Church of the
“Therefore, the Lord said, ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honour Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is but rules taught by men.’” [Isaiah 29:13]
“Jesus answered them, “Isaiah prophesized correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘These people honour Me with their lips, but hear hearts are far from Me.’” [Mark 7:6]
Wolves in sheep’s clothing. We all know them. The bullies who literally rob their victims of the ability to provide for their families. Bullies who are so focused on their own need for greed and power, they are stealing the food off the plates of those they bully.
However, the damage does not end there. Bullying drives people out of professions in order to create artificial shortages that seek to support a system of self-profiteering. The problem is that eventually, the bullying will catch up with the bully and lead to a real shortage that will hurt so many others.
But – alas! – this is a day that will never come or so the bully reasons.
These “wolves in sheep’s clothing” often use a public persona of being as Christian” and say or do all the things that society would recognize as being a Christian. This is the problem that both Isaiah wrote about in the Old Testament and Jesus spoke about in the New Testament.
These “wolves in sheep’s clothing” might be able to deceive a lot of people with their generosity, sacrificial work hours or other things our society deems excellent or admirable.
However, God sees right through this façade.
The Gospel hinges on the idea of repentance and not confession. Confession may appease the conscience but does not satisfy God. The act of repentance involves sincere regret or remorse. An intentional act that determines a course of action that says, “I will not do that again.”
The problem is that these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” will often ask for forgiveness or confess to a clergy their sin but in their heart, they have no intention of ever changing. God sees this and is not impressed.
God created you to be in a healthy and vibrant relationship with Him. Sin creates an impenetrable wall between God and you. Sin replaces the God-directed love you were created with, with a self-directed love that seeks to continually focus on doing everything to glorify yourself.
There are several questions to ask yourself during the days leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
“What is it that is at the core of everything I do?”
In other words, what is the motivation for every decision or action that I do?
“Am I deceiving myself into thinking that I am not a bully when all my actions at work tell a different story?”
Finally, “What is my relationship with God really like?”
In other words, has my broken relationship with Him been restored by the forgiveness God offers each of us through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Cavalry? A death that allows God to offer us the grace to ask for forgiveness and the faith to receive God’s forgiveness. Or am I just going through the motions and living in denial?
Remember, living for yourself will never match the freedom and joy that comes from fulfilling the purpose you were created for – being in a loving relationship with God.