Jesus made a direct statement to every disciple of His: “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness… ” (Matthew 6: 33). In addition to seeking God’s kingdom, each follower is to SEEK HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!
Hypocrisy is saying one thing, but doing another in private or in the presence of a few individuals. However, hypocrisy cannot remain hidden forever. The true character of a person will eventually come out for all to see.
True character is understood by the way we conduct our lives in private. True Godly righteousness is the way we treat others BOTH in public and in private.
Jesus made a series of statements that gave meaning to a sincere heart or a hypocritical heart – AND – He gave details as to the consequences of each type of character.
Jesus said He was likened unto a vine – grapevine. Branches shoot off the main vine and produce their own individual pods of grapes. Of course, there must be a caretaker to fertilize and water the vine that has its roots deep within the soil. This caretaker is Jesus’ Father and our Father. He is watching to determine whether a particular branch will BEAR FRUIT. If that branch does not bear fruit, it must be broken off and was usually burned along with other refuse.
Jesus gave the process by which the Father determines WHO is producing fruit and WHO is not. First of all, the Father examines the vine – Jesus. Jesus has been determined to be perfect. The spiritual nutrients [sap] are drawn up through the vine [Jesus] and are distributed out to the branches. This sap [spiritual life – the Holy Spirit] is the key ingredient that gives life to the branches and the capability to produce fruit.
When we claim to be a follower of Jesus and been baptized and received the Holy Spirit, we must show forth the “fruit of the Spirit” in our personal lives. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES THAT ARE ACCEPTABLE TO THE FATHER. The gardener [the Father] has given us every nutrient necessary to sustain our spiritual growth. If we do not sustain spiritual growth, it is called quenching the Spirit (I Thessalonians 5: 19).
Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. If you or I do not produce the fruit of the Spirit, we will first be purged – corrected of God the Father (Hebrews 12: 5-12). Now the sad part! If we cannot be corrected and remain a hypocrite, GOD THE FATHER TAKES US OUT OF THE CHURCH. No one else has anything to do with the removal of a hypocrite – just God the Father (John 15: 1-8).
We, as the branches, MUST REMAIN ATTACHED TO THE VINE – Jesus!!! If we do not seek His righteousness in our lives, we will be severed and cut off. Can you answer these questions TRUTHFULLY?
1. Do you show love to everyone you know? Love is patient. Are you? Love is kind. Are you? Love is not jealous. Are you? Love does not boast. Do you? Love is not proud. Are you? Love is not rude. ARE YOU? Love does not have to have its own way all the time. Do you? Love is not easily angered. Are you? Love does not keep a list of others wrongs. Do you? Love is not happy around evil. Are you? Do you rejoice with the truth? Love always protects others. Do you? Love always trusts. Do you? Love is filled with hope. Are you? Love always perseveres when treated unkindly. Do you? Love never fails others. Do you?
2. Do you bring joy into the life of others, especially your mate, or do you gripe, complain, and murmur as God told the Israelites not to do (I Corinthians 10)?
3. When you walk through your door, do you bring peace with you; or are you cranky and spoiling for a fight? Can others count upon you to bring them peace when you are around?
4. Do you let the “works of the flesh” rule your life? Do you constantly cause strife? Are you constantly contentious, engaging in conflict, fighting, in a contest for superiority, or always quarreling? Strife is a work of the flesh! Does the Father need to correct for this negative character trait? What if He has already given correction, yet it was refused? What will be the end results? “Every branch in Me [Jesus] that bears NOT FRUIT He [the Father] takes away…” (John 15: 2).
I am begging some of you to GET the Righteousness of God while you still can. God waits and is patient for the change to come. What if we cross the line and the Father says: TIMES UP? There is only one result that will follow! God will lay a stumbling block before you. He will give you a way out of the church. Don’t let this happen to you – please! Do what Jesus said and “seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Why remain a hypocrite and lose everything – LIFE?