Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God. Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)
I believe that as children of our Father in Heaven, our Creator, we are called to operate for the purpose and glory of God.
The problem seems to be that too often people need to get over themselves, and step out of the way, so that God can move.
You see, as He gives us free will to choose, we often choose the wrong path, go the wrong direction and ultimately mess up the beautiful plan that God has for our lives.
I just watched a group of people who call themselves "Christians"miss out on a beautiful blessing of God because they chose to hang on to bitterness, anger and pain from the past.
They refused to accept the gift of restoration, of His beauty magnified, of Glory manifest.
I stood and watched as they collectively walked away, out of the presence of God and into the darkness of their past.
Oh, how it must have saddened the heart of God as His gift to them was rejected, scoffed at and mocked. Oh, how it must have saddened His heart that He, Himself, was refused and rejected.
And as I was the one that God had chosen on this earth to give them His gift, I stood in amazement at how I somehow became the "bad guy".
How, I wondered did they become so blind and deaf to the truth of God, His love and His word?
Why, I wondered would they turn and walk away with so much pride and arrogance and not fall on their knees in humbleness and humility that God was desiring to bestow His love on them with this precious gift?
Was He testing them? Was He testing me? I don't know the answers, but I do know that our God, our Father in Heaven is Worthy to be glorified in all things.
As people, turn from God and choose to walk in blindness to the glory of our Lord, in my mind I see Jesus standing on the temple steps, almost pleading with the people, the Pharisees. Jesus warned them of the consequences of not heeding His Father's words. He ultimately referred to them as "a brood of vipers."
Matthew 23 tells us the story of Jesus as He Condemns the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law of Moses
The Pharisees and the teachers of the Law are experts in the Law of Moses. So obey everything they teach you, but don’t do as they do.
After all, they say one thing and do something else.They pile heavy burdens on people’s shoulders and won’t lift a finger to help.
Everything they do is just to show off in front of others. They even make a big show of wearing Scripture verses on their foreheads and arms, and they wear big tassels for everyone to see.
They love the best seats at banquets and the front seats in the meeting places. And when they are in the market, they like to have people greet them as their teachers.
But none of you should be called a teacher. You have only one teacher, and all of you are like brothers and sisters.
Don’t call anyone on earth your father. All of you have the same Father in heaven.
None of you should be called the leader. The Messiah is your only leader.
Whoever is the greatest should be the servant of the others. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.
You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You lock people out of the kingdom of heaven. You won’t go in yourselves, and you keep others from going in.
You Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You travel over land and sea to win one follower. And when you have done so, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are.
You are in for trouble! You are supposed to lead others, but you are blind. You teach that it doesn’t matter if a person swears by the temple. But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gold in the temple.
You blind fools! Which is greater, the gold or the temple that makes the gold sacred?
You also teach that it doesn’t matter if a person swears by the altar. But you say that it does matter if someone swears by the gift on the altar.
Are you blind? Which is more important, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
Anyone who swears by the altar also swears by everything on it.
And anyone who swears by the temple also swears by God, who lives there.
To swear by heaven is the same as swearing by God’s throne and by the one who sits on that throne.
You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You give God a tenth of the spices from your garden, such as mint, dill, and cumin. Yet you neglect the more important matters of the Law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness.
These are the important things you should have done, though you should not have left the others undone either.
You blind leaders! You strain out a small fly but swallow a camel.2
You Pharisees and teachers are show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You wash the outside of your cups and dishes, while inside there is nothing but greed and selfishness.
You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of a cup, and then the outside will also be clean.
You Pharisees and teachers are in for trouble! You’re nothing but show-offs. You’re like tombs that have been whitewashed. On the outside they are beautiful, but inside they are full of bones and filth.
That’s what you are like. Outside you look good, but inside you are evil and only pretend to be good.
You Pharisees and teachers are nothing but show-offs, and you’re in for trouble! You build monuments for the prophets and decorate the tombs of good people. And you claim that you would not have taken part with your ancestors in killing the prophets.
But you prove that you really are the relatives of the ones who killed the prophets.
So keep on doing everything they did. You are nothing but snakes and the children of snakes! How can you escape going to hell?
I will send prophets and wise people and experts in the Law of Moses to you. But you will kill them or nail them to a cross or beat them in your meeting places or chase them from town to town.
That’s why you will be held guilty for the murder of every good person, beginning with the good man Abel. This also includes Barachiah’s son Zechariah, the man you murdered between the temple and the altar.
I can promise that you people living today will be punished for all these things!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem! Your people have killed the prophets and have stoned the messengers who were sent to you. I have often wanted to gather your people, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you wouldn’t let me.
And now your temple will be deserted.
You won’t see me again until you say,
“Blessed is the one who comes
in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 23)
Over and over again in God's word, we hear that our Father in Heaven is worthy to be glorified. He sends people into our lives to deliver His message, yet He is rejected and His messengers pursued.
It is my prayer today for all to stop and listen for the voice of God. Search your heart, be still and seek to feel His presence. There is a lot of noise in the world. Seek to tune out the noise, the chaos and focus on God. Do not turn away a stranger in prejudice and disgust. Do not judge others, operate in pride or jealousy, and do not mock or scoff at God's messengers. They are sent to help you, to help you see, hear and feel the presence and glory of God.
Be careful that you do not miss the blessings of God. Do not refuse to accept God's gift of restoration, of His beauty magnified, of Glory manifest. God loves you. Jesus died for you and the Holy Spirit is your counselor and guide. I pray that today you choose receive this message from our Lord and Savior. Be Blessed in Jesus name. Amen.