Thursday, March 17, 2011

Word Study: I'm Living Like What?!?

Matthew 23:23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices - mint, dill, cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law - justice, mercy, and faithfulness..."

I'll just admit it now - I'm guilty of neglecting the more important matters of justice, mercy, and faithfulness.

Last Sunday, my pastor started a series on Jesus. This particular day he spoke of Jesus, the Friend. He used the passage about Zacchaeus (Luke 19) to highlight three types of people: those who are curious and need a clearer view of Jesus, those who show mercy, grace, and compassion like Jesus, and those who hide and distort the true view of Christ. The more he described the group hiding the view of Christ - the religious people - the more uncomfortable I became. Not just because I felt he was talking to me, but because I had the same conviction a few weeks ago.

This past year, I felt I had been going through the motions of my faith. Say prayers with the kids, bless the food, have Bible study with the kids, and so on. Matthew 15:8 says "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me..." I could easily blame it on the move, or the kids starting school, or my husband almost losing his job. But, those elements are all part of life. And even when we are going through tough times, stressful times, or even joyous times, we are to love the Lord with everything we have. If I saved my worship, and focus, and faithfulness to the Lord for the not-so-bumpy times in life, then chances are they wouldn't happen.

So, if I was going through the motions, then how was I hiding the view of Christ? When I go through the motions I lack grace at times. I get grumpy, impatient, selfish. The character of Christ is hidden.

Thankfully though, God doesn't just go through the motions. He is faithful to me (and you!) despite how I act. His Grace is pure. His Love is unconditional. His Mercies are new everyday. And through His grace, love, and mercy, I pray I become more like a Jesus person - allowing His way to shine through while I step out of the way.


Denise Miller Holmes said...

Sometimes, when we feel we are going through the motions, it isn't because we love God any less than we did before. The issue can stem from a general feeling of numbness because life has become one task after another in many areas of life. I bet, when you still yourself and focus on your inner self instead of your tasks, you will get in touch again with that sweet love you have for the Lord. As will I.

Anonymous said...

You captured this so elegantly, I love your willingness to share your skills, keep up the AWESOME work....