A lot of people do things for the wrong reasons. Some guys sweet talk girls because they want to get in their pants, some children treat their parents nicely because they want an expensive Christmas gift, some students answer all of the questions in class because they want everyone to think they’re the smartest. While you may be fooling some people by doing these things that seem kind, at the end of the day, God sees our true motives because he knows our hearts better than we do.
In Mark 7, Jesus was talking to the Pharisees, a group of religious leaders. He reproached them for following God’s law out of “tradition” rather than conviction. He said, “‘these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’” They did things like performing a hand washing ritual before eating (which was a commandment God gave Moses) and condemned others when they did not do the same, but they neglected other laws that could be seen as far more important such as “honor your father and mother” which was a part of the Ten Commandments.
Yesterday at our Young Adult service at church, Chris (our Friday blogger) spoke about working towards a personal relationship with God, and his own journey in doing so. One of the most important things in establishing a relationship with God is to aim to just please Him not just in what we say, but in what we do. Colossians 3:1 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
My prayer for everyone reading today is that we, individually and collectively, work on creating a relationship with God so that we can recognize the times when our motives are impure and when we need to earnestly seek God, asking him to clean our hearts like in Psalm 51:10 when David prayed “create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” I encourage you all to examine your reasons for doing the things you do against the Bible so that you can grow to know yourself and simultaneously grow closer to God.
Merciful Mondays: Jael
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31