One of my friends is a vegetarian and has not eaten meat in four years. That is amazing! We went off to one one of our all time favorite places to go to after a days work and that was Walmart! Ha. Yes we were walking around and he was showing me as he does usually the diet of a vegetarian. We came across the frozen section and looked at this vegetarian chic(pea) patty. It looked just like a chicken patty on the box.
This past week I also got to go to the Texas State Fair. And what can I say it is the center of deep fried everything. This year they even had deep fried Nutella! The food was great and I even got this delicious carmel apple. I could not imagine what it would have been like if it were anything else other then that sweet shinny glazed carmel apple. It exceeded my expectations and it was a great way to end my State Fair experience.
In both of those short, true stories my friend and I each had perfect expectations from what we were purchasing. He saw chic pea patty’s and I saw a scrumptious apple on a stick. The food met both of our expectations because the advertisement that covered the food was perfect. I would have been furious if instead of an apple I got a ball of fried dough that disguised itself as an apple. My friend who has not eaten meat in years could have gotten really sick or worse gone to the hospital because his body does not know how to digest meat as well anymore. Well besides getting angry with the false advertisement I do not doubt that my friend could have successfully sued the company if it were his intentions to do so. And quite frankly I think he would have all the right to do so and win enough money to pay for his and my tuition(ha). Seriously though, I think we understand now what Jesus was angry about when he saw the fig tree falsely advertising its fruit (Mark. 11:12-25). I have not studied the scripture enough to have my own serious convictions about the text nor do I know exactly what Jesus is talking about but we can say at-least one thing about this text and false advertisement.
Jesus who is now in heaven and at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33) knows all things and hears all things(Psalms 139). There are no secrets between him and man and there is no place man can hide from God’s presence (Jer. 23:24). With that said think about this question. How angry do you think it makes God when He sees people falsely proclaiming to be Christians? Those who hide behind the mask and use Christianity as a vice for advancement and popularity. However when persecution comes, when their family is struck with a terrible disease, or they loose everything in a storm they run away. There is no place man can hide from God and He knows all of man’s heart. May you be found in Christ with face pressed to the ground in worship and humble adoration because we are nothing had it not been for Christ before the throne of God. We rejoice for the work that Christ did and we must keep our eyes on the ultimate Servant who died for men while we hated him.
Those who falsely proclaim Christ and wear him like an honor badge will been seen as false hypocrites and condemned for their emptiness. Let this break our hearts and cause us to reassure ourselves that our faith in Christ is real, and that it is not just a priority that we put before all priorities but that He encompasses all that we do and say and fills our entire life. God is first, that does not mean that whatever is second does not have God in it. God is first, and in everything that we do follows Him and Him alone. I am not perfect and I struggle to put God in my studies. Sometimes I really think that it was my money that provided me food and not God. Even in the simple tasks like having clean laundry and good health. Do I really think that I can make it on my own without God’s sustaining my life entirely? Giving me each day a beating heart and eyes to see and ears to hear and legs to walk. Who am I before God without his grace? An insignificant amount of nothing. God is our provider he says and not a minute goes by without his grace and mercy in my life. Reflect upon this and know that God is a gracious God abounding in love and completely just. If Christ does not fill your thoughts in everything you do or are about to do despite some failures be assure you may not really know the Groom at all.
Pray that the Lord would search your heart and test your faith, because our faith in Christ is known through our victories over sin through Christ Jesus alone who defeated death and overcame the world and all of sin.