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09-02-2006, 02:01 PM

Sunday September 3, 2006

Pious Sounding Critics


Judas Iscariot was there. Judas was one of Jesus' followers.
(He was the one that would later be against Jesus.) {Judas
did not like what Mary did.} Judas said, "That perfume was
worth 300 silver coins. It should have been sold, and the
money should have been given to the poor people." But Judas
did not really care about poor people. Judas said this
because he was a thief. Judas was the one that kept the money
box {for the group of followers}. And Judas often stole money
from the box.

John 12:4-6


Ever notice how many people at church can criticize much more freely
than they can praise, encourage, serve, or sacrifice? Satan has a way
of finding greedy and selfish hearts to criticize in pious words those
who are willing to sacrifice. Does that mean we give up on the church?
Well, did Jesus give up on his disciples because one of them was a
greedy traitor, one was always overstating his faith, and the rest were
often confused? Of course not! Where else would we want a person
wrestling with heart problems to be than among God's people! The real
issue is whether those who lead give in to pious sounding critics or
gently confront them with the truth as Jesus does Judas. Too many who
sacrifice and serve are not affirmed simply because someone else
criticizes them with pious sounding words. Jesus shows us this must not

Holy and loving God, please open my eyes to people who are serving you
extravagantly, then use me to affirm them and encourage them in their
service and sacrifice to your Kingdom. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.