Matthew 23:15 (KJV) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.”

As long as Jesus was alive, Peter followed him and showed himself on so many occasions to be a man full of zeal. Because of his audacity, he walked on water (Matthew 14:28-29), rebuked Jesus (Matthew 16:22), promised to never forsake him (Matthew 26:33, 35) etcetera, but he failed in all of the instances; he sank in the water, advocated for Satan and denied Jesus. Peter never stopped failing until he was empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Today’s text showed how passionate the scribes and Pharisees were in their evangelism, how they would travel very long distances both on land and sea to win a convert. The result was however disheartening; their converts were made twofold the sons of hell. The reason for this malady was simple, they were not sent by God hence they lacked his empowerment.

Zeal or passion alone does not make one a man of God, even the Pharisees and Scribes won converts by their zeal, yet they were themselves children of hell.

Being around Jesus, his church and men also does not make one a servant of God. Only the people commissioned by God can serve him and this commissioning is by the Holy Spirit.

The end of every passion or zeal that is devoid of the power of God is a failure, no man can do the work of God without the help of God. “For it is God which worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13 KJV). God must be working in you for your service to please Him.

Go into today knowing that zeal is useful only after you have been commissioned and empowered by God.

Prayer: check if you are doing a work in the name of God which is powered only by zeal alone, repent, stop the work and seek God’s empowerment.
—Dr. Emmanuel James

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Yearly Bible Reading: I Kings 1-4 (In Devotional Audio)
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