Enemy of Grace
Daily Reading: This morning, we’re reading Luke 12. Start there, then read this devotion that will tie in with what you’ve read.
This past weekend was Disciples Now for us at Arlington and two other churches in town. This means two things. I’m sleep deprived, and it’s a good time to talk about the danger of hypocrisy and the beauty of grace. I know how it goes. In the moment of a small group, we know we have a dozen struggles, but everyone else seems so holy, so we paint the most impressive picture we can come up with. The really terrible thing about hypocrisy isn’t simply that it means we’re “fake.” Though that is a problem. The really terrible thing about hypocrisy is that it is the enemy of grace.
 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.  But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.  Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
– Luke 12:1-7 (ESV)
You see, God is not surprised by our struggles. He knows them well. The good news is that the bible tells us that “if we confess our sins, he if faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins.” The problem with hypocrisy is that it means we care what other people think, but not God. So we end up covering our sin instead of confessing it. Jesus has made a way for us to be right with God through his blood. We call this grace. But if we go around telling everyone we have no need of grace, we hide the beauty of what Jesus has done on the cross.
Brothers and sisters, we must be honest about our failures as Christians. Otherwise we show that we fear men more than God. We tell those around us that we have it all together, instead of telling them the wonderful truth that Christ sustains us. Grace is the only way out of the hypocrites chair. Grace bids us to come and confess. Grace bids us to find peace, not in what people think of us, but in what Jesus has done for us.