Money and Being Content

But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:6-10

Hold to One

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”                                           Matthew 6:24

What is it about “Mammon”; money, or material things; that is so quick at drawing our hearts away from God? Jesus has said, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also” (verse 21). So it is a matter of the heart.

Let me give a couple of other verses that address this situation too many of us find ourselves in from time to time; and maybe some who are reading this has there lives tied up in the material, financial part of life so much that they are not at peace with God, themselves, and of course not with others.

First, the apostle Paul writing to the young pastor Timothy wrote, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10). It is not the lack of money, but the love of money that is the root of all evil, and it comes from the heart. If one loves money then they cannot and will not love God or others.

Second, let’s look at what James wrote, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8).

The question comes down to this – Do we love God? or Do we love money and things? We do have a choice. If we see money as a tool, and learn to use it wisely for the honor and glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, then we will be at peace with God and with our fellow man.

Knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives gives us a life of love for God, and our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as peace and love for our neighbors. Remember this use money; rightly received; as a tool for living a modest and good and holy life, and helping others. Love God, and in loving others we show our love for God.

With Little or Much

And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
  Luke 16:9-13

Betrayer or Servant

“And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.  And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.”  Mark 14:10-11

This text goes from one who, “Has done what she could”; to one who “takes all he can”, and gives nothing in return.  The Gospel of John calls him a “Thief” (John 12:6).  It is quite the contrast.  On which side do we stand? On the side of giving all to Jesus; or taking all we can for self.

Notice the path of the betrayer.  It was not an accident it was a planned, purposeful, plot for material gain.  Judas went to the “Chief priests, to betray Him unto them”.  He went to them.  They did not come to him with words of deception, or a scheme to try and trick Judas into betrayal.  It was in Judas’s  heart.  Then after they had received his offer he sought for a way to set it up – “he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” (v. 11).  Is this the heart of one who really loves Jesus?  Is this the act of one who really believes in Him?  I think not.

Some may think of Peter and his denial of Jesus, but Peter did not plan, or purposely plot to deny Jesus.  When Judas betrayed Jesus did he seek forgiveness and repent of his action?  No!  He was sorry for what he did, but did not seek the cleansing of forgiveness, rather, the Gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts tells us he went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5;  Acts 1 17-19), and went to his own place.  Peter sought the Lord’s forgiveness for His act.

The woman in verses 3 – 9 sought how best to serve her Lord.  Judas sought how best to serve himself.  Which one sought rightly?  Which one will receive the Lords blessing, and reward?  Which one will spend eternity in Hell?  It is evident to those who know the Lord.

What is the worth of your soul?  What is the worth of Jesus Christ to you?

A Hook, A Fish and Money

“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, ‘Doth not your Master pay tribute?’ He saith, ‘Yes.’ And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying,
‘What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers?’
Peter saith unto Him, ‘Of strangers.’ Jesus saith unto him,
‘Then are the children free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for Me and thee.’ ”  Matthew 17:24-27

The House of God

“And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves,
‘Take these things hence; make not My Father’s house an house of merchandise.’
And His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up.’
Then answered the Jews and said unto Him, ‘What sign shewest Thou unto us, seeing that Thou doest these things?’ Jesus answered and said unto them,
‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’
Then said the Jews, ‘Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt Thou rear it up in three days?’ But He spake of the temple of His body.
When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” John 2:13-22 (KJB)

Why would Jesus get angry over the selling of sacrificial goods in the temple area? Could it have been because it was an affront to the holiness and righteousness of God? That would certainly be one reason. Because of that it entailed the robbery also that was going on.

People would bring their own sacrificial lamb or meal offering, and the sellers would find some flaw on the people’s offering; most generally the poor who would bring the best they had; then they would name some flaw and then sell them one that was available. Then they would take that one and sell it to someone else.

If you think Jesus would never be angry you would be wrong. Read the above verses. Jesus was angry over His Father’s house becoming a place of corrupt business practices which was profiting the well to do and robbing from the poverty stricken.

Unrighteous acts and deeds; yes all unrighteousness causes anger in the One who is holy, righteous and just.

We are all unrighteous, unholy and unjust. We need a Savior and His name is Jesus. He died on the cross taking the judgment of the Father on Himself, becoming our sin, unrighteousness and unjustness; and became forsaken by His Father for us. He went to the grave dead for our sins, and He rose victoriously conquering sin, death, hell and the grave. Because He lives He gives us His righteousness when we by faith and repentance call on His name.

Will you call on Him today?  He will hear and He will save.

Treasure

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
  Matthew 6:19-24  (KJB)

When God Runs

“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (KJB)

In Luke 15 Jesus tells us three beautiful stories. The first is of a Lost Sheep; the second of a Lost Coin; and the third of a Lost Son. I am dealing with the third today, knowing it is the most remembered one often called the story of the Prodigal Son.

Please read the whole chapter. I will deal mostly with this one verse.

The lost son was lost because he decided to leave the father’s house and go out on his own living (In riotous living), on his inheritance, make friends, and be set for life. He finds himself broke, busted, and bankrupt; and feeding swine, and eating with the very hogs he was feeding. His “friends” had forsaken him, since his money ran out. Something we should all remember is that even as money, the material is temporary; so are people who are friends when you have money.

I like the phrase in verse 17 which states, “And when he came to himself”. He got to thinking. His mind cleared up, and he got to thinking about his father, and the way it could be at home. He humbled himself, went back to his father, to submit to him; not as his son; but to be a servant.

He heads home, and we can see something quite clearly. The father was watching for his son’s return. I can imagine everyday, several times a day he would look down the road in the direction his prodigal son would be coming from, longing to see him treading the way back.

We see the father spotting his son at a far distance, had compassion on him; and I would imagine tears joy and happiness flowing from his eyes; and he runs to greet him. The father prepares a great feast, a party welcoming the son home.

This father represents the God of Heaven. The lost son is anyone who is away from God; out of fellowship with God, and have no joy, peace, or love in their life.

The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ longs for your return. Come to your senses, and know that the Father is waiting for your return. When you start that return He will run to greet you.

When does God run? When ever His wayward child comes home.

Seven Things God Hates # 2

This is the second part of the series, SEVEN ABOMINATIONS WHICH GOD HATES.

A LYING TONGUE

Proverbs 6:16-19

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,   An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,   A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

We could almost title this message TWO MEN, A TREE AND THE ATTIC, because some months ago – uncertain of the time – two men made the news when they told that they had found a large quantity of old money. It seems the story was that they had found it outside by an old tree, but instead, they were contractors working in an old house, and had found the money in the attic of the home they were working on. This find was worth several thousands of dollars. But they had lied.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

There is little to no difference between a LYING TONGUE and a FLATTERING MOUTH; they are both used for deceptive purposes for the flatterers own purposes.

“Lie” – any statement or act designed to deceive another person, and or harm them, their reputation or possibly even bodily.

The motivation for most lying is a desire either to hurt the one against whom the lie is directed,

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?  And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:  But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Genesis 3:1-3 (KJV);

“Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:” Romans 3:13 (KJV),

or to protect one’s self, usually out of fear or pride.

The “Lying tongue” is purposeful. Purposefully done to do harm to another and/or exalt one’s self.
The “Lying tongue” is wrong because it is against the nature of God. God is the author of Truth, and He is Truth.

THE WAYS OF A LYING TONGUE:
1. Malice – purposefully seeking to harm another;
2. Gossip – seeking attention and purposefully or unpurposefully doing harm to the reputation to another;
3. Tale bearing – causing discension between two people by telling another what someone said about them or something similar;
4. Flattery – false teaching, saying things for selfish reasons, good things which may or may not be true.

OUTLINE –
I. THERE IS POWER IN THE TONGUE. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Proverbs 18:21 (KJV).
II. THE TONGUE IS HARD TO CONTROL. “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:6 (KJV).
III. THE TONGUES OF MEN ARE CAPABLE OF SPEAKING LIES AND THE TRUTH. “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.” James 3:11-12 (KJV).

I. A DESCRIPTION OF A LYING TONGUE.
“A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.” Proverbs 26:28 (KJV)
“Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” Jeremiah 14:14 (KJV)
A. Malice – the practice of destroying the character, reputation or life of another purposely.
B. Gossip – to tell unknown things or know things of another and cause harm to them, and sometimes elevate self over the one who is being talked about.
C. Talebearing – pretty similar to gossip – except it contains the of keeping the talk going;
1. It means “slanderer” or “scandal monger”.
2. Think of the grocery store tabloids.
D. Flattery – certainly a form of a “lying tongue”.
1. This lie says “Good things” in order to accomplish selfish purposes.
2. Everyone of us are victim’s of flattery at some point in our lives, thus it is probably the most subtle and deceitful.
3. Many times the “false prophets” and false teachers fall into this category (Jeremiah 14:14).
4. The “flattering tongue [mouth]” worketh ruin (Proverbs 26:28).

II. THE DESTRUCTION OF THE ‘LYING TONGUE’.
A. First of all a ‘lying tongue’ harms the one speaking the lies.
1. When you speak lies they will be found out – sooner or later.
2. When one is found to be a liar who will ever trust their words again?
3. Some lie so much they come to believe their own lies.
B. The ‘lying tongue’ harms families, churches, businesses, government, etc.
C. The ‘lying tongue’ harms the lives of others.
1. The whole basis of lying is to take what belongs to another – the truth; and lifts up the self to destruction;
2. The truth, on the other hand, spoken “in love” is to elevate others and lift them from the snares of sin.
a. Also encouragement in holiness and walking with God.

III. THE DESTINATION OF THE ‘LYING TONGUE’.
A. The ‘lying tongue’ is, of course, of one who is living this kind of existence;
1. They practice this life of deceit for their own purpose;
2. They are evidently unaware of their destination, or just do not care.
B. Every soul has an eternal destination.
1. Eternity with Jesus Christ;
2. Or, eternity in eternal torment.
C. The Scriptures tell of the liars destination.
1. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 (KJV).
2. “Revilers” – those who purposely try to harm others using words, “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:10 (KJV).

IV. DEPARTURE FROM THE ‘LYING TONGUE’ IS A NECESSITY.
A. There is hope for those with a ‘lying tongue’.
1. The ‘lying tongue’ can change to a truthful tongue.
2. It takes a supernatural work of God.
a. A changed heart leads to a new tongue.
3. Faith in Jesus Christ.
B. The uncontrolled tongue can be controlled.
1. Fresh water comes from a fresh water spring.
2. Apples come from apple trees not thorn trees.
3. Truth comes from truthful tongues.
C. Only new life through Jesus Christ can give truth to a ‘lying tongue’.
1. Every lie ever told was nailed to the cross of Jesus.
2. Every deceitful thing said or did was crucified on Calvary’s cross with Him and put to death.
3. Trust His truth of the cross.
D. THE LIP OF TRUTH.
“The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.” Proverbs 12:19 (KJV).
THERE IS LIFE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE when we speak Jesus’s name, and the work of His cross.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Seventy and Eight

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24 (KJV)

Read verses 19-23 as well.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want Jesus Christ to always be Master of my life, my heart, my mind, and my soul; and when I get distracted by worldly, material things, or insignificant things that may seem spiritual and right; I will trust you Lord to always get me on the right path, and right mind; I want Christ Jesus to be the light of my eye, and the treasure of my heart; always.

The Return

O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.  Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto Him, ‘Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.  Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, ‘Ye are our gods: for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy.”  Hosea 14:1-3 (KJV)

The Israeli society of the prophet Hosea’s day was not dissimilar from our own.  They worshipped gods aplenty.  There is not many in our society today who would admit to worshipping “gods”, but the United States of America is full of dieties which are worshipped.  There are two I can think of which are promoted everyday.  One is Democracy, as though that is the answer for all ills and lack of freedom in the world.  The other is Capitalism as though that will solve all the financial ills of the world.  There are others;  Money and finance, Science and technology, and Global unity.  One that may make even the best of people angry is we worship our children too.

I see it everyday.  People will jump when their children say “Jump”, “I have a ballgame tonight.  It is 100 miles away.”  Mom and Dad will take off from work to go to the game.  Many will not get up early enough on Sunday morning to darken the doors of their local church and worship the only one and true God.

The Return is when God’s people will hear God’s voice and return to Him, and realize that the only hope I have; the only hope and promise we have is in the LORD of all things.  You will find Him in the cross of His Son Jesus; His death, burial and bodily resurrection.

-T.A.

God’s Word Today 081412

Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed unto the LORD, saying, ‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is His name, great in counsel, and mighty in work: for Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings: which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made Thee a name, as at this day; and hast brought forth Thy people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror; and hast given them this land, which Thou didst swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey; and they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not Thy voice, neither walked in Thy law; they have done nothing of all that Thou commandedst them to do: therefore Thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them.  Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what Thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, Thou seest it.  And Thou hast said unto me, O Lord GOD, ‘Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.”  Jeremiah 32:16-25 (KJV)

-T.A.

At What Price???

10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

This text goes from one who, “Has done what she could”; to one who “takes all he can”, and gives nothing in return.  The Gospel of John calls him a “Thief” (John 12:6).  It is quite the contrast.  On which side do we stand? On the side of giving all to Jesus; or taking all we can for self.
Notice the path of the betrayer.  It was not an accident it was a planned, purposeful, plot for material gain.  Judas went to the “Chief priests, to betray Him unto them”.  He went to them.  They did not come to him with words of deception, or a scheme to try and trick Judas into betrayal.  It was in Judas’s  heart.  Then after they had received his offer he sought for a way to set it up – “he sought how he might conveniently betray Him.” (v. 11).  Is this the heart of one who really loves Jesus?  Is this the act of one who really believes in Him?  I think not.
Some may think of Peter and his denial of Jesus, but Peter did not plan, or purposely plot to deny Jesus.  When Judas betrayed Jesus did he seek forgiveness and repent of his action?  No!  He was sorry for what he did, but did not seek the cleansing of forgiveness, rather, the Gospel of Matthew and the book of Acts tells us he went and hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-5;  Acts 1 17-19), and went to his own place.  Peter sought the Lord’s forgiveness for His act.
The woman in verses 3 – 9 sought how best to serve her Lord.  Judas sought how best to serve himself.  Which one sought rightly?  Which one will receive the Lords blessing, and reward?  Which one will spend eternity in Hell?  It is evident to those who know the Lord.

What is the worth of your soul?  What is the worth of Jesus Christ to you?

-Tim A. Blankenship

King Jesus And Taxes

What a crazy world we live in.  People being taxed to oblivion to pay for wants that someone else wants for us.  Sometimes, much of the time taxes just don’t seem fair, nor impartial.

Jesus Christ, Son of the living God is King, and Lord or all; yet He subjected Himself to the affairs of men; even the paying of taxes.  The taxes we look at in this study is a gift for the temple basically.  You will find the beginning of this tax in Exodus 30:13, and it tells us that every male above the age of twenty, once per year was to pay this to fund the upkeep of the tabernacle and the temple.

There are some practical things we can see in this lesson; but we must not miss the miracle which was performed either.

“And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?  He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.  Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”  Matthew 17:24-27 (KJV)

First of all they were at headquarters, the place where they met most often, for recuperation, and be with family and friends – Capernaum.  Peter is questioned about the temple tax.  Then, Jesus questions Peter concerning the matter of taxes.  Who pays taxes sons or strangers?  Of course we must realize that the government Jesus is referring to is a monarchy, a rule by king, and the king nor his sons would be required to pay taxes.  After all they are the one’s receiving the tax.

Jesus illustrates that the children of the king are also free from taxes; but goes on to say, “Lest we should offend them, go…”  Jesus is the King of the temple, He owns the temple, He is Lord of the temple, therefore free from the taxes of the temple, and then He states, “Then are the children free.”  So as not to offend Jesus sends Peter on a fishing trip.

Here on this fishing trip is where the miracle takes place and a good lesson of faith, and practicality.  Peter was called to follow Jesus, and he left his nets [fishing] and followed Him.  Now when there is an immediate need Jesus sends Him back to do something he knows, but only for what he needs, and Jesus’s need as well.

The practical thing could be that Peter went fishing caught fish, sold them and then brought the money to pay the taxes for he and Jesus, but then we would miss the miracle.  If Peter would have done that he would have missed it.  How many times have we missed a miracle because we were doing what Jesus sent us to do, but we did more than what He said?

“Take up the fish that first cometh up.” was the word of Jesus to Peter, “and thou shalt find a piece of money”.  If Peter would have taken all the fish in the net, and sold them, he would have missed the miracle of Jesus’s supply.

We should be able to learn from this that there are jobs, careers, vocations, which are honorable, bring us great rewards, and when we do them with honor, and joy, helping others along the way, then we can be blessed.  Now it isn’t every fisherman who can go, catch a fish, open its mouth and find a coin, and it be the exact amount needed to pay taxes for two men.

Peter, for once, did what he was commanded to do.  In doing so he was blessed and unnecessary offense was avoided.

Let us go and do likewise.  Jesus is the King of kings.

-Tim A. Blankenship

Unclean Lips – Vile Heart

Well did Isaiah the prophet write, “Woe is me, for I am undone!  Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips…” (Isaiah 6:5). 

Jesus has been confronted, and wrongly and evily so, concerning the matter of eating with unwashed hands.  To their pride Jesus answered them concerning the fifth commandment, “Honor your father and mother”, the one with promise; and charges them with “transgressing the law”.  This was the law of God.  What Jesus had actuall done was violate a commandment of men, who wanted to use their vile law to condemn the very Son of God.

It was the privilege of the religious elite to write off any of their aid for parents as “gift to God” and thus were able to use the aid for themselves, or as they saw fit; dishonoring their parents.  This brings us to Jesus’ charge against them.

“Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.’ And He called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” Matthew 15:7-11 (KJV)

There is much “Lip service” given to God and Christ today.  Sadly much of it comes from unclean hearts, thus, unclean lips.  Those lips, however are not unclean from what goes in through the mouth, but what comes out of the mouth. 

Jesus calls them “Hypocrites”, and then quotes to them the prophet Isaiah’s words concerning the lips of those with hearts far from God.  The people of Isaiah’s day appear to be affluent, comfortable, have “the world by the tail”, coming and going as they please.  They are also “worshipping” God as they please as well.  Their Sabbath duties are fulfilled, they voice their prayers, and have the Scriptures read to them – on the Sabbath – then, they go out into their daily living, and they fall down before idols.  The prophet warns Judah of a coming judgment upon them unless they repent of their ways.  And judgment comes.

Jesus tells these leaders that their hearts are defiled.  We often use a napkin to wipe our mouth when we are eating a meal; we can use a tooth brush to cleanse our mouth after a meal; but there is nothing that can cleans a foul and vile heart, but the love, blood, and cross of Jesus Christ.

There are many professing Christians today (2008) who are professing faith in Christ yet living in the way of the world.  Worshipping the money/finance, celebrities, health care, presidents, pornograpy, globalism, science and technology, and some even worship their children.  Much of this false worship is associated with comforts, pleasures, conveniences, etc.  Jesus said, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).  Whatever is on your heart is what you worship and cherish most.  Though we do have “kings” a plenty in the good old USA, “Every man does that which is right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

All true worship is done through Jesus Christ.  If Jesus is not central to the worship of God then, there is no worship of God.  It is vile, dirty, unclean lips that cannot praise Jesus, and that all comes from and unclean heart.

Receive a clean heart by hearing the truth of the Word of God, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried, and on the third day He rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-6).

May God be merciful to us, as we turn from idolatry, unclean lips, to Him, and a cleansed life through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

-Tim A. Blankenship