Substituting for Pastor Jeremiah today is Jon R.

As Christians, how we live out our lives in front of those who reject our beliefs is far
more powerful than the words we speak. Of course, the gospel is the very power of God and is
spoken by God’s servants, but how we live our lives and treat others is proof that we believe it.

In Matthew 23:1-36, Jesus pronounces seven woes over the Pharisees. This group of
religious folks made it a practice to tie heavy burdens on others, without lifting a finger to help
anyone (Matthew 23:4). Jesus continues to call them out for practicing a works-based salvation
that is contrary to the message of the gospel. He calls them out for practicing their tithes, and
doing religious things to be seen by people. They were missing the point, Jesus said that they
neglected the most important matter: justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Matthew 23:23).

Jesus transitions to the next chapter by painting a picture of how the world will be
before His return. He uses examples from nature and other illustrations to warn all who believe
in Him that His return will be at a time we do not expect (Matthew 24:42). As we see the world
spiraling further toward Christ’s return, and the signs become clearer than ever before, let us
live out our faith in front of a culture that is desperate and dying. Not simple pointing out their
sin and living perfectly, but walking as joyful, thankful recipients of a grace that we do not

As Psalm 142:7 says, we have been brought out of prison by Jesus, and by living a life in
thanks and praise to Him, will produce a life attractive to those who are dying without Christ
around us.