April 29, 2022 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions

By Cheri Cowell –

“Cheri, you must practice what you preach,” my mother would warn me. She recognized my leadership skills and wanted me to know that my words must be backed up with actions. If I preached honesty, I needed to be honest in my own dealings. If I talked about compassion, then I needed to be compassionate in my own life. We hear a lot of “talk” about virtue in the world today, but for all of the talk there is little proof that people are living it out. Jesus warned us about this very thing. But this warning takes a slightly different turn with the scribes and Pharisees. They boasted as much about the goodness of their works as of the orthodoxy of their teaching, and hoped to be justified by them.

Although this is wrong, this scripture was not an indictment on them. This was to warn us about being swayed by those who do not practice what they preach. Jesus says to beware of those who, in the name of God, place heavy burdens on your back while not lifting a finger to do the same things they are demanding of you.

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them'” (Matthew 23:1-4 NIV).

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for being a God who is who He says He is, who does what He asks us to do, and who sets the example for us to follow—not only in word but in deed. Help me recognize those who are not practing what they preach so I won’t be swayed by their boasting.

About Cheri Cowell

Cheri Cowell is the author of the new Bible study, Parables and Word Pictures of the New Testament: Following God series http://www.CheriCowell.com
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