Ozark Christian Living

Family Life & Homemaker's Guide

To Tempt is Contempt

January 21

  "MASTER, which is the great commandment in the law?"  Matthew 22:36

"Are you a smug pseudo-saint?"




What arrogance drips from this question!  Are you a smug pseudo-saint?  Our SAVIOR is a Shepherd WHO wears no wool ... thus how vain to seek to pull that which is not there over HIS eyes.  "I have written to him the great things of MY law, but they were counted as a strange thing."  This "lawyer" knew the commandments, he was just next in line to try his hand at worsting GOD.  JESUS, in HIS classic style of dealing with scoffers, answers the question and then poses a couple of HIS own: "What think ye of CHRIST? WHOSE SON is HE?"  Has the LORD ever enrolled you in one of HIS teaching moments like this one?  Have you ever been cornered in your hubris by HIS holiness?  If the answer to these questions is no, chances are then that 'yes'  is your answer to the smugness poll at the beginning of today's devotional.

"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." 
Is it any less contemptible when we know HIS laws and probe for loopholes ... even in the prayer closet?  Is it not the height of spiritual brutishness to calculate the overthrow of HIS will in our lives while feigning Biblical ignorance?  Admit it, you do know what HE commands and expects from you.  James states that to be a hearer of the Word and not a doer is to deceive no one but yourself.  Though it is axiomatic to say that GOD is not fooled by our haughty and prim attempts to trap HIM in our hypocrisy; the line of they who will try has not shortened since the days of this lawyer. 

In spite of the contempt of the scene surrounding this morning's devotion, our LORD answers:  " ... Thou shalt love the LORD thy GOD with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment."  If this is true, it would naturally follow that the first and great sin must be to neglect the obligation of this love!  The lawyer erred, asking what he might do to please GOD; when before HIM, humility would dictate the real question: ... MASTER, am I guilty of the first and great sin?

" And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, GOD be merciful to me a sinner."

For Love of Country
John Hancock (1737-1793)
(First to sign the Declaration of Independence)
"In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that , whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending Judgments ... All confidence must be withheld for the means we use; and reposed only on that GOD WHO rules in the Armies of Heaven, and without WHOSE blessing the best human counsels are but foolishness --- and all created power vanity"

This site was last updated 01/21/2012