Who is a Loser?
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:1-7
Key Verse: Matthew 23:25
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Jesus uses an effective illustration in our printed key verse for today. He was challenging the religious leaders of that day to be authentic—from the inside out. He flatly told them that they “clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25b). Jesus was a master teacher and there is no misunderstanding the lesson from that illustration!
The Apostle Paul picks up on this theme in the Colossian passage of scripture that we have been studying this week. In Colossians 3:5 Paul tells us to “put to death” greed. The Greek word Paul used was “pheonexia” which when literally translated means a desire to have more; covetousness. Certainly the society that Paul lived in did not compare to the wealth of our world today, yet greed was still a very real problem.
As Jesus warned, we can look good on the outside—pious and spiritual—but have feelings of greed on the inside. We American Christ followers must be willing to do an honest “gut check” on this issue. Do we have a problem with wanting more and more? Can you stop yourself from this self-indulgence and say: “I have enough”? Do you need to pray about the issue of greed; the endless desire for more?
Father, search my heart and see if there are any offensive ways within me. Point out any areas of greed that may exist. In Jesus’ name, amen.