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Hypocrisy

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“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, and yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law ​— ​justice, mercy, and faithfulness. These things should have been done without neglecting the others.” (Matthew 23:23, Christian Standard Bible) Do you have bumper stickers on your car? Maybe a political stance, a favorite sports team, your love of dogs or cats? What about something religious—a fish symbol, scripture quote, admonition to repent? (I haven’t seen any “Honk if you love Jesus” stickers lately.) While I don’t personally display bumper stickers, I have no objection if…

“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions…” (II Timothy 3:10-11). How well do your friends know you? The people at work?  What about those at church? Do they know what you believe and how you live your everyday life? In the verses above the apostle Paul made a very inclusive statement. He is saying, “You know what I believe, how I live, my purpose in life, how I show the fruit of the Spirit in my life, and the way I face trials.” Paul lived transparently before those to whom…

“And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.  And presently the fig tree withered away.”  (Matthew 21:19 in the King James Version of the Holy Bible.) Jesus was walking on a public road and saw a fig tree.  It was on common property and anyone might lawfully use its fruit. Because He is God and all knowing, He knew the true condition of the tree, but He acted according to the appearance of things.  Perhaps…