BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Dear Colleagues,

BETRAYING CHRIST (Part 1 of 2)

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While they were reclining at the table eating, [Jesus] said, I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me–one who is eating with me."  (Mk. 14:18)

Jesus was referring to Judas cold-blooded plan to hand him over to the authorities; a plan bathed in hypocrisy.  We easily point the finger at Judas and distance ourselves from him.  How could he travel with Jesus, steal from the purse, and plot his demise behind his back? We would never do that.  Yet many of us who profess commitment to Christ betray him by our lives.  Here is how we do it:

We betray Christ by rejecting his authority over our lives: "Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (Lk. 6:46)  For example:

  • Our extreme emphasis on grace and liberty at the expense of biblical teaching on the life of the cross. You have been called to live in freedomnot freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.  (Gal. 5:13a) (See Matt. 10:37-39; Mk. 8:34-38; Lk. 14:26-33; Jn. 12:24-26; Act. 20:23, 24; Rom. 6:4-7; 8:13, 14; 2 Cor. 5:14, 14; Gal. 2:20; 5:24; 6:14; Phil. 1:20, 21; 3:8,9; Col. 2:11-14)
  • Our immersion in rabid, materialism, with scant regard for the seething masses living in poverty and misery across the globe. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  (I Jn. 3:17) (See 1 Sam. 2:29; Psa. 119:136, 137; Pro. 23:4,5; Jer.6:13; Lk. 8:14; 12:15; Eph. 4:19Col. 3:5; 1 Thes. 2:5; 1 Tim. 3:3,8; 6:7-10; 2 Tim. 3:2; Heb. 13:5)
  • Our casual approach to sexual purity in contrast to Gods call to personal holiness. (See Ex. 20:14; Num. 5:11-31; Deut. 22:22-29; Pro. 7:1-27; 39:3; 1 Cor. 6:9, 10; 1 Cor. 7:9; Gal. 5:16-25; 1 Thes. 4:3-5; Tit. 2:5,6)
  • Our free-wheeling approach to marriage, divorce, and re-marriage, with little regard for biblical teaching. (See Gen. 1:27; 2:24; Deut. 24; Matt. 5:31,32; 19:3-9; Mk. 10:2-12; I Cor. 7:10-13, 40)

We betray Christ by refusing to radically obey him, whatever his demands.  For example:

  • "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.  (Lk. 9:23, 24)
  • "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.  (Lk. 14:26)
  • Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.  (Lk. 14:33)

We betray Christ by compromising the truth:  Yesterday I played golf with a professing believer.  Half way through the course he asked if he could put his push cart on the back of my battery operated cart. Then, before we reached the 18th hole near the clubhouse he removed his cart from mine, lest he be charged for using my powered cart.  Its called lying and stealing.  How often in writing contracts, negotiations, sales, advertising, expense reporting, revenue projections, et al, do we shade, exaggerate or manipulate the truth to ensure the desired outcome. We call it white lies.  God calls it deceit. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one (Matt. 5:37)  (See Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:9)

PRAYER:  Lord, search my heart and reveal to me any area where I am betraying you by my motives, thoughts, or actions. By your grace, I will make the changes necessary to insure the fact that my life truly honors rather than betrays you. Amen.

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