1. Do not be a Hypocrite
“Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
Jesus here is not asking His disciples to be aware of the Pharisees but towards their attitude – Hypocrisy. Indeed, Jesus warns us that we must continually check ourselves and make sure that we aren’t hypocrites. We must live a life guarded against the wrong motives, acts, and beliefs. Our goal should not be to please men but God.
2. No secrets
2 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
Someday, all things will come to light; so as early as we can, let us live a life in the light for what we have done in the dark will also be revealed. There is no such thing as hidden from the Lord, for wherever we are there He will be.
3. Do not be afraid
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
Fear God than man! I may not know the cause of my death someday, but I am certain of one thing, when I die here on Earth, I have only one destination – facing Jesus and His judgment. Shall I fear Him and His judgment? Of course not! I know and believe that my Jesus won’t throw me to hell. He already saved me from the fires of hell.
4. You are worth it
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
This is the reason why I am confident that I will not be in hell, for God loves me; in Jesus, He saved me. I feel so loved and valuable with this message Oh Lord, Thank You!
5. Of all the things, not Jesus
8 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.9 But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God.
Every time someone would ask me about my religion, I would smile and say, I am a Christian, a Born-Again Christian. I am proud to say that. Before, I used to love and even worship my religion, but then when I denounced it and fully embraced the fact that religion can’t save me, I am now able to say that I can let go of my memorized prayers, the lessons taught since my Kindergarten days, the rituals, etc. but not Christ that is why I can say I am a Christian, and apart from Christ, I Am Nothing. I can disown the religion for which I grow up with but not Jesus.
6. Not with the Holy Spirit
10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
This verse did made me reflect and look back if I ever offended the God who is dwelling in me, I can’t remember anything; however, I asked for forgiveness, and this made me to be more careful and acknowledge the purity and righteousness of the One who dwells in me – Holy Spirit.
7. Not us but the Spirit
11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”
There are many exams that I take saying this line, “Bahala na si Batman”. But I remember when I took my Nursing Licensure Exam- the most significant exam of my life, I only say these words, “Your will be done, not mine” I acknowledged His greatness over my life. And reading this message from God, it made me rely on Him more and not on my knowledge. It will never be Batman neither me, but the God who dwells in me, the Holy Spirit who will teach me the right things to do and the right words to say, not my words but His.
8. Watch Out!
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
On verse 1, Jesus said that we have to be on guard against hypocrisy; this time He said that we must also be on guard against all kinds of greed. I remember one of my friends who inspired me when we asked him, “What are you thinking when you walk from work to your condo and vice versa?” my friend replied, “I’m checking my heart.” I believe that part of guarding ourselves from anything starts from checking the content of our hearts, so I asked God that every time there’s something bad growing in my heart He would pluck it out immediately.
Greed is said to be one of the deadly sins; for me it is because it consumes us fully that it replaces who we are with what we have. I remember my mom told me about a sea diver who died after a dive, that diver died because of pulmonary embolism, her body can’t contain too much air inside so it collapsed; same thing with life, too much of what we need is greed.
9. His Kingdom is mine too
31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”
I’m a princess for my Father is a King (even my stepfather here on earth is named Rex meaning King). I’m a royalty for I have a Kingdom, which is in Heaven. Seek His Kingdom, and all the things that I desire will be mine as well. It was written I shall never be afraid to ask for God will always be pleased to give.
10. Treasures and Heart
Where are my treasures now? I could say it is not in the bank, neither in my closet in my room, but in Heaven. I remember before, me and my friends in the Youth Ministry will tease each other that for a small act or sacrifice that we do for our ministry it is equivalent to a nail, cement, wood, or any material that is used to build our palace in Heaven. I lost count of the nails that I have stored up already, but I believe my Kingdom in Heaven is already built, Jesus prepared it already. My one desire is to live in that palace with the King – my most valued possession. Where my heart right is, there my treasure is. Where my heart is right now? It is with Jesus.
11. Be ready
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
I used to be a girl scout with a motto that says, “Always Ready.” Any time, Jesus may come again for no one knows the date of His return, and when that time comes I don’t know the thing that I am doing (maybe I’m writing) but the question is, “Will Jesus be pleased seeing me doing those things as He arrives?” I believe that every second of our life, everything that we do is an act of preparation and readiness that when Jesus came back, He won’t caught us off guard but He will see us as patient yet excited servants.
12. Much more
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.
I was chosen to be part of the Ayala Young Leaders Congress in 2010, it is one of the most prestigious youth congresses in the Philippines, and the organizers did spent millions for it. After the congress, this verse was told to us, “To whom much is given much is expected in return.” The organizers chose us to be on that congress, many applied yet few are chosen; they invest on us, the young leaders of this generation, to be trained and inspire more so that we can do more. I believe this is the same thing with God, what He entrusted to us should be multiplied; it shall not remain futile.
Ever see a mango tree without a fruit? I have seen a lot because there are lots of mango trees in my hometown, but the trees bear fruits for certain seasons in a year. If ever all the trees don’t know how to bear fruit, should we know the sweetness of food? I believe, life should be like every fruitful tree, it produces something pleasing and desirable for its Creator.