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"JUDAS AGREES TO BETRAY JESUS"

Matthew 26:14-16

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the Twelvethe one called Judas Iscariotwent to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Are you going to be sold out for Jesus or a sellout?

How do we go from being sold out for God to selling God out? What makes us different from Judas and the world that crucified Jesus when we allow ourselves to succumb to our most selfish and greedy desires. How does God feel about us when we are not compassionate, not loving, unforgiving, when we are lusting, full of greed and wanting to do the things that the world does versus what God wants. Judas was a disciple of Jesus, a follower; he got to witness firsthand the mighty works of Jesus, he got to sit and talk with him, dine with him and would eventually play a part in the death of Jesus which was foretold by Jesus himself. Here we stand today, saved by His grace, mercy and everlasting love and given the free will to choose Jesus and be sold out for him. So why do we struggle? Why do we pull a Judas and betray Jesus almost every day of our lives? For some of us, it is hard to fully submit to the will of God, for some we have so many strongholds and rather than trust God or let him do his work in us, we rather sell Jesus out and “do us” (how many times have you said I’m a just do me)? How am I selling him out you may ask? When you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is reach over for your phone to look at Facebook or read email messages and not give Him praise and thanks first, you are selling him out. When you have time to do everything else in life (i.e. Run around with your kids,

work, come home and work, do extracurricular activities) and you can’t spend 5 minutes to sit silent with the Lord, you are selling Him out. When you lean on your one yourself and your own emotions regarding everyday life situations and you don’t trust, believe and have faith at least the size of a mustard seed in what our omnipotent God can do, you are selling Him out. When you come to church to hear the word and get fed, but act bulimic right after service is over and don’t activate the word, the teaching and learning that the preacher gave you, you are selling Him out. Unlike Judas, it’s not too late for us to have a change of heart. You see God extends his hand out to us time and time again and with everything going on in this world, we have to be sold out for Jesus. Jesus paid for it all, our sins are forgiven, and he paid for it all with his blood. Jesus gave us an opportunity to live a godly life, to live a life purposed to give him glory and praise always. So as you think about how you can be sold out for God, think about the ways you may have been a sellout, because it is that conviction that should bring you to your knees and ask him for forgiveness. It is that conviction that will set you back on the right path with God. When Judas received his 30 pieces of silver, after he realized what he did, he didn’t want the silver and knew he made a mistake but by then it was too late. It is not too late for you. Right here, right now you can be sold out for Jesus. So if you have not prayed in a while, take the time to pray. If you have not made time for God, make the time whether it’s right after you wake up or before bed or anywhere in-between. Ask him daily to forgive you for your sins, because the enemy tries to bribe us so we can sin every day but because of the blood stained banner, we are forgiven. Acknowledge your God, acknowledge that you want to live the life He has purposed for you! Trust in God because Judas trusted in his greed and that ended in death for him, but we have the opportunity to live the truth and have eternal life. Don’t sell Jesus out, be sold out for Jesus.

Say this prayer today, Dear God,

Thank you for allowing me to be your disciple. Thank you for your everlasting love, thank you because the victory has been won.

I ask you to forgive me for selling you out today, forgive me when I fall short, forgive me for sometimes shutting you out and not listening to you whether through your word or teachings.

I ask you Father to please make me sold out for you, sold out for Jesus, sold out because you paid for my freedom and I do not want to continue to be a slave to sin.

I am grateful and forever yours because you deserve not some of me, but all of me. Amen.

Posted by Gregory Adegbola with

"JESUS CONFRONTS THE HYPOCRISY OF THE JEWISH LEADERS"

Matthew 23:25-26 

Jesus confronts the hypocrisy of the Jewish leaders

25“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

It’s Tuesday and we find Jesus confronting the sin of human pride and the stench of religious arrogance. Having already confronted the hypocrisy of the Lord's house being used as a den of robbers, Jesus now confronts those who falsely profess themselves to be religious authorities and righteous interpreters of God's law/command. The hypocrisy of a false leader/witness.

Contextually, the Gospel according to Matthew captures Jesus forcefully calling out the hypocritical nature of the religious elite (the Pharisees and teachers of the law) who profess a devotion to the Father built upon a strict observance to the Mosaic law and Hebraic tradition absent the love of one’s neighbor and a heart of humility (Lev.19:16-19, Psa.51:17).

At the core of this hypocrisy is the delusion that one’s behavior need not fully reflect a conformity to God’s command nor match the merits by which they speak. The Pharisees legalism and abhorrent attitude toward biblical law were a stumbling block for people in need of an intimate relationship with God. In Christ, God entered creation in order to bring about a renewal (removing the stumbling block) of access to the Father.

In Matt.16:6 and 23:3, Jesus warns us to “be on your guard against the yeast (teaching) of the Pharisees” and “not to do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach”. Although the Pharisees considered themselves to be “intelligent” “holy” and “righteous,

their self-centeredness and need for power kept them far from God’s heart and blocked seekers from experiencing the kingdom of God. We need to be careful, for the need for power or control can corrupt our hearts and influence how we perceive ourselves, treat others and justify our sinful nature.

Spoken in an admonishing tone, the “Seven Woes” of Jesus characterizes the sin that corrupts the heart of man; the sin of dissension, selfish ambition, idolatry, greed, conceit, and unrighteousness. We know these to be the acts of the flesh that hardens hearts and block the desires of the Spirit which brings glory to God (Gal. 5:16-26). Callous hearts are a stumbling block to followers of Jesus and prioritize human concerns over the concerns of God. May we draw closer to the will of Jesus and have humble hearts that keep in step with the Spirit of God.

Lastly, Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees brings forth the demand for a renewal of the heart that exceeds a strict obligation to just follow religious order and tradition but also calls for fulfilling the full measure of the law; that being to glorify God by loving Him and loving our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40).

Through the chastising of the Pharisees public persona Jesus invites us to see how spiritually bankrupt we can become if we neglect to love the least, the last, and the lost; do justice and love mercy, and remain faithful in Him. (Matt.23:23, Luke 11:39-41)

Leadership in Christ comes from the transformation that happens from within. The Spirit of God compels us to walk in the footsteps of Jesus in humility and submission to the glory of the Father. The Pharisees depict a life lived focused on external appearance of leadership over an internal reality. Self-righteousness and a legalistic attitude is the yoke of the Pharisees, a burden that draws believers closer to sin than the holiness of God.

But it is Jesus in Matt. 11:29-30 that tells us, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

As we continue our journey to the cross, I pray that the things that plague our hearts are crucified with Jesus. Amen

Posted by Gregory Millings with

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