I have enjoyed using the ESV for my devotions. I have my kids using it for their Bible lessons as well. Yesterday morning, the power of the words of the Lord Jesus to the scribes and Pharisees reverberated loudly in my mind:
13″But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. Mt. 23:13-15)
He had no soft words for hypocritically religious people. He never went easy on them, but exercised much more patience toward the ignorant and spiritually blind. Wickedness and deceit in the hearts of those who ought to have known better was exceedingly repugnant to Him, while He was not surprised by sinful behavior manifested in the lives of those who still walked in darkness.
Oh, that we would learn from our Savior. Why are we shocked when sinners behave as sinners? Why do we try to change them on the outside before there is transformation within? All we create through this process is a socially acceptable, perhaps politically correct – and no doubt eternally confused – rebel.
Further, why do we sugar coat and attempt to justify or excuse disobedience among ourselves? Why are we afraid to biblically confront and exhort? Why should we desire to encourage one another to mediocrity in our Christian walk? By such omissions we become a delight to our adversary.