Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Jesus was teaching about false prophets. Let’s review Matthew 5, 6, and 7 to look at the many signs of false prophets.
- They are hypocrites. They judge others before they consider their own sin.
- They store up treasures here on earth rather than in heaven.
- They prefer the attention of men over God.
- They fast in a way everyone knows it.
- They pray to be seen by others.
- They do good deeds that others may praise them.
- They are not forgiving people.
- They love only those who love them in return.
- They give only the minimum required.
- They swear by adding to their “yes” and “no” rather than letting the answer be the answer.
- They think divorce is okay.
- They think not committing the act of adultery or murder, they are sin-free.
- They fit in with everyone. They are not mocked or persecuted.
- They are not merciful.
- They do not hunger and thirst for righteousness.
- They are not meek.
- They do not mourn, nor are they poor in spirit.
- They do not recognize their need.
We have looked at how to detect the false ones because it is very easy to point out what is wrong in other people. That’s great as it means you can spot what needs to change. But our job isn’t to point out what is wrong in others. No, our job is to look within our self. Therefore, this same list can help us detect how well we’re doing.
Now, let’s try a little exercise. Prayerfully review the list above again, but this time turn it into a question. For example, “Am I a hypocrite?” or “Do I say one thing and do another?” “Do I judge others before I consider I might struggle with the same sin?”"Do I store up treasure here rather than in heaven?” “Do I prefer the attention and praise of man rather than God?”"Do I do things to get noticed by others?” You get the idea.
Stay open to what the Holy Spirit may reveal about your self. It is His job to convict us of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come. Allow God to transform you into a being creation. Write down what He reveals. Try working on one issue at a time, until each items is dealt with appropriately.
God loves you so much. He wants to develop your character to be Christ-like. He wants you to be holy, as He is Holy. Remember, it is He who is in you working out His good pleasure in you. He will continue until the day Jesus comes again.
Father God above thank you for loving us and wanting what is best for us. Give us the courage to take an honest assessment of our self. Help us to change what needs to be changed. Give us a desire to please you alone. In Jesus’ name we pray Amen.
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