DATE WRITTEN: Sunday, 2021-02-21
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 15:5-9
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 5-6 But you say, ‘Even if your parents are in need, you may give their support money to the church[a] instead.’ And so, by your man-made rule, you nullify the direct command of God to honor and care for your parents. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, 8 ‘These people say they honor me, but their hearts are far away. 9 Their worship is worthless, for they teach their man-made laws instead of those from God.’[b]”
OBSERVATION: I try very hard to share commentary on Scripture where God has spoken to me first. Perhaps God will also use this devotional to draw your attention to what He wants to share with you today. Try clicking on my Scripture link so that you could read all of chapter 15, just to make sure you don’t take my chosen verses out of context. Let God minister to you today through His Word.
APPLICATION: Over time, mankind has honed in on certain Scriptures that various leaders ‘hang their hat on’, and because of differences of opinion, these leaders split off and started respective denominations. I Have no doubt that there are numerous great preachers out there, and perhaps we should permit them to use their God-given gifts to teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ In whatever setting they see fit. However, for the poor sinner who might be trying to decide on which church to become a part of, it must be extremely challenging for them to decide, based on the various beliefs out there, and the tone of the various worship services. I’m not here to promote either one in particular, nor am I here to denounce any. However, I would implore you to examine the teachings of any church you are looking to attend, and be sure that they are aligned with the Word of God. In our Scripture today Jesus found a case where some were giving to the church in accordance with their teaching, however this was at the expense of not adhering to the teachings of God to rightfully care for their loved ones. Friends, it is important that you get into a personal study of the Bible, for It is God’s word to you about His commands that He wants you to follow, and His character that He wants you to imitate. When we try to accomplish each of these things, God will give us wisdom to identify teachings that may tend to misguide us. I know, you are just a simple individual with limited education and the Bible seems so complex to understand. I will agree with that statement, especially when you approach the study and understanding of the Word on your own wisdom and abilities. Let me suggest: try using a translation that is easy for you to understand; seek God before you study, and ask Him to give you wisdom to see and understand what He has in store for you to learn; Ask God to soften your heart so that you may apply the Word to you first. Way too often we could easily see how badly others need correction, while all the while overlooking how badly God needs to work in our life. I sincerely pray that you will not become more confused in hearing my advice to check out the belief’s of your church, or one you are looking to attend. But Brothers and Sisters you must understand that the Preachers, Teachers and leaders running your church, are fellow human beings, and while many will painfully seek God’s wisdom on what He would have them do and say, there are many who do not. You have an obligation to the Master to understand His Word correctly so that you may obediently follow in the path He has set out before you. Have your Bible with you in Bible study and in church services, so that you may validate what the Word says about a subject and not jut be gullible to what the preacher says. Jesus found that His people were allowing their loved ones to perish for lack of financial means, while being obedient to their local churches in providing for their means. There is a fine line here with the subject of tithing, so please seek the face of God for direction on what changes you should make, if any, in your giving to the work of the Lord.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I’m afraid that we have become so accustomed to instant service through fast food drive-thrus; through microwaves; and through prepackaged meals, that we hardly want to take the time to study the Bible for ourselves, so that we might receive direction from you. We may tend to think that it is so much quicker to let someone else teach us the Word. Please help us to always remember that You took no shortcuts for us, for You suffered beatings, scorn from the crowds and total humiliation when You hung on the cross at Calvary. If we are sincere in our commitment to give You rule over our lives and to honor and praise You always – whether here on earth and in eternity in heaven, then the most important thing we could do is to devote ourselves to reading Your Word and waiting patiently for Your still small voice. Please Lord, assume Your rightful place in our hearts and direct our lives as You see fit. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!