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by: Sandy A. Lopez -  for Apostolic Mommy & Wife - 7/23/2016
This Bible Study will help us further understand how easy it is for many to fall in a modern day trap and lie of the enemy.
The deceit that tells us we are better than others and are closer to God because of our works or standards alone.
When our spiritual walk begins to focus more on us and our rituals than God - we as Christians can falsely believe these 3 things: We are better than the rest of society, We are more loved of God and We are the only ones to reach salvation. All three are biblical unsound and could be proven incorrect by the word of God.
I understand you & I may say; "I would never think that!" Yet some many times our actions and attitudes say differently. 
Now do not get me wrong - I have very strong personal convictions. For example: within my family we do not listen to secular music, wear revealing attire, speak vulgarly and limit the type of media we read/watch...However I begin to sin the moment  I feel superior. When I begin to feel my prayer matters most and I am holier. When I look down my nose at a believer or unbeliever who cannot fulfill what I believe to be righteous in my eyes.
* Have personal convictions and stick to true doctrinal values, that is wonderful! But do not harshly condemn those that cannot do what you do. The word of God speaks of levels. We are all on different spiritual levels - yet all running towards the same goal. Lead by example and allow your testimony and actions to speak for you! 
I do want to encourage the following: When the opportunity organically appears for someone to ask why or how you do what you in your walk with God - share why you do & what you (with kindness and no judgmental intentions). Your love, mercy and sincerity may lead others to imitate you faith as mentioned in Hebrews 13:7
Do not refrain from teaching and living the word but do so with wisdom, not casting stones as the pharisees did. Judgement is of the Lord, and in the end it is HE who will determine who enters into heaven. For only he can discern the thoughts and intents of the hear as stated in: Hebrew 4:12.
Let us do ourselves a favor and focus solely on GOD and not on others. Walking with God should be a beautiful glorious experience and not a tiresome, stressful task. When we are preoccupied keeping an eye on others and their testimonies we lose sleep, become bitter and do no enjoy our walk with Christ - we lose sight of HIM.
Don't fall into the trap of the enemy free in Christ and focus on your immediate family - they are the first ones you will give account for on the day we are called into HIS presence. If you are truly concerned for others, pray and fast for them - God will answer.
God loves a humble spirit - it is the humble that shall be exalted. Do not let your financial status, title, education or looks cause you to feel superior than any other human being.
Jesus gave his life for all humanity - so that salvation would be accesible to all. HE has given free will and will not force salvation on anyone - but it is available to all...for He paid the price.
As he Died for president Obama he also died for the homeless living under your neighborhood bridge. They are both created in God's image. No one is superior - only God!
I leave you with one last thought. Satan himself was among the most beautiful angels - he was cast out of heaven because he felt superior. (fall of satan)
If he could trick believers to fall from grace as he did he would be happy...for he knows it is a self righteous, religious christian that can cause others to hurt,  fall or leave their walk with God. Do not fall into the enemies trap... Let the body of Christ protect each other and not devour each other as the pharisees did. 
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Definition <Webster Dictionary>
Pharisee - a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity.
  • a self-righteous person; a hypocrite.
    Bible References :

    Luke 18:10-14 ESV

    “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    Luke 20:46-47 ESV

    “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

    Luke 7:36-50 ESV

    One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and took his place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.” ...

     (more "Pharisee" references in the bible)

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    Pharisee Q & A
    Pharisee ~ (A) ~ one of a group of Jews who thought that they kept all God's rules. They did not like the things that Jesus taught. They thought that they did not do any wrong things. So, they thought that they were very important and clever.
    In contrast to the two commands of Christ, the Pharisees had developed a system of 613 laws, 365 negative commands and 248 positive laws... By the time Christ came it had produced a heartless, cold, and arrogant brand of righteousness. As such, it contained at least ten tragic flaws.
    The Pharisees believed that in addition to the written Torah recognized by both the Sadducees and Pharisees and believed to have been written by Moses, there exists another Torah, consisting of the corpus of oral laws and traditions transmitted by God to Moses orally, and then memorized and passed down by Moses and his ... <cont .reading>

Published by Sandy Lopez