What does "hypocrite" mean?A hypocrite is a fake. It is someone who puts on a show for other people, but doesn't really mean it in their heart. It is someone who says one thing, but does another. Do you know someone like this? Here's a harder question: are there time when you yourself have done these things?
The people of Israel say,
"What should we bring with us when we go to worship the Lord? What should we offer the God of heaven when we bow down to him? Should we take burnt offerings to him? Should we sacrifice calves that are a year old?"
Micah 6:6 (NIRV)
Out of the heartWhat we really want and believe will show up in our words and actions eventually, whether we want it to or not.
"A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." Luke 6:45 (NIV)Take a look at your actions.
- If someone could only see what you did, but didn't know why you decided to do those things, how would they describe you?
- If someone could only hear the words you said, but didn't know why you decided to said them, how would they describe you?
- Is that how you want people to see you? Why or why not?
- What is one thing you would like to change about your words or actions?
- Why do you do the things you do?
- Who do you most want to make happy?
- Who do you not want to disappoint?
- Do you always succeed? Why or why not?
- Have you ever tried to change or make yourself better? What happened?
- Was the change for a short time or are you still doing it? Why do you think that is?
How to get a new heartThe only way for us to change in a way that lasts is by turning to God.
"I will give you new hearts. I will give you a new spirit that is faithful to me. I will remove your stubborn hearts from you. I will give you hearts that obey me. I will put my Spirit in you. I will make you want to obey my rules. I want you to be careful to keep my laws." Ezekiel 36:26-27 (NIRV) See also John 15:5.How do we do this?
- Confess your sins. Sins are the wrong choices we make. When we "confess our sins," we simply agree with God that they are wrong. We tell God we are truly sorry. We "turn away" from them, deciding to stop doing them and ask Him to help us change.
- Believe in Jesus. Jesus was human, just like you and me. But He is also God and He never sinned, not even once! To show how much God loves us, Jesus took our punishment for sin. He died on the cross to pay for them. Three days later, Jesus came back to life again. In order to accept the gift of forgiveness (Jesus paying for our sins and making us right with God), we need to believe that Jesus is who He said He is. We need to believe that Jesus took our punishment for sin so we can be made right with God.
- Trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Even the demons believe in God and shake in their boots because of Him. That is not enough. We need to trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That means we trust in what Jesus did to save us from our sins and make us right with God. We also decide to love and serve Him all the days of our life. Lord means Jesus is our boss. He is the one in charge who decides what is best for us to do.
"But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul." Deuteronomy 4:49 (NASB)(Learn more in this video.)
Shh! It's a secret.So what should we do? What are some things that show our heart, our character, when no one is looking? Look at what the Bible says should be done in secret. Notice that God sees everything, even when no one else knows about it.
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:2-6 (NIV)Fasting is a way to pray. This too should be done in secret (Matthew 6:16-18). It is not just giving, prayer, and fasting that should be done in secret, but the other things people may or may not see you doing.
What about when others are watching?Once we have our heart right, the next thing is to live out what we believe. There shouldn't be a difference between what you say or how you act in church and what you say or how you act the rest of the week. God wants us to live for Him everyday and in every way.
"The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must act with justice. You must love to show mercy. And you must be humble as you live in the sight of your God." Micah 6:8 (NIRV)People should be able to see that there is something different about you. They should see you living for Jesus and telling others about Him.
"You are the salt of the earth. But suppose the salt loses its saltiness. How can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything. It will be thrown out. People will walk all over it. "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill can't be hidden. Also, people do not light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand. Then it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine so others can see it. Then they will see the good things you do. And they will bring glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16 (NIRV)Pray and ask God to help you live for Him everyday and in every way. Ask Him to show you one thing He wants to change about you. Ask Him to help you change to be more like Jesus. Thank Him for always loving you, no matter what, because of what Jesus did on the cross. This post is part of the Titus 2 Tuesday Linkup Party hosted by Cornerstone Confessions