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All Relative

  • Matthew 23:23-24:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

    Nobody is perfect. We are constantly reminded of our faults and failures in so many ways. Sometimes we are reminded by our spouses, our friends, or life circumstances. Sometimes we can get so caught up on an area of our lives that we miss the most important parts. We get so caught up in our own interests that we can often lose sight of what is truly important. 

    The teachers of the law and the Pharisees didn't start out with corrupt hearts. I cannot imagine that they would. The desire to follow God is not one that starts out with unclean thoughts and yet we find that when we rise up in faith and become in the know, much like politicians we are corruptible. We can get so set in our thinking that we miss the real part of our lives with God and that is grace. That is a deep relationship with Him. It is not about rules and regulations. It is not about how good we are at being good. It is about an understanding of who we are in relation with our Father in heaven. Jesus knew His place because He was God's son. Since Jesus went to the cross, we too are sons and daughters of God. Why must we think any other way? Just take the parable of the prodigal son for example. 

    Luke 11:28-30 says “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

    The father's reply in this parable is poignant. He says in (Luke 11: 31,32):“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

    If we renew our minds daily to realize that we are always with Him, and that everything our Father has is ours, than what more do we need? 

    The tendency is for us to focus on a righteous lifestyle to be superior to those who do not live a righteous lifestyle. The truth is that more than anything, God the Father desires relationship, justice, mercy, and faithfulness. The other things are great and are never a bad thing to live right, but we do not want to ever become like the Pharisees or the older brother who burden themselves and others with law following verses Jesus following. Let us renew our minds daily to see that we have a choice to be the prodigal son running to our Father every single morning, or grab our pail and tools and head out to fields to do the burdensome work grumbling about it. Our Father will send us on our way with the work He wants us to do when the time is right. We will know what we will do with our hands. The difference is that it will be from Him and it will be from a place of love and faithfulness. 

    Father, thank You for creating in us a desire and need to be in a relationship with You. Thank You that You provide all things through our trust in You. In Jesus name, amen. 


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Scott Ellis likes this
2 comments
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Scott Ellis
Scott Ellis

Amen, it's all about the relationship!

June 29, 2016
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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese

Thank you, for the beautiful message!

June 30, 2016