Sunday, May 6, 2012

Practice What you Preach

Sunday, May 6, 2012:  2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51 & Matthew 23.


S:  Matthew 23:3 – So observe and practice all they tell you; but do not do what they do, for they preach but they do not practice.

O:  Jesus is warning us to practice what we preach.

A:  In  Jesus’ day there were scribes and Pharisees who were the equivalent of our modern day church leaders.  They enjoyed positions of authority, the best seats in church, the ability to set the rules and regulations and programs of the church.  Jesus observed that rather than using their positions of authority to lead others into meaningful relationship with God; to encourage others in their service of the Lord or to help those in need they actually used their positions to make so many rules and regulations and programs that they actually ended up interfering with the ability of the people to enter into a meaningful relationship with God the Father.   These scribes and Pharisees spent a lot of time telling others how to live to please God but they did not expend any energy in their own lives trying to please God.  With any kind of leadership comes authority but also great responsibility – to practice what we preach; to not just talk the talk but to walk the walk.  First and foremost we are servants of the most high God.  Just as Jesus was.  This is what people should see when they look into our lives.  Not perfection; but a heart intent on serving God.   And as a follower I should watch and listen carefully before I decide to follow the lead of any other person – are they leading me closer to Jesus or away from Jesus? 

P:  Father God I thank you for the leadership of  all of the people that you have placed in my life.  Those who have led by wonderful example and those who have not.  Because I have learned lessons from both.    Father God my heart is only to serve you.  Forgive me if I have ever said or done anything that led another away from true relationship with you or interfered in their growth in you.  Use me Lord to lead people to you – not with fancy words but by loving you and doing my best to “walk the walk” all the days of my life.

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