Isn't it ironic?

In our discussion of Matthew 23:1-12 at Bible study this morning, I was struck by a couple of things about us as humans. We try so hard to DO and BE for our salvation. We try to jump through hoops and cross things off our "good enough for Jesus" list in order to win His approval. We say that we have been "saved by grace through faith," but most of us certainly don't act like it. We strive for man's approval, and quite frankly, we come by it pretty easily. That tends to lead to our desiring more recognition, and therefore we continue to fall into the "do" and "be" mentality. The problem with all of this is what God's Word has to say...

In this passage, Jesus is speaking of the law readers and interpreters. The Scribes and Pharisees took it upon themselves to make sure everyone obeyed the law. However, they often left themselves out of the loop and "lay (the rules/burdens) on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their fingers (vs. 4.)" They were guilty of holding everyone else to their high standards...except themselves. Our Bible study leader summarized their actions well by saying they had a "self-confidence in their self-righteousness." Yet, we who have been saved by grace through faith alone should live with the realization that "in Christ, He makes us less and less confident in ourselves!" (also quoting my Bible study leader here :) )

The irony in all of this seems to be that while we may "outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside (be) full of hypocrisy and lawlessness," (verse 28), we continue living for man's approval when in the end, that doesn't even matter!

The law? We can never follow it perfectly.
Righteousness? We only receive through Christ (2 Cor. 5:21)
Anything at all that we might bring to the cross in our own doing? Doesn't exist!!

The only thing I can bring to God's feet is myself...bathed in the blood of Jesus, washed as white as snow. Guilty, yet pardoned. Blind, now I can see. Lost, now found. Bound, now free! (Sing it with me!!)

Let's stop trying to do and be and start living in HIS deeds, HIS death on the cross, the truth of HIS being and the truth of what Christ has done for us and in us. I HAVE been saved by grace through faith, and I need to remember (and apparently remind myself often!) that it is NOT of myself, NOT because of anything I could ever possibly do...lest I should boast! (Eph. 2:9)

One reason I tend to repeat the "I am NOT supermom" phrase around here, and one reason I want to make sure I am quick to point out my many faults and shortcomings is because I do not want Matthew 23:28 to be true about me. I do not want to "outwardly appear righteous to men" but inwardly be full of hypocrisy. The Lord knows my heart. He knows my every thought, my every action, my every sin. And the best part about all of that? HE is the only one who knows all of that and loves me DESPITE me. I have nothing to do with His love for me, and for that, I am thankful.

I apologize if this post seems scatter-brained. Honestly, I feel scatter-brained about this subject. I wish I could have just sat up in our Bible study room by myself for about two hours after it ended. I had so much to meditate on, to search my heart over. One thing I love about blogging is that I have an outlet for writing down my thoughts. I tend to express myself much better in writing than I do in speaking, and my prayer in putting myself "out there" is that I would be an open and honest reflection of what Christ is doing in my life. I'm not perfect, none of us are, and I want to make sure to point people to where my HOPE comes from.


Anonymous said…
Thank you for your honesty & transparency.

"For the word of God is living & active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 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.".
Heb. 4: 12 -13

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