Good Morning Bible Journal Family!
Keep reading daily and living out God’s word. Developing yourself and others requires time in His word. Ephesians 4:11-12 says So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Today’s Reading Matthew 23 and Psalm 96
Matthew 23:4-5 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
I heard growing up the phrase, “Do as I say, not as I do” many times at different occasions. So in most cases what did I do? I didn’t listen and did it anyway, often learning the hard way. So in fast forwarding time, now there are times when I have say to my own children, students, family, friends, and others, “Do as I say, not as I did.” Mostly because I learned the hard way and trying to spare some pain.
Some of us learn by listening, while others learn by doing and failing or succeeding. God has provided us His perfect living word and provided us a perfect model of these words in His son, Jesus. There are other places in the bible where we find those who didn’t follow, or made up their own version of the law. As we continue to read through Matthew we get to Matthew 23 where Jesus warns us about the hypocrisy in the Pharisees. It’s hard to believe that those who were so familiar with the word and could probably reference and quote whole books of the bible would lose sight of God. Not even realizing they were in the presence of His son Jesus. To the point of trying to disprove Him or get Him to say something wrong(which He never did). The Pharisees had such wonderful knowledge of the law but lacked the true relationship needed. There are so many times where I wish I could just remember that “just right” verse for that moment to share with someone. But I realize that wasn’t the only thing that was holding back these teachers of the law. Often they could put made laws above Gods. They told the rules to everyone but when it came down to them it wasn’t happening. Rules that were followed were to make them look better and not about the focus being on God.
When I think about the Pharisees I wonder why they couldn’t take off blinders and realize they were in the presence of our Lord. Honestly, I wonder why at times my blinders can be on too. Do I practice what I preach? Is there times I don’t even say anything? In my humble reflection, I think about sharing of God’s living word. Am I focusing and Him or myself. God has already promised you a place in heaven with Him and it won’t be based on what we do or don’t do. Am I acting out of convenience for myself or my present circumstance. am I dropping the ball just like a Pharisee. Do I put things on others and not willing to help out of selfishness? As we read through these living stories I’m given a daily reminder of making sure it’s not about me, it’s about God. It’s not about me, it’s about others. It our earthly lives it can be easy to get caught up in the
In our earthly life we have to be careful to what people ask us to do. Is it what they want? Is it what we want? Ultimately, is it what God wants? As I reflect on these words I try to remind myself of the true meaning of why we do things. Is it for myself or for others. If we go back to the acronym JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself) are we talking in our homes and workplaces about Jesus=1st, Others = 2nd, Yourself= 3rd Oh how I can mess up this order sometimes. Are we acting these characteristics of Jesus out in lives? You may be the only Christian that person runs into today. One additional reminder question to reflect on says Matthew 23:28 “In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside…
Psalm 96:3 Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.
Thank you for your truth. Thank you for washing us clean. Your word continues to shape and form our lives. Our prayer is to not make anything about us, but about You and your word. That as we go about our days with the true meaning of what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for, leading us all back to you and your love. Keep our communion in you close so we know who we live our life for. I pray our words match our actions and always represent you, in which we give you all the glory.
The only example we should follow is His. John 13:15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.