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Pastor's Column 3/19/2023

PASTOR’S COLUMN

“But I warn you – unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:20, NLT

4th Sunday In Lent - “Becoming Better!”


The urgency with which Jesus spoke to His followers reminds us that the faith we possess and share, is neither casual nor void of consequences. Thirteen times in the first three Gospels, Jesus pairs the “teachers of the law” (scribes) with the “enforcers of the law” (Pharisees). This may appear as an odd combination, but each of these groups had developed the sense that they were “more “religious” than others. One, by virtue of the knowledge they transcribed and taught; and the other, by virtue of being incessant in reminding others of their shortcomings and imperfections. Jesus declared each of these groups as being nothing like what He envisioned, and required as people belonging to His ideal kingdom. This is why Jesus “warns” His listeners and followers to “become better” than what they were exposed to, on a daily basis. When we focus on Christ and His teachings with sincere effort and humility, we will inevitably become as He is. The great and solemn period of Lent, should steer our attention away from the things and persons that compromise our devotion to Jesus Christ. To spend some time with Christ, is to hear His voice tenderly calling us to step up and became a better Christian. We can’t achieve this by having divided loyalties: we must be willing to release some impediments in our lives, so we can embrace the values of the Kingdom of Heaven. This kingdom Christ speaks of, is the” ideal place in life He desires us to be” with Him. One of the most commanding fears in human life, is change. Some people fear what they will be like, or look like, if their relationship with Christ is better than it has been. But Christ wants us to become better than others who misuse their relationship with God. Christ urges us to become better than others who seek attention for personal gain. Honor Jesus Christ in your life each day!

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