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“You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it.” ~~Jesus

December 29, 2012 3 comments

Jesus knows us. He challenges us to not “be religious”. If we say we will pray, we must do it earnestly. We must do it often. We must go after the victory with our brother and sister. Jesus demands it. It is the way in His new agreement with God, our Father.Pious

Jesus challenges us to be genuine in Him. Being pious and phoney makes things worse not better. We don’t make our words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making our speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.

“You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:33-37 The Message)

“But you weasel out of that by saying ….” ~~Jesus

Jesus is direct with us about twisting God’s words and using them to our advantage. Jesus knows what His Father said and meant. We do too. We can’t weasel out by trying to change the intent. Jesus challenges us to not be religious. It is all about knowing God, listening to God and doing what our loving Father wants us to. Obedience is preferred over sacrifice.

May I believe what God has said and act on it.

Moses said, ‘Respect your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.’ But you weasel out of that by saying that it’s perfectly acceptable to say to father or mother, ‘Gift! What I owed you I’ve given as a gift to God,’ thus relieving yourselves of obligation to father or mother. (Mark 7:10 The Message)

“You ditch God’s command and are just taking up the latest fads.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges the religious stay focused on God and what He wants. Fads come and go. Jesus and His Father are the same from all of eternity.

It is important to not make a big show of just saying the right thing, but make sure our heart is in it. Do we  act like we are worshiping God, but they don’t mean it? Do we just use God as a cover for teaching whatever suits our fancy?

This is important. Jesus is challenging us.

“You ditch God’s command and are just taking up the latest fads.” ~~Jesus (Mark 7:6 The Message)

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“You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace.” ~~Jesus

Jesus challenges us to make sure our words are clear and genuine. They should reflect all of His love. Embellishing what we say with religiosity is useless. Being religious isn’t being genuine in God.

Sounding religious doesn’t make us religious.

“You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace.” ~~Jesus

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“Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact.” ~~Jesus

Jesus spends special time with religious people. He is direct always. Are we frauds? It is a question to ask ourselves. In this situation, it was a statement not a question.

The Pharisees, along with some religion scholars who had come from Jerusalem, gathered around him. They noticed that some of his disciples weren’t being careful with ritual washings before meals. Seriously, this is all they had to think about. The Pharisees—Jews in general, during that time—would never eat a meal without going through the motions of a ritual hand-washing, with an especially vigorous scrubbing if they had just come from the market (to say nothing of the scouring they’d give jugs and pots and pans). Of course, we have our religious ceremonies now. We pray before meals, even when we eat out. We go to church. We tell people we will pray for them when they are sick or someone in their family dies.

So, on this occasion, the  religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?” Jesus has questions for me.  Am I more concerned with saying the right thing than doing what God wants right at that minute? Is my heart not in it? Do I just pretend to worship God? Do I use Jesus? Do I ditch God’s commands? Do I only care about the latest religious trend or fad?

Jesus looks me in the eye and asks me these questions. He isn’t cruel. He just confronts me.

May my love for God and what He wants in my life rule every day. May I fulfill His goal for my life. May I do what He wants.

Jesus has an answer, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact: These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it. They act like they are worshiping me, but they don’t mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy, Ditching God’s command and taking up the latest fads.” Mark 7 (Message)

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“In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.” ~~Jesus

Jesus is clear about using “religious language”. Don’t do it. Be genuine. Use contemporary terms to point people to God’s world. Here are some easy changes:

  • Gospel – Good news
  • Sin – Missing God’s goal
  • Repent – Change your mind

What are others you would suggest?

“In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true.” ~~Jesus 

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Jesus is not interested in being a “respectable religious leader”. He is in charge of everything. Seriously. Believe it

February 3, 2012 Leave a comment
Categories: Personal Tags: , ,

Does God want you to live a pure life?

January 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The Apostle Paul nails it. God wants us to live a pure life. No doubt about it. He makes it clear it isn’t about plodding along like some religious zombie. Nope. It’s about living a spirited dance with God our Father. It’s about pleasing God. When you love someone you want to please them. It’s not about “they said so”. It’s about a living relationship. God wants that. That brings purity in His eyes.

One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.

via 1 Thessalonians 4:3 – Youre God Taught One final word friends – Bible Gateway.

We've never seen anything like this!!!

Jesus has this way of baffling the religious community. The reaction is “He can’t talk that way” or “He can’t do that”.

When Jesus arrives on the scene, miracles happen and religious people can’t control what he is doing. When Jesus does His outrageous miracles, we rub our eyes. We’ve never seen anything like this. He is doing what He sees the Father doing. He is bringing heaven to earth. Wow!!!

We have never seen anything like what Jesus can do. May we believe that in our core.

Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, “He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.” Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” (he looked now at the paraplegic), “Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!” (Mark 2:6-12 The Message) 

Simple trust

November 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The Roman Centurian was very humble and knew that Jesus could give the command and his servant would be healed. He didn’t need to come to Jesus himself or have Jesus come to him. Imagine having the kind of faith that shocks Jesus. It is simple trust. If we know that Jesus has the authority, that takes care of it.

“Taken aback, Jesus addressed the accompanying crowd: “I’ve yet to come across this kind of simple trust anywhere in Israel, the very people who are supposed to know about God and how he works.” Luke 7:9 (MSG)

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