God Knows The Heart

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So, the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain” their teachings are merely human rules.” You have not let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”                                                      Mark 7:5-8

As we read in the book of Mark, Jesus’ opponents which was the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem questioned Jesus about why he and his disciples were not living according to the tradition of the elders. Trying to embarrass him and undermine his authority. When with the crowd he had been teaching, they questioned Jesus about eating with ritually of the elders would never do which is to eat with unclean hands.

The tradition of the elders was an oral interpretation of Israel’s ancestral custom. The Pharisees considered this tradition legally binding all Jews, even through not all followed it. Mark’s gospel of the explanation of the purification ritual demonstrate he is not sympathetic towards the tradition.

Jesus first responded to his opponents by quoting from the Prophets and the Law, sources important than the tradition of the elders. He said his adversaries were people who honored God with the lips but not with their hearts. They taught human laws as divine doctrine which can also be found in Isaiah 29:13 which states “These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”  Finally, Jesus responded directly to their question about the purification regulation. However, he addressed the crowd, not his opponents, thus resuming his position as a teacher with authority. He told the crown that nothing went into a person could defile them. Rather it was the things that comes out of a person’s mouth that defiles them. In other words, things that a person puts into their mouths such as food could not defile them, it is what comes out of a person’s mouth, which truly comes from the heart  Jesus’ new teaching about inner purity calls us to reexamine our tendency to engage in long-held traditions and rituals rather than the transformation of our hearts. It also challenges our tendency to hold on to human traditions as if they were divinely commanded. Finally, it calls us to reexamine the exclusive stance of our faith communities. This last challenge may be the hardest call of all, if our faith is predicated on a versus then understanding. Just as traditions and purity regulations helped preserve ancient Israel’s religious and ethnic identity and faith is a hostile world, so traditions and purity rules help preserve traditional biblical Christian identity. Are we like the crowds following Jesus or are  we like Mark’s first readers, are confronting Jesus. Do we hang on to traditions and rituals remaining exclusive in our thinking in order to protect our traditional faith and identity? Or do we let God open our hearts-even if such action subjects our faith and identify to change?

We need to remember what Jesus tells us as well as his disciple, God is not interested at our human traditions, which is that we come to church on Sunday mornings and sit in the pew, we then feel that we did our Christian duties until next week. We are called Christians because we are followers (disciples) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we should live our lives according to the teaching of Christ. More important is what God told Samuel in the book of 1 Samuel 16:7 God does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Eileen

 

 

 

 

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In His Eyes (Guess Blogger)

Hi, I’m Crystal, I am wife to husband Michael, mother to 3 growing kids- Anna, Grace & Jonathan. God’s Word is my greatest passion. I studied Theology (Bible) at Dallas Christian College where I had the best professors (I am a little partial) who not only taught me about the Bible but because of them, I fell in love with God’s Word. I enjoy drawing and painting when I can squeeze it in. When you mix a Bible student with an artist you get me, many of my recent paintings reflect whatever I was studying at the time. I am enjoying this because when I show my paintings I am then able to share my passion, God’s word.

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One day we were driving home and I had music on as I often do… my 7 yr old little girl began to sing a song “In the eyes” (1GN).

I am valuable
The singer begins by singing about how the world views you, broken. She then says “you are perfect your worth more then you know… in the eyes of the one who made you”. I was just listening to the words that day, it is a song that seems to speak to me because I don’t think I’m anyone important and know I’m a little weird (I’ve embraced this now).

She is Perfect
But when my little girl began singing this that day I listened closely as she said
“You are treasured, you are beautiful, in the eyes…in the eyes, of the one who made you. You are perfect your worth more than you know, in the eyes… in the eyes, who made you”.
She was singing the word “you” but it was as if she were singing “I”.

In our Father’s eyes
Tears ran down my face as I listened to her continue to sing this song that talks about who we are in our heavenly Father’s eyes. This is the little girl we were told to go abort because the doctors in that room didn’t value her life, she was broken. This is a little girl who the world labels as different and not worth much. But as the song says “you are the vision of the Father’s heart”. This echoes scripture

Palms 139:13-16 says
“For you have created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. I was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book ” (emphasis add mine)

https://godsstoriesofgrace.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/in-his-eyes/

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Point of View
I see my daughter through the eyes of a mother and love her more then words can say. But I have struggled with and questioned why God would choose this life for her and haven’t always praised Him for making her the way He did.
Listening to her sing the words to this song that is telling her she who she is in God’s eyes, she is not “broken” but “perfect” just the way He made her.
This is what brought tears to my eyes… that she was singing these words!
I pray they will be words she will never forget!
The songs ends by repeating
“when the world has told you lies… you are priceless in His eyes”

I can’t think of anything better to fill this little girl’s thoughts with and even my own.
She is surrounded by people who love her and know she is priceless but the world will not always tell her this. I don’t look forward to the day she understands them.
I certainly don’t understand God’s ways but I take comfort in knowing that she is treasured and perfect in His eyes and He loves her much more than I ever could.

       MY PRAYER
Father, you know how I have struggled and every question I have asked. Thank you that I can come to you with my questions and tears. I may never get the answers I think I want so badly. But, I am given the promises that you won’t waste anything (Jeremiah 29:11) and that even the things that are not good, the heartache of this world, you will work it together for good (Romans 8:28). Thank you for this song that reminds me that I am your beloved daughter. Thank you that Grace will grow up hearing that she is priceless in your eyes. Thank you for Your Word that tells us just how much you love us.
In Jesus name, I pray, Amen

 

Brokenness

Isaiah 54-1.pngI know that some of you as you are reading these words that I have written, you are feeling broken within your heart. There are so many reasons that through out our lives that we feel this way, and one way is when you put your trust in someone or something instead of God and I too am guilt of this one. Too many times you open yourselves to trust another thinking that they have your best interest for you that you will not get hurt and somehow in the end we truly do .And when we do get disappointed or crush inside I know that all I want to do is run away to never be found again. I truly want to give up and not go forward why because as humans we are afraid of being hurt over and over again.  As I was going thru the different scriptures that I have highlight I come across these words from the book of Isaiah 54: 10 Through the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed.” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Once I read these words than read them again, I cry out to the Lord why Lord what have I done to be hurt in this way once again. My heart knows that through my brokenness I can draw closer to God. I am able to open up to him and simply pour out my heart knowing that he does understand my pain. His compassion for me is overflowing, and when I do open myself up to the Risen Lord his peace will fill my spirit that transcends understanding. I need to stop trying to figure everything out on my own. Instead, I need to lean on him, letting my head rest on his shoulders, and while I am resting I need to know that he will be watching over me and all that concerns me. I need to continue to trust in the Master in the depths of my being where he lives in union with me. Jesus healing work in me is most effective when I am trusting him. As I read these words more than once from Isaiah I need to remember how he has compassion for me. No matter how desperate my circumstances can be, the one thing I can always count on is Jesus unfailing love for me.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Keeping Faith

Romans 4.pngTherefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s off-spring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him. So shall your offspring be. Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead-since he was about a hundred years old-and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief, regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.        Romans 4:10-21

It is always quiet easy to have faith when things are going our way and everything seems to being smelling like a rose. But, the question to you is this! how is your faith when life seems to be falling down all around you. No matter how hard you maybe trying, at times things seems to go from bad to worst and that is when your faith or even mine is being tested. As we read above in the book of Romans, we read about Abraham a man of great faith, he truly believed that God would do for him what he had promise, which is for him and his wife Sarah to become parents even being quiet old, and that he would become the father of many nations, and Abraham believe and it came to past. What is faith, faith is believing in God, trusting him for he knows what is best for all of his children. To have great faith like Abraham or any of the prophets we need to practice at it each and everyday. The different ways to practice that faith is to continue to study the Word of God, having a prayer life with our Creator, and being a part of a community of other believers.  When things become hard for you and even for me our faith can with stand the test of faith, and knowing that God will give us the strength to continue to move forward in our faith journey.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

We are Called to Love and Not Hate

Romans 12Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with  everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written. “It is mine to avenge, I will repay says the Lord. On the contrary. If your enemy is hungry, feed them, if he is thirsty, give him something to drink, In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.     (Romans 12:17-21)

These words from the Apostle Paul is very hard to live by especially when you have been hurt by someone. When the wounds are deep from anyone what we all seem to want to do is to hurt the person who had hurt us or someone in our family especially when it comes to our children. This is why it is so important for all of us to stay in God’s word and meditate on what he is telling us. The easy thing once someone hurts us is to do the same however God doesn’t want us to do it, Jesus tells us we should love one another even our enemies, and I know that it hard for us to do. Can you ever imagine if we all did this, to love all mankind even when they hurt us his on purpose. The only thing that hates does to anyone is to destroy, families are torn apart, friendship, marriages and more all because of hate. You can not say you Love God and hate your brother, sister why because God is love and to know God is to love all mankind no matter how different they are to us, no matter what they have done, we are all called to love one another. This is the reason we need to have a walk with God because when we do we are more likely to do the things of good and not evil.

Forgive us Heavenly Father for not loving others the way you love us each and everyday, help us to continue to walk with you, and help us to love the way you love us.

In Jesus Name we Pray

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends