Friday, February 26, 2016

Matthew 15.9
But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.(KJV)

Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.(NLT)

The Disciples had not washed their hands, according to Rabbinic tradition, so the Pharisees confronted Jesus about this lack of attention to their laws.  Jesus responded by pointing out their hypocrisy in following more closely their man-made laws than the actual truth of God's law.  The Pharisees thought that they honored God by following their own ideas rather than living according to the revealed truth in God's covenant He had made with them.  They were self deceived and actually quite arrogant to think that their traditions took higher ground than God's truth.

Considering specifically the verse above, let us think about OUR worship.  Do we follow the traditions of man and think we've done our "duty" or do we truly seek the face of God through His truth?  Traditions:

Singing BEFORE the preaching
Church on Sunday mornings
Services last an hour or not much more.
Christmas, Easter(we are not told Biblically to observe either)
Focusing more upon how we dress than what's in our hearts
Taking up an offering during the music portion of the service

Getting the idea yet?  How many of these things do we do the way we do them and by doing them in that way, think that we have impressed God?  According to Jesus, following the teachings of man rather than of God makes us hypocrites and vain.  We congratulate ourselves and our worship is hollow when we exalt the ideas of man over the doctrines of God's Word.

Our response to Jesus' teaching ought to be to search our hearts and know why we do the things we do or do not do.  When we search our hearts and find the traditions of men pushing the truth of God's Word into second place or completely out, our proper response is not to justify ourselves but rather repent(quit following man's ways) and return unto the Truth, God's Way.  We do this best specifically by submitting ourselves to Jesus and His righteousness.  We come to Him and His blood justifies us and this is especially important since we in all sincerity cannot justify ourselves.

You haven't done a thing if you've neglected the truth of God's Word while following precisely the precepts of man.  If you want your actions to matter, to account for something more than immediate gratification, seek Jesus in spirit and in truth.  Honor His Word above the words of men.  Seek Him through your heart and not by your deeds.

PS:  When you truly give Jesus your heart, He gives your deeds eternal purpose and value.

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