Saturday, October 30, 2021

They Bid You To Observe

Bobservations Column
Pastor Bob Lawrenz

We see it everywhere in the world: people of every walk-of-life are raised up to positions of authority, and they become different from whom they were prior to being lifted up. From entertainment stars, to politicians, to CEO’s and those that own their own businesses. Judges and Lawyers, teachers and council members, and lesser elected officials; the more they read their own names in the media, the more power they believe is theirs. Yet for all the influence they carry, many forget that their positions are the best that man can do for society. They forget that they themselves are mere humans, and many leave God’s plans and purpose out of the equation for saving the human race.

Their race matters not, nor their education level, nor who their role models are, or growing up rich, or poor; with few exception, they lay heavy burdens on their fellow man, adding laws upon laws, and lining their own pockets, because that’s how this world system works.

John D. Rockefeller (1839–1937) was once asked “How much money is enough?” He answered “Just a little bit more.” “What salary do you think is just enough to be comfortable and happy?” “Right now, I make more money than I spend, but I hit that point back when I started making $75,000/year.”

[Note that these were the dollars of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s! With the rates of inflation since then, Rockefeller would have to be earning $1,633,000/year to maintain his level of comfort, but he would still want  “Just a little more.”]

Is it sinful to be wealthy? No, of course not. But in the hands of sinners, too many ungodly temptations accompany large sums of money. And while I offer you Rockefeller’s quote, I would be remiss if I did not tell you that John D. Rockefeller was a devout Baptist who attended prayer meetings twice each week and taught a Bible Study with his wife. A man named John Penney had a similar result as a devout Christian, as JC Penney Stores grew multi-nationally, and his tithes grew to 90% of his corporate salary in his later years.
“To whom much is given, much will be required.” - Luke 12:48
We are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that our abundance will benefit others too.

Today's Audio Message:

Matthew 23:1-39 - "They Bid You To Observe"

The word hypocrisy in Greek was a term used for an actor on stage who played a specific role. Jesus took this word and turned it to mean a charlatan or pretender assuming a role.

The Pharisees’ traditions had become more important than God’s law. They had added their own sets of laws based upon their interpretation of the Law then placed applications. Besides this being a problem and almost unreachable goal for people – they did not follow it themselves. Obeying the Law was a requirement by God to honor Him but over the years they had exalted their own interpretations and traditions and were lost to the true intent of God's law and were ignorant of His Word. They're only concern was how they looked, exalting themselves above all others. Consider the Greek meaning of hypocrite or hypocrisy – the scribes and Pharisees were simply playing a role.

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