I love the Lord! I love Jesus Christ! I am eager to serve Him with the best of me! But even the most eager among us (including me) lose heart. When we do that, it makes being consistently sincere in our faith a challenge. We focus so hard on being good Christians that before we know it, we're all about the image and the lifestyle of being a Christian without a focus on the Spirit and eternal life. One day we're boasting in the Lord and the next day, we're just plain old boasting. "Self" seeps into our righteousness. Pride points to our destruction. One day we wake up, and find that something just isn't right, that our spirits don't feel the way we used to. We head the guest list of our own pity party and start inwardly groaning, "Woe is me!"
So in my constant quest to BE a Christian (as opposed to just acting like one), I turned to our ultimate guidebook - The Holy Bible. I asked my Savior, Jesus Christ, who redeems and restores, for guidance. And like all of us who seek, I found. My answer was in Matthew 23, the Seven Woes.
In the pages of the ever-living, always-true Word of God, Jesus rebuked a group of men who probably started off just like me, eager to serve the Lord - the scribes and Pharisees. I told myself as I read Matthew 23 with a sharper perspective, "I won't end up like them!" But what was my guarantee? I could "say" I wouldn't end up like the scribes and Pharisees, but how was I going to live that out? Jesus was so grieved by the scribes' and Pharisees' behavior that He said, "Woe!" seven times, so that became my starting point. I needed to check myself against Jesus' list of woes to make sure that I wasn't slipping into un-Christian behavior.
The Woe to Wow Bible study is the result of this soul-searching journey.
We're going to dare to look at ourselves in the mirror to see where we might be veering off the path and how we can make adjustments in our daily lives as well as in our walk with our Lord. We're going to learn how much the Pharisees resembled Christians and what that means for us as His Church today. Finally, we're going to use the things that grieved Jesus enough to say, "Woe!" and turn them around using Biblical teachings that will expand our faith, increase our joy, and deepen our relationship with Him.
When people look at our lives, let them not say, "Woe!" but "Wow! May God be glorified!"