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Flee Hypocrisy 9.19.14

FLEE HYPOCRISY

BREAD

4 I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites;

Psalms 26:4 (NIV)

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV)

11 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

Galatians 2:11-13 (NIV)

4 “I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem. I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests– 5 those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and who also swear by Molech.”

Zephaniah 1:4-5 (NIV)

1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.

1 Peter 2:1 (NIV)

BUTTER

“A hypocrite is like the hawk; the hawk flies upward, but he always keeps his eye down on the prey; let him get up as high as he will, he is always looking on the ground. Whereas, the Christian is like the lark, he turns his eye up to heaven, and as he mounts and sings he looks upward and he mounts upward.” Old Puritan Quote

“Man cannot control himself, and if he will not be controlled by Jesus Christ, then he will be controlled by Satan.” Billy Graham

“Duplicity is abominable with God, and hypocrisy His soul hateth….To hold with the hare and run with the hounds, is a dastard’s policy. In the common matters of daily life, a double-minded man is despised, but in religion he is loathsome to the last degree….How should divine justice spare the sinner, who knows the right, approves it, and professes to follow it, and all the while lives the evil, and gives it dominion in his heart?” Charles H. Spurgeon

“It is His love for man, His compassion for the human race, that prompts God to hate sin with such a vengeance. He gave Heaven’s finest that we might have the best; and He loathes with a holy abhorrence anything that would hinder our being reconciled to Him.” Billy Graham

“Some of Jesus’ strongest words were reserved for hypocrites – for people who claimed to believe in God and follow His laws, but in reality lived only for themselves. He compared them to ‘whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean’ (Matthew 23:27). None of us is perfect; even the most dedicated Christian falls short. When we do, we need to confess it and seek God’s help to live more consistently. But hypocrisy – living a deliberate lie – is another matter. Be on guard; don’t let hypocrisy take root in your soul. Instead, make sure of your commitment to Christ, and walk close to Him every day.” Billy Graham

“It is the prerogative of him who searches the heart, and knows what is in man, to pronounce who are hypocrites. The eye of man can perceive open profaneness, but it is only the eye of Christ that can discern hypocrisy. And as it is a sin which his eye discovers, so it is a sin which of all others his soul hates.” Matthew Henry

HEART SAVOR

• As a believer, I am not to be deceitful or hypocritical.
• God is serious about sin. He never overlooks it or winks at it rather He died to free me from it. I am to flee from it through His power.
• I am to keep my focus upward. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)

The Call to Kindness 9.17.14

THE CALL TO KINDNESS

BREAD

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Colossians 3:12 (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

1 Corinthians 13:4 (NIV)

32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

7 I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us– yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.

Isaiah 63:7 (NIV)

35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36 (NIV)

BUTTER
“Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, and learning.” Frederick Faber

“When arrogant people who know they deserve eternal misery tremble before a holy God of passionate wrath, they discover grace. They encounter the depths of God’s kindness and love, a kindness and love they find nowhere else. They fall to their knees and worship Christ as their Lord and Savior and as their truest friend, really their only true friend. They know they don’t deserve a hug, no matter how badly they’re hurting; but they get an eternal one anyway. That’s the grace that takes their breath away.” Larry Crabb

“We are to do acts of kindness to those that least of all deserve it.” William Law

HEART SAVOR

• New Testament Biblical kindness is defined as “to furnish what is needed, profitable, fit, good for any use; in a moral sense, moral, useful, good; it is the grace which pervades the whole nature, mellowing all which would have been harsh and austere; the word is descriptive of one’s disposition and does not necessarily entail acts of goodness.” Hebrew Greek Key Word Study Bible – New Testament Lexical Aids. “Just as fruit automatically comes from a plant or tree because it is its nature to do so, spiritual fruit is automatic in the Christian. The irrefutable proof of a person’s salvation is that he will bear fruit.” Dr. J. D. Watson
• Jesus is kind to me and I am to be kind to others through the power of His Spirit.
• There is benefit in kindness (one never out gives God) – 16 A kindhearted woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth. 17 A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself. Proverbs 11:16-17 (NIV)

No Fear of Man 9.14.15

NO FEAR OF MAN

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7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:7-9 (NIV)

I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalms 23:4 (NIV)

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalms 27:1 (NIV)

25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The only fear a Christian should entertain is the fear of sin. All other fears are from Satan sent to confuse and weaken us. How often the Lord reiterated to His disciples, ‘Be not afraid!’” Isobel Kuhn

“There is never a fear that has not a corresponding ‘Fear not.’” Amy Carmichael

“God incarnate is the end of fear. The heart that realizes that He is in the midst…..will be quiet in the midst of alarm.” F.B. Meyer

“The most oft repeated command in the Bible is ‘fear not…do not be afraid’. Probably because for most us we lack courage. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. In fact, fear might be a constant companion for the rest of your life. But courage is an essential ingredient for those following Jesus. It is a moral value—an operating quality of someone with a radically changed heart. How do we get courage in the midst of all that frightens us—when the Dr. says there isn’t any more that can be done? When you get a pink slip at work? When your spouse says ‘I found someone new’? When you spend one more night in the lonely dark? You won’t get it by your own will power. But, by faith in the One, Jesus, Who when faced with the most frightening of all experiences, death for our sin, abandonment from the Father, did not run. He stayed and offered up His life for you. When you see his courage and believe his promise, ‘I will never leave you or abandon you’…you will face your fear with courage.” Tom Wood

“Men who fear God face life fearlessly.” Richard Halverson

“And we will never stop being the boldface brave who show up when it would be easier to give up, who go do hard & holy things when it would be easier to just go do happy things, who do not quit when we don’t know how to keep going on. You can hear it about this time of September, breathing warm courage into our exhausted places: ‘Just Call to Me, I guarantee I will answer you. I will make you strong & brave.’ (Psalms 138:3). Be Brave. Hold out your Light to hold back the flood of dark. Be Brave. Your bravery wins a thousand battles you can’t see because your bravery strengthens a thousand others to win their battles too. Be Brave. And do not pray for the hard thing to go away. But pray for a bravery to come that’s bigger than the hard thing.” Ann Voskamp

HEART SAVOR

• When God is on my side whom shall I fear? He is my Strong Tower, my Rock, and my Salvation. Nothing is too hard for Him. 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD? Genesis 18:14 (NIV). 17 “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 (NIV)
• I am to be courageous and careful to obey God’s Word.
• Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me. I can trust Him with my life and rest secure in Him. “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

GOD’S PERFECT VISION

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15 Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” 16 You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”?

Isaiah 29:15-16 (NIV)

9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NIV)

13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)

9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 10 “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV)

BUTTER

“The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this, and could not contradict him, but they sneered at him. Let us consider this as their sin, and the fruit of their covetousness, which was their primary sin. Many who make a great profession of religion and abound in the exercise of devotion, are yet ruined by the love of the world. These covetous Pharisees could not bear to have that touched, which was their Delilah, their darling lust; for this they derided him, they turned up their noses at him, or blew their noses on him. It is an expression of the utmost scorn and disdain imaginable. They laughed at him for going so contrary to the opinion and way of the world. It is common for those to make a joke of the word of God who are resolved that they will not be ruled by it.” Matthew Henry

“An awakened heart trembles at the audacity of sin, and stands alarmed at the contemplation of its punishment. How monstrous a thing is rebellion! How direful a doom is prepared for the ungodly! My soul, never laugh at sin’s fooleries, lest thou come to smile at sin itself. It is thine enemy, and thy Lord’s enemy – view it with detestation, for so only canst thou evidence the possession of holiness, without which no man can see the Lord.” C.H. Spurgeon

“We seem to have lost the vision of the majesty of God.” John Stott

“No sin is small.” Jeremy Taylor

“Measure your growth in grace by your sensitiveness to sin.” Oswald Chambers

HEART SAVOR

• Nothing is hidden from God’s sight.
• God does not wink at sin. Sin cost Him the life of His Son.
• I am to keep my accounts short with the Lord – running to Him in repentance and from the sin that so easily entangles and harms me.

Heavenly Hope 9.10.14

HEAVENLY HOPE

BREAD

5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalms 30:5 (NIV)

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; 26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.

Lamentations 3:21-26 (NIV)

23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:23-25 (NIV)

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12 (NIV)

19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.” Billy Graham

“The future belongs to those who belong to God. This is hope.” W.T. Purkiser

“Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds.” Thomas Brooks

“Give me the love that leads the way, The faith that nothing can dismay, The hope no disappointments tire, The passion that will burn like fire, Let me not sink to be a clod: Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God.” Amy Carmichael

“Our Christian testimony, as Peter reminded his readers, is that, ‘we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of the dead’. Who else has the answer to the frailty of life, the reality of death and the certainty of judgment than Jesus, who by His death destroyed him who holds the power of death and frees those whose lives are enslaved by the fear of death?” Alistair Begg

“We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul. If we would at once overcome Satan and have peace with God, it must be by ‘looking unto Jesus’. Keep thine eye simply on Him; let His death, His sufferings, His merits, His glories, His intercession, be fresh upon thy mind; when thou wakest in the morning look to Him; when thou liest down at night look to Him. Oh! Let not thy hopes or fears come between thee and Jesus; follow hard after Him, and He will never fail thee.” C. H. Spurgeon

“Other men see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope.” Gilbert Brenken

HEART SAVOR

• Heavenly hope will never disappoint. “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:2-5 (NIV)
• Jesus is the anchor for my soul – firm and secure.
• Heavenly hope requires my patiently waiting with joy.

TRIALS – OPPORTUNITIES NOT DIFFICULTIES

BREAD

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)

7 To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8:28-30 (NIV)

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4 (NIV)

BUTTER

“There are two ways of getting out of a trial. One is to simply try to get rid of the trial, and be thankful when it is over. The other is to recognize the trial as a challenge from God to claim a larger blessing than we have ever had, and to hail it with delight as an opportunity of obtaining a larger measure of divine grace. Thus even the adversary becomes an auxiliary, and the things that seem to be against us turn out to be for the furtherance of our way. Surely, this is to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” A. B. Simpson

“To learn strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid severe testings.” George Mueller

“On Him then reckon, to Him look, on Him depend: and be assured that if you walk with Him, look to Him and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. An older brother, who has known the Lord for forty-four years, who writes this, says for your encouragement that He has never failed him. In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest trials, in the deepest poverty and necessities, He has never failed me; but because I was enabled by His grace to trust in Him, He has always appeared for my help. I delight in speaking well of His Name.” George Mueller

HEART SAVOR

• God gives me the grace sufficient to meet each need He allows. Not just merely sufficient – but overflowing. Grace ever giving way to grace.
• Christ’s power is perfected in my weakness.
• Trials are used to increase my faith. As I lean into Him through faith – He Who is ever able – I am strengthened by His achieving power. He has never failed me. Not once.

THE GREATNESS OF GRATITUDE

BREAD

18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)

20 At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

Job 1:20-22 (NIV)

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name.

Hebrews 13:15 (NIV)

BUTTER

“Gratitude is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.” Charles Jefferson

“The best way to show my gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy.” Mother Teresa

“Joy is the realest reality, the fullest life, and joy is always given, never grasped. God gives gifts and I give thanks and I unwrap the gift given: joy. Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant- a seed- this plants the giant miracle. The miracle of eucharisto. Do not disdain the small. The whole of the life – even the hard – is made up of the minute parts, and if I miss the infinitesimals, I miss the whole…There is a way to live the big of giving thanks in all things. It is this: to give thanks in this one small thing. The moments will add up.” Ann Voskamp

“Every breath’s a battle between grudgery and gratitude.” Ann Voskamp

“Christian thanksgiving is the life of Christ in the heart — transforming the disposition and the whole character. Thanksgiving must be wrought into the life as a habit—before it can become a fixed and permanent quality. An occasional burst of praise, in the midst of years of complaining, is not what is required. Songs on rare, sunshiny days; and no songs when skies are cloudy—will not make a life of gratitude. The heart must learn to sing always. This lesson is learned only when it becomes a habit which nothing can weaken. We must persist in being thankful. When we can see no reason for praise—we must believe in the divine love and goodness, and sing in the darkness. Thanksgiving has attained its rightful place in us, only when it is part of all our days and dominates all our experiences.” J. R. Miller

“Unyielding gratitude to God — is how God makes us unstoppable.” Ann Voskamp

“The root of joy is gratefulness … It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” David Steindl-Rast

“Gratitude is an inward emotion of the soul, involuntarily arising therein, while thanksgiving is the voluntary expression of gratitude.” E.M. Bounds

HEART SAVOR

• I am to give thanks in all circumstances. This is rooted in Romans 8:28: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
• I get to choose between grudgery and gratitude.
• Gratitude honors God and shows I believe He always has my best interest at heart whether I can recognize this in my circumstances or not.

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