“You cancel the word of God … You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you … ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me … for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’” *– Matthew 15:6-9 NLT*
During Jesus’ earthly ministry, many religious leaders disagreed with Him, feeling they were serving God. They were dedicated to guarding against false teachings and protecting their people from corruption. To them, their traditions were guardians of their faith and insurance against error.
They may have been sincere without realizing their trust in traditions enabled them to drift away from God and His commandments. In effect, they had made God’s commands spineless.
Jesus cited the book of Isaiah to help people understand that their worship was, in God’s sight, misdirected. Their teachings were but rules taught by men.
Any of us can become guilty of the same problem. We may start out trying to serve God but become more attached to our traditions than to God or His Word. We can be so dedicated to our interpretations that we are closed to God’s direction. We can fail to see how we have done anything wrong.
Allow God to search your heart and mind with the penetrating power of the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to examine your interpretations and traditions.
Allow Him to convict you of mistakes and free you from deception. Do not be defensive before God or assume that you are right. Ask Him to help you to be sensitive to Him and committed to His Word. Focus on God Himself and worship Him in spirit and in truth.
How have you allowed holiday traditions to take the place of Jesus?
Father, search my heart. Show me if I have allowed anything to take Your place in my life. I submit my life to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading