 22:37-39 – Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

love5You are an amazing teacher, but you forgot about learning yourself.

Matthew 23:25-26 – Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

You did it all for show. A hypocrite of the finest caliber. We cannot emphasize outward obedience at the cost of inner renewal. You cannot truly love if you think only of yourself. You have truly taken a few steps backward and are now sitting in disgrace while the rest of us happily go on with our lives. It is so very sad. All you had to do was listen and learn. Instead, you found people in your life who would step beside you and justify your behavior, even to the point of sabotaging your future for you. That is a good friend, for sure. I pray that you will one day be able to see that you had it all at your fingertips. You made a series of bad choices and I am so grateful that I wasn’t a part of them. Grace, love, forgiveness, dying to self, humility. Try one of those on for size.

love12You can read Matthew 21-24 about Jesus and His arrival into Jerusalem and his warning against religious leaders at www.biblegateway.com. What a testimony to God’s favor and mercy upon us all! Join in- the discussion by posting comments or questions below and let’s do this together!! #ReadtheBible #bgbg2 #BibleGateway #newbeginnings #Matthew

To further your reading, consider this from:

Galatians 5:14 – For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

When we are overconsumed with loving ourselves, we lose the motivation to love others. As a person who once thrived on other people’s acceptance, I found that I become frightened in letting people in to the brick walls of my fortress. Nothing is more scary than loving the people God places in my life. I am to love those directly in front of me. He would not have put them there if I wasn’t supposed to love them with all that I have.

Related Scriptures: Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Peter 4:8