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The Way

    by Kevin Pauley

A True Child
Date Posted: September 28, 2021

But God says to the wicked: "What right do you have to recite My statutes and to take My covenant on your lips? You hate instruction and turn your back on My words. When you see a thief, you make friends with him, and you associate with adulterers. You unleash your mouth for evil and harness your tongue for deceit. You sit, maligning your brother, slandering your mother's son. You have done these things, and I kept silent; you thought I was just like you. But I will rebuke you and lay out the case before you. "Understand this, you who forget God, or I will tear you apart, and there will be no rescuer. Whoever sacrifices a thank offering honors Me, and whoever orders his conduct, I will show him the salvation of God." - Psalm 50:16-23 HCSB

My wife and I have adopted five children. Both according to the law and in our hearts, they are completely ours. Regardless of what they do, what crime they may commit, they will always be our children.

However, if they want to truly demonstrate their kinship with me, they will adopt my beliefs and ethics. A child that breaks the law may still be mine in name, but the relationship between us will be forced and possibly broken.

Many people today claim kinship with the Lord God, but their lifestyles say otherwise. They can recite Hashem’s statutes, but they do not live them. This type of hypocrisy sickens our Father. It defiles His name. We refer to this as “ch’illul Hashem” which means desecrating the name of the Lord. Identifying yourself as a righteous person but living an unethical, immoral, unworthy life and brings shame to Hashem’s name and to His people. Wicked people often claim the name of the Christ but turn their backs on His words. They act dishonestly and immorally. They gossip, lie and slander.

Because the punishment of the Lord is mercifully delayed, they may imagine that He either does not see their sin or does not care.[1] However, they are due for a rude awakening.[2] If they truly are adopted into His family, they will soon feel His chastening hand.[3]

If they are not truly adopted but are mere pretenders, the shock of the reality that awaits them will be devastating. The Master taught that as bad trees produce bad fruit, so wicked people produce evil deeds. "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord!' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?' Then I will announce to them, 'I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!' "Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.”[4]

[1] Ezekiel 8:12; 9:9

[2] Malachi 3:18

[3] Hebrews 12:6

[4] Matthew 7:17-24

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Biography Information:
I make no claim of superior wisdom or originality. I am a student, just like everyone else. My goal in writing is to simply share whatever God chooses to teach me (many times by my children or parishioners) on any given day. I hope the devotionals are a blessing to you.

Kevin Pauley is a pastor and writer. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Lynn, their five children and two dogs. His internet address is Berea.
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