MATTHEW 16:6,12 NKJ
6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven
of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of
the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and
Why did Jesus warn His disciples to beware of the Pharisees?
What did they do wrong?
(An entire chapter of the Bible (Matthew 23) is Jesus’ teaching
against the Pharisees.)
The Pharisees were conservative, faithful “church” members.
They accepted the Bible as the written Word of God. They paid
tithes. They believed in miracles (at least in days past). They
wouldn’t dream of stealing, committing adultery, or such
things. You would like living next to a Pharisee as they were
But instead of having a living relationship with God, the
Pharisees took the Word of God and made just another dead
religion out of it.
The Pharisee way of thinking is: keep up appearances. “It
doesn’t matter so much what you are on the inside, as long as
you keep the rules (at least publicly).”
Notice that Jesus likened their teaching to leaven, or yeast.
Why? Yeast spreads easily and rapidly. Humans are very
susceptible to approaching God in this manner, “Keep the rules.
Just do these 10 things and you are OK.”
Different groups may have different rules, but we all
accumulate them. It may be how many times each week you must
attend church meetings, or what kind of clothes you must wear,
or how you must wear your hair. Or, it may be a list of things
you cannot do. But, as long as you meet these requirements, you
are in good standing with your group (or denomination).
But, good standing with God is based on only one thing
according to the New Testament: faith in what Jesus did for us.
That alone is what makes us right with God. Not our works, but
LUKE 12:1 NKJ
1 … He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of
the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
The Pharisees were hypocrites. That is, they put on an act.
What they pretended to be in public was not really what they
were like in private. They claimed to be perfect in keeping
God’s law, but as humans they were all sinners, just like the
rest of the people were. Yet, in public, they insisted that
others keep the Law perfectly, or be condemned.
They were quick to pass judgment on others, and slow to extend
mercy or help. The Pharisees had a legalistic view of God’s
Word and did not realize that God was merciful and wanted to
2 CORINTHIANS 3:6 NKJ
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant,
not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but
the Spirit gives life.
Using God’s Word to “kill” instead of using it to minister life
is wrong. God’s Word is meant to help people and lift them up,
not place such hard demands on them that they cannot ever
measure up. When we load people down with heavy loads of rules
to keep in order to be right with God, we are ministers of
MATTHEW 23:1-5 NLT
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the
official interpreters of the law of Moses.
3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow
their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.
4 They crush people with impossible religious demands and never
lift a finger to ease the burden.
5 “Everything they do is for show. . . .
If your “Christianity” is nothing more than a list of “do’s and
don’t's” then you are missing real Christianity, which is a
living relationship with Jesus Christ.
SAY THIS: Jesus does not want me to act like a Pharisee.
Pencil: I’m sorry
Eraser: For what? You didn’t do anything wrong.
Pencil: I’m sorry because you get hurt because of me. Whenever I made a
mistake, you’re always there to erase it. But as you make my mistakes
vanish, you lose a part of yourself. You get smaller and smaller each
Eraser: That’s true. But I don’t really mind. You see, I was made
to do this. I was made to help you whenever you do something wrong.
Even though one day, I know I’ll be gone and you’ll replace me with a
new one, I’m actually happy with my job. So please, stop worrying. I
hate seeing you sad.
Conclusion: Every time we make mistakes and far away from God’s presence, He is willing to accept you. The parable of the Prodigal Son, is the example for it. Come closer to God and avoid making mistakes (Sins). He is willing to erase all the mistakes you had done in 2010. Just ask for His forgiveness. May the Lord Bless you and lead you all to live a Holy Life in the new year 2011.?
MARK 11:24 NASB
24 “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and
ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be
The Greek word translated “received” is lambano, which means to
actively receive. In English we use the word “take” to describe
For example, the following scriptures contain the Greek word,
“lambano.” This may help you get a better understanding of what
receive means when it translates this word, lambano.
MARK 12:8 NKJ
8 “And they TOOK him and killed him and cast him out of the
JOHN 19:6 NKJ
6 …Pilate said to them, “You TAKE Him and crucify Him, for I
find no fault in Him.”
As the above passages show, sometimes lambano is translated as
take or took — and is not at all passive, but very active.
MARK 11:24 SWANN
24 Therefore, I exhort you, All things whatever you pray for
and ask, have faith that you have taken hold, and it shall be
So, this verse is saying to us that when we pray, we are to
believe we take what we are asking for, and then we will have
How can we do that?
We must take them by faith. How do we “take them by faith?” We
release words of faith based on what God has said in His Word,
We are not talking about forcing God to do something, but to
receive (or take) what is already offered.
How can you “believe you have received” something before you
see it? Easy! You just need credible evidence.
If someone you trusted told you they had deposited money in
your bank account, you would not need to physically go to the
bank and see the cash before rejoicing.
Well, God — who cannot lie — has told us many things in His
Word. When we pray in line with what God’s Word already says is
ours, that is our evidence on which we can base our belief.
When God says it — we can believe it. So that is our evidence
by which we can “believe we receive” something when we pray.
So, by our faith, we “take it.”
(We are not taking it from God. He has already given it to us.)
SAY THIS: When I pray I am supposed to “take” the answer by
JOHN 3:16 BBE
16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only
Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to
destruction but have eternal life.
We may be too familiar with John 3:16 for its message to impact
us as it should. When it says that God loves the world, it
means the people of the world.
God loves people — even the sinners. ALL the people of the
world are loved by God. (That does not mean He approves of
their behavior. But God loves them.)
People are created in the image of God. We are like God, His
children. (You must receive Jesus to be a true child of God,
but originally mankind was created in God’s image, as His
Children are precious to their parents. No matter how many
children a parent has, every child is precious to them. They
are all loved.
So it is with God, who obviously has a huge capacity for love.
A parent may have a child who is a criminal, but that parent,
if they are a good parent, will still care for their son or
daughter and desire good for them. God is no less loving and
caring. He desires good for us — every one.
When we deal with people who are acting terrible, it can be
difficult to remember they are precious to God.
LUKE 6:35-36 NLT
35 “Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without
expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be
very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the
Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and
36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is
People will last for eternity. People will live with God and
give Him pleasure in the ages to come.
Let’s stay focused on what is really precious and worthwhile.
Material possessions are nice and have their place, but are
nothing compared to the worth of a human being — even if that
human being is not perfected yet.
Even with rough edges, people are valuable. You are precious to
God! So is everyone else.
SAY THIS: Every person is precious to God.
PSALM 2:4 KJV
4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall
have them in derision.
PSALM 37:13 KJV
13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is
PSALM 59:8 KJV
8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all
the heathen in derision.
ECCLESIASTES 3:4 KJV
4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a
time to dance;
LUKE 6:21 KJV
21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
PROVERBS 17:22 KJV
22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken
spirit drieth the bones.
God laughs. So should you!
SAY THIS: I will laugh with God today.