Wednesday, May 4, 2016

"Focused On What's More Important"

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone".  Matthew 23:23

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders, for many reasons, but here He rebuked them because they were more concerned about focusing on what was least important than what was most important.  They made sure they gave their titles all the way down to each little leaf of an herb.  Jesus told them not to neglect the requirements of the law but to give more attention to what was really important in the eyes of God.

They were concerned about doing religious works but not about the heart of the gospel.  What the Pharisees were doing was focusing on the "natural" side of religion.  What Jesus told them to do and focus on was the "spiritual" side-- matters of the heart.  They were focused on paying tithes on mint leaves.  He was focused on them showing mercy.  They were focused on paying tithes on cumin seeds.  He was focused on their faith. 

This sounds like many in the church today.  They are more concerned about showing up at church, singing in the choir, paying titles, teaching a small group or Sunday school class, their daily Bible reading plan, working in the church, etc.  But the "weightier" part of the gospel is not there in their lives.  The heart of the gospel is not in them.  They are like Pharisees caught up in the work but not demonstrating the spirit. 

Which group are you in?  Are you keeping the Lord's commandments?  Are you keeping them out of love or duty-- hoping that they will "earn" you something?  Are you walking in love?  Are you judging correctly-- between that which is holy and pleasing to the Lord and that which is not (especially in your own life)?  Are you walking in faith?  Are  you fully trusting in the Lord as your Savior and living out a life that honors Him through faith?  Are you merciful-- remembering how merciful He was to you by saving you?  Are you focusing more on the spirit than the flesh?  Is the Fruit of the Spirit being cultivated in your life or are you more concerned about religious duty?  Do you portray Christ's attitude or fleshly behavior?  Are you more concerned about what you are doing for the Lord than you are about being like Him?

Have a great day.  Are you more focused on doing the exterior works of the gospel than you are on the interior work that reveals Christ in you?  

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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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