Summary: Let’s consider what was wrong with the Pharisees in order to find out what is sometimes wrong with us or what is lacking in our devotion to the Lord.
INTRO.- Who’s hot and who’s not? It all depends on your viewpoint and what kind of TV news you watch. But if you have been watching the TV news at all you will get a glimpse of who’s hot and who’s not in the world of entertainment.
Emmitt Smith of “Dancing with the Stars” fame is hot and Michael Jackson is not so hot at this time.
Emmitt Smith, ex-running back of the famous Dallas Cowboys, won the Dancing with the Stars competition on Wednesday, Nov. 15th and when it started probably no one thought he could do it.
An ex-football player becoming a dancing star? No way. Now he’s a hot commodity. One major studio is considering the possibility of Emmitt Smith hosting his own talk show.
Now on the other side of the coin is Michael Jackson. He finally came out from hiding, so to speak, to perform recently at the World Music Awards in London, and first one since his child molestation trial, and it didn’t live up to audience’s expectancies. In fact, some are saying his performance was a flop.
One writer put it this way, “Michael Jackson’s long-awaited comeback - which ended up with him being booed off just four lines into We Are The World.”
What’s the deal? Has Michael Jackson lost his edge? What’s going on? One thing that is still shadowing him is the child molestation accusations. Otherwise, he may just not be practicing his singing. USE IT OR LOSE IT can apply to Jackson as well as to anybody else.
Brothers and sisters, on any given day we, too, can be hot or we can be not so hot. We can be hot at work, meaning we could have a good day at work and get a lot of accomplished. Or we can have a lousy day and clash with people and get little accomplished.
We all can have good days and we can have bad days in whatever we do. And the same is true of our relationship to Christ.
I John 2:15 “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” If we get too hot for the world then we will lose our fire for the Lord.
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”
I think it’s fine to enjoy life and the good things that God has given us, BUT THEY MUST NEVER BECOME THE FOCUS OF OUR LIVES! Our focus must be on the GIVER, not the gifts! And if we can’t get fired up for Him or about Him, then something is wrong. What could be wrong?
Our text reveals what could be wrong if we are not “hot” or on fire for the Lord, His church and His work.
PROP.- Let’s consider what was wrong with the Pharisees in order to find out what is sometimes wrong with us or what is lacking in our devotion to the Lord. I have three thoughts to share.
1- the accusation of the critics
2- the comeback of the savior
3- the frankness of the living God
I. THE ACCUSATION OF THE CRITICS
Matthew 15:1-2 “Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!"
The Pharisees accused Jesus and His disciples of breaking their traditions. Somebody is always accusing someone of something! “Why did you do that? Why don’t you do such and such?”
ILL.- One time the great English preacher, Joseph Parker, was approached after his sermon at the City Temple in London. The man said, “Dr. Parker, you made a grammatical error in your sermon.” He then proceeded to point out the error. Joseph Parker looked at the man and said, “And what else did you get out of my sermon?” Some people look only for errors.
ILL.- It started off with a letter printed in the British Weekly, which went like this— “Dear Sir: I have been attending a church quite regularly for the past 30 years. To my consternation, I discovered that I couldn’t remember a single sermon. I wonder if a minister’s time might be more profitably spent on something else? Sincerely...” For weeks, a huge storm of editorial responses ensued. The uproar finally was ended by another letter.
“Dear Sir: I have been married for 30 years. During that time, I have eaten 32,580 meals—mostly of my wife’s cooking. And suddenly, I have discovered that I cannot remember the menu of a single meal. And yet, I have received nourishment from every single one of them. I have the distinct impression that without them, I would have starved to death long ago. Sincerely...”