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Leaders Devotion 12: Woe #1


Toward the end of his ministry, Jesus cleansed the Temple a second time and then gave a message to the leaders that described seven woes. While their content was negative, we can learn much of what the Lord wants from his leaders by learning from the bad example of Jesus' contemporaries. Here is the first of these seven woes, all addressing the issue of hypocrisy among the leaders:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to (Matthew 21:13).

Leaders are not to teach the people to be loyal to them or their church, but teach them how to be good citizens of God's kingdom, part of which is being involved in church life and work. What's more, God expected the leaders themselves to be seeking God's kingdom and to model Kingdom behavior to their followers. Otherwise, they were hypocrites in that they were teaching the people to do and be things they, the leaders, were not embracing in their own lives.

Do you understand the difference between the Church and the Kingdom? Are you yourself seeking to be a good example of a Kingdom leader and not just a church leader? Are you helping people understand what God requires of them to be good members of God's kingdom, which involves how they should behave not just in church but in home, business, and other personal transaction?

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