Daily Devotion - February 19, 2021 - Practice What You Preach

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion – February 19, 2021
Reading
: Matthew 23:1-12
Weekly Theme: Unchanging Truths
Today: Practice What You Preach

Today’s devotion title, “Practice What You Preach”, is a phrase that I became familiar with at an early age, long before I even felt God calling me into full time ministry. I was taught by my mom and dad to practice what I preached or phrased another way, “to walk the talk”. It became an even more “unchanging truth” for me when I was in the military and placed in leadership positions. The people we lead are indeed watching every move we make, whether that leadership is in the church, in our schools, in our communities, or in our homes.

Today’s passage is about a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law who were so high, mighty and heavenly in their own eyes that they were no earthly good. The spent so much time positioning and elevating themselves for their personal gain while telling others how to live their lives but not living up to their own standards. They reeked of hypocrisy and Jesus called them out and told them to quit living a life inconsistent with the laws they expect everyone else to obey. This group of people elevated themselves above the law and engaged in practices which were done for their own benefit and to bring attention and glory to themselves and not to God. Jesus holds them accountable for their hypocrisy in this passage and literally tells them to practice what they preach. At the same time, Jesus tells his disciples to do what the Pharisees and teachers of the law tell them to do, but to not do what they do… that is, practice what they tell you to practice even if they do not practice it themselves. He wraps up the lesson by telling his disciples to live a life of humility.

Jesus teaches us two principles in this passage which go hand in hand with each other. Walk in humility and walk the talk (aka practice what you preach). These are words we may say when referring to other people but how often do we walk humbly and live according to the Christian principles we claim to uphold and teach? May we all be convicted by the Holy Spirit to walk the talk with humility and in so doing, proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ and live it, too!

Dear God, Your Son Jesus practiced what he preached. Help us to be aware of what we say and how we say it and to humbly walk in Your ways, knowing that those we lead are watching us and that it is only by your sanctifying grace that we are empowered to walk with humility a life like Jesus Christ, in whose name we humbly pray. Amen.

 
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