June 18, 2017 at 12:54 am #30373
“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.'” (Matt 15:7-8)
The word “Hypocrite is rooted in the Greek word hypokrites which means “actor”. A hypocrite is an actor, a pretender, a dissembler, a deceiver, a liar, a fraud, a sham, a fake. They pretend to have some value or belief on the outside, but in their private life it does not match up with what they professes. They are not pure in heart. To be pure in heart means our words match up with our thoughts and actions; one’s outer life matches their inner life.
“It is no fault of Christianity that a Hypocrite falls into sin.” (Jerome, Letter 125). Why is that? It has to do with our state of mind. The apostle James twice uses the term double-minded (James 1:8; James 4:8). Being double-minded is a problem that can damage Christians and can manifest itself in several areas of their lives.
The Greek word translated “double-minded” is dipsuchos, from dis, meaning “twice,” and psuche , meaning “mind.” James uses it to describe someone who is divided in his interests or loyalties, wavering, uncertain, two-faced, half-hearted. Even godly men in the Bible sometimes lapsed into double-mindedness. Doubt and irresoluteness in our communication with God short-circuit our relationship with Him.
To avoid being double-minded in our prayer life, we should ask the following before making our petitions to God.
1. Is what I am asking according to His will?
2. Are my attitude and life in tune with the will of God?
3. Are my motives self-centered or God-centered?
If we can answer yes to the first two questions and “God-centered” to the third question, then we should have no problem staying single-minded in prayer. Of course, we can’t earn or force a particular response from God. God responds to us according to His mercy and righteousness, not ours.
The second warning concerns the double-minded hearing of God’s Word. The Scripture cautions that we are to “be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22). The follower of Christ should feel happy after reading God’s Word, but reading the Bible should be a means to an end, to becoming Christ-like. We should go beyond just feeling good to actually striving to be good. A pleasant, satisfied feeling can deceive us into thinking we have accomplished something when we haven’t. This is why the Bible says “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17)
Let’s not fall into selective or conditional obedience. God does not want us as actors, but committed doers of the Word.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Be BlessedJune 23, 2017 at 2:36 am #30385
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