And He said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
"THIS PEOPLE HONOR ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME."
Mark 6:6-7

One of the saddest things I observe in professing Christians today is they base their truths more off of personal experiences than they do the absolute truths in God’s word. Religious people do this; not true followers of Christ.

The Pharisees and Scribes had gathered around Jesus complaining about the disciples not washing their hands before they ate. These were man made laws they had made, and they wanted them followed. It is a good thing to wash your hands before we eat, but they put more emphasis on their man-made laws than the absolute truth of God’s Word. The truth we come up with from personal experiences produces relative truths, but absolute truth comes only from the Word of God. Man judges by outward appearances and God judges the inward man and his motives. The external is temporal, but the internal man is eternal.

Religion will always pull us away from what really matters and distracts us from the truths in God’s Word. Therefore the evil one can control and deceive religious people, and use them against the true followers of Christ as they did here when Christ Himself was among them.

It is no different today. We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us to lead and guide us. But when we do what we feel is right, rather than obeying God’s Word we are being led out of emotions or feelings. We do not have the knowledge of the truth in us to counter the lies and deception of a great deceiver. He comes as an angel of light the Bible tells us. We must keep ourselves in God’s Word to have discernment. Many will be deceived in the last days we are warned of over and over in His Word. Purpose in your heart not to be included in this group. Let’s pick up at verses 7-13:

"BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.
Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men."
He was saying to them,
"You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, "HONOR YOUR FATHER AND YOUR MOTHER; AND HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH; but you say, if a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban. (that is to say, give to God); you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the Word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."

This is just one of the many examples where they upheld their own laws and traditions over God’s holy law. Children could no longer care for aging parents due to them requiring offerings they couldn’t afford. Another example was when they confronted Jesus for healing people on the Sabbath, or when the disciples picked some wheat on the Sabbath from the fields when they were hungry. Religion causes us to lose focus of who and what Jesus is. He is love. His love for His children is found in the Word of God. In His laws we find what true love is, and it isn’t manifestations of religion and self righteousness. We will not be judged for the outer man, but for the inner man, no one can see, but God Himself. That is why we must constantly cry out to Him to know the truth about ourselves, rather than to others. Until we get the inside of our cups clean, we will not have wisdom, discernment and understanding of others – not to judge them – but to lead them into the truth of God’s Word. It will convict, not condemn them. We must have the truth of God’s Word to be free from ourselves and our sin nature. An absolute truth from God’s Word is applicable to all persons in all situations. Nothing else has that kind of power in existence.

We will close with Colossians 2:8-10:

"See to it no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of this world, rather than according to Christ. For in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority."

Our hope is in Him alone, and all He has done for us. However, our greatest desire should be for a knowledge of His Word to us that we might become the women and men of God He invites us to become through love and obedience to Him and His Word. Our purpose is to bring glory only to Him through our testimony as we declare His faithfulness in our lives. He alone is worthy!
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness

www.masterpiecefitness.com

276-237-6680

Summertime in our Blue Ridge Mountains is glorious! Always a cold mountain stream to cool off in! This was taken on the Rock Castle Gorge Loop Trail in Floyd County, Virginia this week on a morning run/walk.