A Gentle Whisper -- Listening for the Voice of God Johnny Almond  

The King’s Censure


“You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees!  Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun,  while the insides are maggoty with greed and gluttony.  Stupid Pharisee!
Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something. You’re like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.”     Matthew 23:25-28 THE MESSAGE

I’m giving you fair warning—heaven’s judgment fell on first-century pretenders,

     and it still falls on the heads of all who repeat their folly.

Pride always receives My severe condemnation.

     Religion means nothing to Me—relationship means everything.

     My Son put an end to religion, making heartless ceremonies obsolete. 

     Status nauseates me—servanthood receives My smile. 

     Payola piety turns My stomach—sincere worship melts My heart.

     Sermons without words are what I’m looking for, not hollow lectures.

     Fall to your knees because of your sin, then you can get to your feet again.

     I am your Teacher—sit at My feet as a humble student.

     Learn My lessons before you presume to teach others how to live.

Pretense always meets My heavy disapproval. 

     Pharisees practiced payola piety, trying to win human approval.

     They got what they wanted, nothing more—they were paid in full.

     They learned verses in their head, but did not know Me in their heart.

     They loved the attention of the masses, but did not love the Master.

     They acted spiritual to cover up their evil, but hid nothing from Me.

     They painted a veneer over their sin, but changed nothing inside. 

     Do better than the play-actors—take off your mask and avoid theatrics. 

     I am your Leader—stay near My heart and walk in My steps.

     Get real with Me before you attempt to lead people.

Superficiality always merits My intense judgment.

     Peripheral issues detract from nobler matters—equity, kindness, fidelity. 

     Looking good is no substitute for being good.

     I see right through you—you can’t fool Me for a minute.

     Reputation is what others think of you—character is what I know you are.

     Externalities may impress people and gain you wide recognition;

          but what pleases Me is a clean, wise, joyful, loving, obedient heart. 

     Keeping up appearances, with a heart rotten to the core, angers Me.

     I am your Savior—be pure inside and your public persona will be authentic.
     Be right on the inside before you try to influence the world.

     Be a fake, and you’re sure to receive My harsh censure.
     Be My authentic follower, and you’re certain to receive My commendation.

  © By Pastor Johnny R. Almond                         Gentle Whispers from Eternity