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THURSDAY 23RD AUGUST, 2018
THEME: HYPOCRITES!
TEXT: MATTHEW 23:1-33
MEMORY VERSE: MATTHEW. 23:33 – Ye serpent, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Who is a hypocrite? A hypocrite is someone who pretends or feigns to be what he is not. He is a deceiver. Some of their characteristics are that they: teach what they don’t practise; self – glorification; like titles a lot; embrace falsehood but reject the truth; attract people’s attention when they give to the poor or to God’s work; they pretend to be holy; seek praises of men; criticise a lot without offering any better solution.

There are many hypocrites in the church today, even among the so-called “men and women of God”. In the text for today, Jesus rained eight “woes” upon them. Are you a hypocrite? There was a man who once lived in our village. He was fond of criticising whoever was appointed an officer of the Village Council but if you asked him to be one of them he would say “I have not enough time for that”. Many come to Church to criticise the Pastor’s sermon or to mark his grammatical errors and not to listen to the sermon, no matter how penetrating it may be. There are some, too, who attend the Leaders’ Meeting to puncture every decision. In the text, the Pharisees and the Scribes do what they criticise Jesus for. They always antagonize Jesus, oppress the poor, make false vows, display outward show, are self-righteous, undertake long prayers, self-conceited and so forth. In Matt. 23:33, Jesus warned them, saying “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of fire?”

You are not being asked not to criticise but do so constructively to put a person on the right way. The Pharisees only see bad things and they pretend not to see good things that Jesus did. Be positive at all times because whatever is in your mind the mouth speaks. Change before it is too late.

HYMN: EMHB 352 – OPPRESSED WITH SIN AND WOE
PRAYER: Take away every iota of hypocrisy in my life and give me a new heart that I may speak the truth at all times, no matter whose ox is gored in Jesus name. Amen.

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