“In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.” (Luke 12:1-3)
This concept of the leaven of hypocrisy got me thinking about my life. Do I live up to what I aspire to become, a true Christian? Do I teach one thing and then do another without hesitation, without any remorse? Can I preach the gospel to my kids or the world with such an attitude? While reviewing my “spiritual leavening” during the Days of Unleavened Bread 1, I have come back to the all too familiar conclusion, there is still the leaven of a lack of kindness in my tongue; and once again, I have to turn to God and ask him to create in me a clean heart.
Ps 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
God says that what I think “what’s in my heart” comes out of my mouth through words.
Matthew 12:34 “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
Matthew 12:35 “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.”
Matthew 12:36 “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
James 3:7-8 “All kinds of animal, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring ? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
Yes, I brought my kids up to not bad mouth each other, but how many times have I put down our government leaders or the leaders in our church or other members in our church for not living up to what they proclaim to be? My children and other Christians read the same verse I read….
Jude 1:9 “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.”
God is the judge, not I. We don’t know what God is doing with others. He proclaims that He creates vessels of destruction and vessels of honor. Who am I to judge them?
2Ti 2:20 “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.”
Romans 9:22-23 “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.”
Romans 9:17“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: ‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”
God’s purpose was that His name would be proclaimed throughout the world! I often have to think of these verses to keep me in line concerning the words that I speak.
If we are faithful to go to our Father with our imperfections (spiritual leaven), and ask forgiveness and help in time of need, He will certainly with open arms receive us. His mercy and His faithfulness never fail as He continues to create in us His very mind. Isn’t this a great example to our children and to the world? Yes, it certainly is! They can see the hope of the gospel manifested in our lives through our example as we face our shortcomings and find strength in God to overcome! We are to be a light to show them the way to God’s throne. They can see that upon repentance, God will also grant them a way to eternal life.
I hope that the world can see our example of the putting forth of the effort to practice what we preach, admitting our failings, whatever they may be and going before Jesus our intercessor. This will be our witness to our children and to others of the tremendous love and mercy of God, his forgiveness, and the power to create us in His image and in His likeness.
Let’s use these Days of Unleavened Bread to rid ourselves of personal leaven, especially the leaven of hypocrisy.