This entry is part 4 of 28 in the series Devotionals

When “people” in the church become our focus, and not Christ… Psalm 16:8 says, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Heb. 12:2 BSB says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross…” 

Something is wrong when leaders in the church, and members, too, outwardly live in sin, and don’t care who knows about it. God is not to be played with. If we habitually practice sin, we have no reverential fear of the Lord and His Word. God’s Word says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…”Psalm 111:10. James 2:19 says, “You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! Even the demons believe that and tremble with fear. And let us not forget Heb. 12:29: “…Our God is a consuming fire.” 

Something is wrong when the idea that “prosperity motivated by giving” is emphasized over and over in the church, which in turn, vigorously motivates the people to give more and more and more. The Apostle Paul talked about men “of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.” 1 Tim. 6:5 says, “Their minds are corrupt, and they have turned their backs on the truth. To them, a show of godliness is just a way to become wealthy.”

Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins, not to make us financially wealthy (Matt. 1:21). There is nothing wrong with having money, but money should not have us. 1 Tim. 6:9-11 says, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.” Money IS NOT what we should be pursuing.

Something is wrong when our faith is judged by the kind of car we drive. The car I drive has absolutely nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People should never be made to feel bad if they choose to drive a 10 year old car or if they choose to drive a brand new one. Whatever God allows you to have, thank God for it and give Him the glory.

Something is wrong in the church when we try to emphasize that “my church family” or my “earthly family” means “everything” to me. Christ should mean EVERYTHING to us, not people. Christ is no respecter of persons. In Mark 3:35, He said, “For whoever shall do the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.” People who obey the Word of God are dearer to Christ than mother, brother, or sister as such, or any other relation in the flesh. The Word of God says that we should we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith. The family of faith, however, is not one church. The family of faith is a body of believers all over the world. If you have respect to persons, showing partiality, you are committing a sin (James 2:9).

Something is wrong in the church when we are never reminded about Hell and the punishment that we will receive if we do not accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and obey His Word. Jesus Christ did not spare any words when He talked about the fire of hell and about people weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth (Matt. 8:12). HELL IS REAL. It has not been erased from the Bible, but many churches will not talk about it. 

God is love, but He is also a God of wrath. We have peace with God ONLY through Christ. Apart from Him, we are condemned sinners (Rom. 5:1). Lord, may we make every effort to present ourselves before You as a disciple of Christ who hears and understands the Gospel message presented to us. Holy Spirit, illuminate our hearts and minds so that every believer will be a vessel to accurately handle the Word of God, obey it, and let our lights shine for Christ.

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