Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Woe is Me

Have you ever gone to a costume party, one where you had to wear a mask?  Sometimes it's fun to pretend to be someone you are not, even if for just a short time.  But some people choose to live wearing a mask everyday. 

In the past, the word hypocrite was used to describe an actor.  Instead of having a complete cast for a play, one man would act out several roles, wearing a different mask for each role.

Jesus called the Pharisees and teachers of the Law hypocrites.  These men pretended to be servants of God; they wore the mask of a follower.  But Jesus knew what was on the inside, under their mask.   

In Matthew 23, Jesus addressed the Pharisees.  His words to these fans can be combined into four Woe Messages. 

Fans choose rules over relationship.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in." (vs. 13)

Have you ever tried to measure your relationship with God by the rules that you keep?

Fans choose laws over love.
“Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath. (vs. 16)

The Pharisees added so many of their own rules to God's Law that it was almost impossible to obey.  Any why would anyone even want to try to get close to a God who required so much from His people?  Love should triumph over law, for there is no law against love.

Fans choose guilt over grace.
"They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.' (vs. 4)

We have all messed up, and sometimes we feel like we have to work harder to make things right, but we forget about grace.  Fans are about the do, but followers celebrate because it's already been done

Fans are missing what really matters.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. (vs. 23) 

Tithing and church attendance are not what makes a follower.  Jesus isn't looking for your money, He's looking for your heart. 

Are you wearing a mask of religion and relationship?  Jesus invites you to come to Him.  Take off the mask and live as a follower today.

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."  Matthew 11:28-30

Many blessings,

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  1. This is so good. I LOVE the verse you included at the end. I don't ever EVER want to be seen as a fan or a hipocrite.

  2. This was very well written... We all have a " mask that blocks us from seeing the lord. The mask of sin... the Pharisees have a thick, dark black evil mask, while we hope that most of us have a white almost clear- see through- mask.... We are all called to repent and see the face of God.... We must see in his light and live in the moment and take off as many masks we have to see the lord as who he is....

    p.s come and join my religious blog


  3. sorry it is lifeofusandsaints.blogspot.com

  4. Hi Lisa - I saw the title only on fb and thought,"oh shame, what's wrong? Why is Lisa sad?" Good thing I came back here to check out your post :) Excellent post - I do not want to wear a mask, I want to be real and transparent and faults and all, i want people to see I love Jesus.
    God bless

  5. "Jesus isn't looking for your money, He's looking for your heart." And ALL of it! Amen :)

  6. That's awesome! Yes, praise Jesus there is grace! The law was written long ago on tablets but now it's written across our hearts. We still have to be obedient but it's nice to know that when we make mistakes we can be lovingly corrected!:) Great encouragement girl:)

  7. THANK YOU for this post. "Tithing and church attendance are not what makes a follower. Jesus isn't looking for your money, He's looking for your heart." EXACTLY. Exactly. Thank you for sharing actual truth. Looking forward to reading more!

  8. Amen, girl! What good teaching you have here. I don't ever want to wear a mask. I want to be a follower through and through, trusting God in the good times and bad.

  9. So good. :) Thank you for sharing this interesting piece of Jesus.

  10. Absolutely wonderful Lisa! We can try to hide from those around us, but the Lord knows our heart and will hold us to His standard. We should all be striving to be followers, not fans.

    Have a Blessed Day!

  11. I don't want to be a fan. I want to be a follower!

  12. I admit, sometimes I wear the mask. Thank God for His grace in that regard.

    And this, Lisa...this really jumped out at me from those Matthew verses: "Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." Is that the Message version? Sometimes I like to read that one -- it's simple and straight-forward, and I need that!

  13. Amen Lisa, I admit I wear masks sometimes,awesome post and some powerful words today Lisa.

  14. I am a work in progress by far! I am trying so hard to be a follower and not a fan but today I know I failed. I need to remember his grace and continue on my journey towards being a follower. I took my mask off a few years ago but it was not until recently that I held my head high and let the world see who I truly am.

  15. Good words for my heart.