“…but God knows your hearts.”– Luke 16:15
We can put on a facade before others, yet we cannot fool God. He looks in the secret places where actual behavior and personality reside. And, it is the intent of the heart that is judged. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Attention often comes with power and can lead to vanity. These were some of the chief characteristics of the Pharisee. They were not fooling God.
When we become the central theme of everything, living for God and others tends to fade. We begin seeking that which is highly esteemed by men while forgetting those very things are an abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16:15). “I cannot deny that my master was vain,” wrote the valet of an emperor, “He had to be the central figure in everything. If he went to a christening, he wanted to be the baby. If he went to a wedding, he wanted to be the bride. If he went to a funeral, he wanted to be the corpse.” It is this soul, focused on the temporary vanities of life, that has eclipsed her God!
Holding on to that which is temporary will never get us to eternal glory. It may even be the very thing that hinders that end. John, the son of Zebedee, learned this lesson well. At one time desiring to place himself in high rank next to Jesus, he learned quickly that the “first shall be last.” We see his repaired heart when he wrote, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
Jesus fulfilled the law with His atoning blood. We are made righteous through Christ, and if He is the only thing that will remain, why would we attempt to hold on to anything temporary? May we never confess Him with our lips only, may we believe in our hearts because we cannot fool our heavenly Father!
“…Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because he knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.”– Luke 16:15