THEME: THE PHARISEE SPIRIT
“For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
-The Pharisees wore long robes and ensured their external appearance was perfect but neglected the inside. Jesus said to them, “Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matthew 23:26). When Samuel was instructed to anoint king David as king of Israel, we find out that; God does not look at the external appearance but the heart of men. The Pharisee spirit neglects faith in Christ which produces righteousness; for we know that the righteous shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). Abraham believed in God and it was accounted to him as righteousness, and we are called to hold fast faith in Jesus Christ. If then through faith in Him, our righteousness will exceed that of Scribes and Pharisees, we will inherit His heavenly kingdom.
Often times in the Bible do we see Jesus facing opposition by the Pharisees, which is referred to as the Pharisee spirit. In Matthew 12:27-28, we find the Pharisees who opposed Jesus who cast out demons and accused Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub; the ruler of the demons. Jesus responded saying “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:27-28). Jesus did not consider them as members of His kingdom but the kingdom governed by demonic forces, which is the Pharisee spirit. He also referred to them as blind guides, for they were leaders who though having the law, did not have a clear sense of direction. The light of God did not shine in them and thus could only lead people astray. Jesus referred to them as, “blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Jesus also referred to them as hypocrites. For they shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. They neither went in themselves, nor allowed those who sought to enter to go in (Matthew 23:13). We are called to have poverty in Spirit like little children; so that we may be filled, and we shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is the Door to eternal life, and without faith in Him, one cannot enter. The Pharisees were also referred to as brood of vipers, for they knew too much about the law but neglected to follow after love, as stipulated therein. They heard too much on the word of God but did not retain anything. They were deaf to hear it and only focused on their stomachs. They also camouflaged and had a double-minded attitude to deceive men. They did not consider weightier matters like faith, justice and mercy but always sort to destroy Jesus. Like venomous snakes, they bit their prey and let the poison slowly kill them. When they prayed and fasted, they sort to be seen by men for self glorification and not the glory of God, for they never knew Him. They also sort after traditions and not the kingdom of God through love for God and others.
Thank You Everlasting Father for Your mercy and love upon our lives. Thank You for seeing us through the week in good health and perfect peace, all glory and blessings belongs to You. Be with all those who are sick and suffering that You may heal them, for by Your stripes we were healed. We cast all our burdens unto You Jesus for You care for us, heal all our wounds and protect us from all evil. Have mercy on those who are infected with COVID-19 that You may heal them and deliver them from all their troubles. Be with those who have been affected either directly or indirectly with this pandemic that Your peace that surpasses all understanding may dwell in their hearts. Settle the hearts of the medical practitioners and grant them courage as they serve Your people. Be with all those who are imprisoned and deliver them from all their troubles. Remember all those who live in the streets that You may always be with them, provide for all their needs and make a way for them even where there seems to be no way. You are the way, the truth and the light Jesus, make a way for all of us in our various situations even where there seems to be no way, we humbly ask You. You are our good Shepherd lead us in all truth and deliver us from the Pharisee spirit. Forgive us all our sins and cover us with Your precious blood. Save us and our families from the final wrath, so that we may inherit Your heavenly kingdom. Fill us with the gift of salvation and help us to set our minds on the things above and not on the things below, holding fast faith in You and putting in works as You have called us; for the benefit of Your kingdom. Lead us into all truth Jesus and help us to fulfill the purposes for which we have been called here on earth, for the glory of Your name. Hear all our prayers and answer all our hearts desires for You are our only Father, and all glory will come back to You, now and forever. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the love of God; and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit; be with us now; and forevermore. Amen
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