"Because this people draw near with their Words and honor Me with their lip service, but they remove their hearts far from me, and their reverence for Me consist of tradition learned by rote."

How easy it is to become mechanical in all relationships if we have allowed ourselves to become this way in our relationship with God. God sees our hearts. He is very aware when we are giving lip service, but we have removed our hearts far from Him. He goes onto say our efforts of reverence consist of tradition learned by "rote." Rote isn’t a word we are familiar with today, but it means: mechanical, or habitual repetition of something to be learned."

Never do I see this displayed more in our society than during the holidays. We exchange gifts not from the heart which requires a lot of thought, but mechanical actions learned from habitual repetition. We care more about what we get than what we give, and because of our abundance of stuff, and lack of need no one appreciates anything. More times than not the holidays come and go, and we are all relieved when it is over.

We have forgotten the real reason for the season! As we prepare for the holidays this season let us begin with our relationship with the One Who is being celebrated. What love the Father expressed by sending His only Son to each one of us. May we focus on loving Him with our whole hearts enabling our worship to be honest and true — not just words from tradition of repetitious habits. When we sing the wonderful, traditional carols let it be in spirit and truth. I find if I can get this right, I can avoid the same mistake in all other relationships, as far as it depends on me.

Hear the heart of our King in Isaiah 29:13. He reveals His desire for Christmas and every other day of the year. He desires to be loved as He created us to be loved. We can’t love Him til we first allow Him to love us. (1 John 4:19) May we make this our top priority on our "to do list." He deserves first place in all things.(Colossians 1:18) Make this Christmas true and meaningful for Him, yourself, and all those around you. Give Him your heart; remain in Him.
In His love.

Teresa Roberts

Masterpiece Fitness


Pausing a moment to absorb the raw beauty of winter! (Photo taken this week bike riding on the New River Trail near Ivanhoe, Virginia.)