Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you—but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. —Matthew 23:2-3

 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. —Matthew 23:13-15

 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. —Matthew 23:28

             There are those in leadership/teaching positions that teach the Word of God and the Word of God needs to be heeded.  Leaders/teachers, like those mentioned in the above verses, may be speaking the Truth, but they do not put the Truth into practice.  We are encouraged NOT to follow their example.  We are NOT to do what they do.  And what are they doing?  They are not practicing what they preach.  Here is a great indicator of a faithful leader— THEY PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH!  Now, no leader is going to be a perfect leader, but there is to be consistency in their lives in obedience to the Word of God.

           Another thing hypocritical leaders do is they tie people up with heavy burdens that are hard to bear, but the leaders themselves are not helping them with those burdens.  These leaders do their deeds to be seen by others, not out of love for God or love for people.  They appear like they are living righteous to others, but they are actually living wicked lives— putting on a false front. 

            Lastly, as mentioned above, these type leaders are actually not are not entering the kingdom of heaven and they are hindering others that would go in from going in.  These leaders will go to great lengths to “make a single proselyte” and yet when they do they put that person in a doubly worse state then they themselves are in— “you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

            So beware of leaders who:

  • Do not practice what they preach. Instead, you are to practice what you preach.  You are to apply the Word of God to your life.  You are to be obedient to the Word of God.
  • They burden people without helping people. They like to tell people what to do, but they do take part in helping them.  Instead, you are to serve with people and not just tell people what to do.
  • They do deeds to be seen by man and appear righteous. Instead, your priority is to do deeds to honor God from a righteous attitude and life.
  • They hinder others from entering the kingdom and make “proselytes” worse than themselves. Instead, your priority is to point people to our Lord God Almighty they will follow Him!

Dear Father, may we seek to encourage people toward Jesus as His disciples— being obedient to Your Word, serving Your people, serving You in righteousness and pointing people to Jesus and not to ourselves.  May this be so by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus!

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