Devotional from Nicole Sitter
“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. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matthew 23:23-28 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
We are starting a new series this week called With where we will explore four faulty postures relating to God. Sunday, Pastor Drew will be teaching us about Life under God. So often we try to control our lives through our good works and religious practices.
When I read the passage about the Pharisees it hit me in a new heavy light. How often do we approach life and worship like I’m giving my 10 percent? Sunday mornings are busy. We are all rushing around trying to get ready for service. Unexpected technical difficulties happen, wrong notes are played, and slides are incorrect. It’s so easy for us to just see all of this as a job that we have to do and problems that we have to fix. In the process we loose what we are actually called to do. Worship the one true King. What if we changed our thinking to a mind of gratitude? I know for me I often forget the magnitude of what Jesus has done for me. I tend to try and fix everything instead of realizing that it’s not my job. It’s Gods. His plan is always going to happen despite how I feel or anything that I can do.
When we fix our eyes on the finished work of the cross we can shift our hearts to a life of gratitude. It’s not our job to fix all the injustices in the world, but in light of the cross we can have a heart of compassion and love for those who are in need of Jesus. All of us! I’ve been working my way through the Old Testament and I’m continually reminded that no matter how wicked God is still just, merciful and faithful. This encourages my heart to know that He is all of these things to us everyday. Let me encourage you to reflect on these things. God is a God of justice. That’s not my job. God is a God of mercy. I don’t deserve it but He gives it freely to me. God is faithful. He has proven it time and time again.
We are ending the service with the song Gratitude. I’m so glad that God’s hand was in the placement of this song. All we have is a hallelujah to give the King. He does all the rest.