Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 1, 2018

“[Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 23:14.

“[Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers;  therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]”  Matthew 23:14.

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In sharp contrast, consider Paul.

Although Paul taught:  “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18, Paul did not fully exercise that right, much less “devour widows’ houses”.  

When Paul was at Corinth, he worked as a tent-maker.  Acts 18:3.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians:  “Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?”  2 Corinthians 11:7.  “Here for this third time I am ready to come to you, and I will not be a burden to you;  for I do not seek what is yours, but you; for children are not responsible to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.  I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls.  If I love you more, am I to be loved less?  But be that as it may, I did not burden you myself;  …”  2 Corinthians 12:14-16.

And, Paul did not also make “a pretense” by long and flowery prayers and sermons.  Paul also wrote to the Corinthians:  “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.  For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.  I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 2:1-5,


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