Posted by: bshelley | April 4, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Entry for April 4, 2008

Today’s Verse: Mark 7:8 “Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.” NASB

If you have little kids or have been around little kids, you know that it is difficult to keep a straight face sometimes when they have done something “bad”. I can still remember the response of one of ours to a question as to why they had been doing something they were not supposed to do. With big semi-innocent eyes they simply responded, “I don’t know.” Jesus is criticizing the Pharisees for following the traditions of man rather than those of God. He says that because they do that, they worship in vain. Are you worshipping in vain? Have you ever stopped to consider if what you do has a basis and authorization in scripture? Why do you take or not take communion on Sunday? Is Saturday ok? How about once a quarter? How often is “as often”? Why do you sit and listen to a church organist or a church worship team or band perform? Does that represent the kind of worship God desires? What must one do to be saved? Is praying a “sinners prayer” sufficient? Is baptism considered a public profession of a past event or the point of salvation in scripture? If it is work, who does scripture say is doing the work? Do you recite doctrines or creeds or specifically worded prayers every Sunday? By way of an answer, I only point you to the scriptures. What does God’s word say about such questions? Some naively or blindly follow men’s traditions because it is more comfortable than asking hard questions of the scripture and common practices. Jesus seemed to have a problem with that. He took the issue seriously. No doubt, some were just taking the word of someone more “religious” than them on the subject without digging out the truth for themselves. Why do you do what you do? Taken seriously, it is a rather unsettling question. Personally, I want to know to know if I am following God’s desire expressed in His word. The answer “that’s just the way we have always done it” or “I don’t know” does not seem a sufficient one to Jesus. Since we are full grown and capable of searching the scripture for ourselves, He’s not likely having to put much effort into keeping a straight face at our lack of understanding. Let’s search God’s word with the question in mind,”What does God say is pleasing to Him?” It should be the desire of the servant to please the Master. What is the desire of your heart today?

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