Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New Thing

S: Mark 7:15 – There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him, but the things which come out of him those are the things that defile a man.
O: The disciples were criticized for eating without washing their hands as was the custom. Jesus shows that if we put customs and traditions before the word of God we are in trouble. It is not what a man eats or whether he washes his hands that defile him but those things that come out of a man’s heart (sin) that defiles him.
A: The people criticizing Jesus and the disciples were putting their customs and traditions before God. Customs and traditions are good things. Many of us have traditions around the holidays and we enjoy them. It’s when we get so focused on our customs and traditions and fail to see what God is trying to do right in front of us that we miss the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing NOW. It wasn’t really about hand washing at all. Jesus was doing things and moving in ways that defied tradition. He hung out with sinners. He healed lepers. He moved among the sick, the lost and the broken. Jesus dealt with the hearts of the people and looked beyond what customs and traditions required. He got right to the heart of the matter. Our hearts. Whatever is in our hearts will come out – sin or compassion, fear or faith. I cringe when I hear things like “we’re going to do it this way because that’s the way it’s always been done”. What if God wants it done another way. When we get stuck in this mindset we are walking dangerous ground. God does not always move in exactly the same way. Are we closing our minds and our hearts to what God is really trying to do?
P: Father God clean my heart. I give my heart to you. Examine it for sin, for lack of faith, for anything that gets in the way of what you want to do in me and through me. Forgive me for all the times I was stuck in tradition and didn’t see what you were trying to do all around me. Forgive me for missed opportunities. Give me eyes to see what you are doing now. Give me a clean heart to pour out your love and mercy. Use me Lord. I don’t want to miss out on what you have for me and for those around me.

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