THEME: THE PHARISEE SPIRIT
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ “Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?”
-Like John the Baptist, Jesus addressed the Pharisees and Scribes as brood of vipers. The Pharisee spirit is also the spirit of vipers, which is a venomous snake in the family Viperidae. A viper has interesting characteristics like: – they are venomous and can kill with their poison, they are cunning, they are deaf and use their belly to hear, they are water proof, they can scale off their outer skin, they camouflage, they cannot move straight but meander etc. Like Pharisees, vipers bite and leave poison in the blood and as we know that the life of a creature is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). A Pharisee is a dangerous, treacherous and malignant person. The Pharisees and Scribes killed the prophets and could not listen to them. The Pharisee spirit is deaf and it’s main focus is the stomach instead of focusing on the word of God. They receive the word of God but it has no effect on their lives no matter much they hear. They can easy pretend or camouflage to shift in the direction where they benefit. They do not focus on Jesus wholeheartedly but they meander and are double minded. They are cunning and their ways are deceitful. Since the Pharisees interest was on the stomach, they allowed money changers and trade to do business outside the temple. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches, schools and other institutions have been closed. unfortunately some individuals want them open for their own personal interests and not for the common good. A brood means a family, therefore such self centered interests have become a conspiracy whose focus is on the stomach. Esau lost his birthright to his brother Jacob because of a bowl of soup. It is possible to loose one’s identity when we focus on the stomach. After forty days of fasting, Jesus was tempted by the serpent to turn stones into bread since he was hungry. He responded saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). We are then called to hear His word and keep it, so that we may live according to His will and not be condemned.
Everlasting Father we come before You today thanking You for the gift of life and all the gifts You have bestowed unto us. You are the King of kings and Lord of lords, and none can be compared to You. All glory and blessings belongs to You. You have reminded us that it is important to focus our eyes on You and not on our stomach’s, give us the strength to seek You always with all our hearts. Grant all our leaders wisdom that they may know how to deal with the institutions they are in charge of especially during this time of COVID-19. Help us all to seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness and all other things You will add unto us. For the many times we have compromised our faith and entertained the Pharisee spirit in our lives, we ask for Your forgiveness merciful Father. Forgive us all our sins and cleanse us from everything that does not belong to Your Kingdom. Only You are our Lord and Savior, grant us the wisdom to hear Your word and to keep it deep in our hearts that we may always do Your will. Guide us to understand Your word and to meditate on it day and night. Shepherd us and bless us loving Father that we may not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful, but to take delight in You law, and meditate on it day and night. Plant us Jesus like trees in the river of water that our leaves may never wither and we may bear much fruit in season. Bless the work of our hands so that whatever we do may prosper. Thank You Lord for You have good plans for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and future. Lead us throughout this week dear Lord and make all our plans succeed for only You are our Lord and King. Amen
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