Here's the scripture that stuck this week:
Isaiah 29:13 ESV 13 And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
Every time I come across this verse, I can't help but think of the legalism that myself and a lot of people have gone through in churches. Sometimes, churches don't even know they're legalistic, and then there are churches that know, but just don't seem to care. Every person that has lived and breathed has legalistic tendancies. If we're not careful, we can look down our noses at people, and we fail to see the legalism that exists in our own life. I know, I battle it all the time, and it's when I lose sight of my man-made religion, that it's at it's most dangerous state. And yes, legalism is very dangerous. Jesus actually quoted this verse to the Pharisees:
Matthew 15:7-9 ESV
7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
I've grown really suspicious of teachers and books that start there thoughts with, "I believe...". At the end of the day, our belief must rest in the God of the Bible, and not who we think He should be. I spent too many years taking my pastor's opinions as doctrine, instead of searching the scriptures for truth. It's not that the pastors I had growing up were way off based, or intentionally trying to teach falsely, but there were certainly some things they taught that differ from the Word of God, which I now study. I've heard my pastor say many times that he's going to stand before God one day and answer for what he says in the pulpit. Worship is such a broad and sacred lifestyle, we've got to lean on what God says about it, because, let's face it, it's meant for Him.
That's enough from me, what's your Word this week?