Be on your guard against false teaching!

August 21, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Matthew 16:6 (NIV))

The Pharisees and the Sadducees were the two different schools of thought about the interpretation of the scriptures. It is interesting that neither group had been able to interpret the scriptures the way that they should. They had introduced different teachings that had their origins from man and these teachings had spread through the temple and the nation like yeast through bread.

Jesus warned his disciples to watch out for these teachings and to not allow them to enter into their lives again. It is so easy to replace God’s Word with human interpretation of it. Humanity has been taking God’s Word and twisting it for their own reasons for as long as history has been recorded. The sad part is that we can all fall prey to this. Even those who proclaim to desire to know God’s Word are susceptible to twisting it for their own selfish desires. Take a long look at your life in faith. Has there ever been a person or group of people that you know who have twisted God’s Word? Now comes the hardest question of all. Have you been guilty of this yourself?

I hate to say this, but I would venture to say that all of us have done that at one point or another. We are sinful and selfish in nature. Even though we claim grace through the blood of Jesus, we are not instantly perfect. We are, however, instantly forgiven. We are being made perfect.

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV))

Even as we are being transformed into His likeness, we can also stumble and fail because of false teaching. We must be on our guard and test what we hear and see against God’s Word. We must not allow anything to make us falter in our course. We must not fall for the false teachings of today’s Pharisees and Sadducees.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray that you don’t lose your saltiness!

September 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
(1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NIV))

I know that I am going to ruffle some feathers with this verse.

It ruffled mine!

Did you catch that second to last sentence? What does it mean to you? Does it convict you? Think about that for a moment.

We,as the Body of Christ, are instructed to stay away from those who profess a faith in Jesus, yet do not live according to His teachings. We are not to associate with someone who claims Jesus as their savior yet is still sexually immoral – heterosexual and homosexual; someone who is greedy; or someone who worships idols, even worldly possessions; or many other sinful traits.

We are told to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. How can we focus on Jesus if we associate with those who would temp us to sin?

I know that this is a fine line that we walk, for we are to be the salt and light to the world. But, if we are in situations where we can fall into sin, we can lose our ability to be the salt.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
(Matthew 5:13 (NIV))

If we lose our ability to be the salt, what does that mean that we are good for in God’s plan?

I know that this almost sounds like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but think about the way that lepers used to be cast away. This was done so that they would not infect others. What about the old saying that one bad apple spoils the barrel?

I realize that we are instructed to confront believers if they sin. This is done out of love and a hope that they will repent. What about those who have no desire to repent? Are they really members of the Body of Christ, or are they like the seed from the parable that did not fall on good soil?

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
(Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV))

Pray that you don’t lose your saltiness!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Yeast

June 28, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
(Matthew 16:5-6 (NIV))

Why do you think that Jesus told the disciples this?

In our grocery store society, some of us may have lost touch with what yeast actually does.

Yeast is a small, single-celled fungus that is used to make several different foods. In this context, Jesus was referring to how yeast is used as leaven in bread to make it rise. Yeast completely changes the appearance and use of the flour dough from the inside. A small organism can work from the inside out and completely change how the dough will actually cook.

There are two important things to consider in this context. Something does not have to big big to invoke a major change. The second thing to consider is that a small piece of something can cause a major change from the inside.

The yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees were the false teachings and the hypocrisy. Jesus was warning his disciples to watch out for these false teachings. He was warning them that it only takes a little piece of falseness to implant itself inside of you. It will be like the yeast and grow and change you from the inside.

In today’s world, we have our own groups of people who are twisting God’s Word, They are spreading false teachings. Don’t allow these false teachings to come into your lives. Truth is truth. Test everything. If something appears to be biblically correct but has a few things that seem strange, be careful. Those few small things are the yeast that will take hold of you and change you from the inside.

Have you looked at all of the definitions of the word “yeast?” One of them is literally something that causes ferment or agitation. In other words, something small can cause unrest, excitement or commotion. False teachings are yeast, for they fulfill every aspect of the definition.

Is this something that you want inside of you?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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