How is your relationship with God today? Do you find yourself going through the motions at times? To be honest, I do. Since we all can drift from a heart commitment to God, and lean toward duty and obligation, I appreciated the words of Jesus today in Matt. 15:8-9 where he said,
“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
This rebuke by Jesus is for the Pharisees. This group took great pride in their observance of rules and the traditions of men. These men did not know Jesus as their Savior and God. They missed the point of the Law. The Law was not to be a book of rules focused on duty, but a book that impacted the heart. It was designed to guide a person in their relationship with God.
I think this tendency that we see in the Pharisees can invade the life of a disciple of Jesus as well. It is a great reminder for me to evaluate why I am living a life of faithfulness? If I can’t say it is out of love from my heart, I may be drifting and getting lost in the “to do’s” of what a good disciple should do. This approach has surfaced at times in my life. I forget that Jesus doesn’t want me doing things “for” him but “with” him. He wants me to enjoy my life of service in relationship to him. My growing and vibrant relationship with him should stir me to action.
Leon Morris commented,
“The people in question honor God in that they say all the proper things. But this is all a matter of outward profession. Their heart is not in it… Despite their good words they were lacking in good works. They were far away from God where it counts, in the heart.”
Father, I thank you that I cannot earn your love by obedience to rules. Your Word is to be my guide for life. May you give me the grace to pursue my relationship with you out of love from my heart and not routine and obligation. Revive my heart to pursue my relationship with you and allow me to live as you have shown me in your Word.
Following Jesus with you,