4 x 6 Plan | Read: Matthew 15:1-20 & Romans 13:1-7

‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’(Matthew 15:8-9) 

Have you ever found yourself caught up in external appearances and traditions, rather than focusing on the condition of your heart? In Matthew 15:1-20, Jesus challenges the religious leaders who were more concerned with outward rituals than with the inner transformation of the heart. It’s tough to be honest with ourselves, but how many times are we more concerned with appearances than genuine transformation that comes from a relationship with Jesus?

The gospel reminds us that it’s not about following a set of rules or rituals to earn God’s favor. It’s about a heart transformed by His grace and love. Jesus emphasized the importance of internal purity rather than external rituals. He taught that what comes out of our hearts, such as evil thoughts, jealousy, and anger, is what defiles us. The good news is that through His grace, we can experience a heart transformation. We can have our minds renewed and be filled with His love, joy, peace, and kindness. It’s not about trying to appear righteous on the outside, but about surrendering to God’s grace and allowing Him to work within us.  The New Testament tells us there is no law (or rules) to the fruit of the Spirit (being led by God’s Holy Spirit)  

The “Great” News of the Gospel | Romans 13:1-7

The gospel is great news because it reminds us that God is ultimately in control and sovereign over all authorities and governments. In Romans 13:1-7, Paul instructs believers to submit to governing authorities. While this may seem challenging in a world filled with corruption and injustice, the gospel reminds us that our ultimate allegiance is to God and His kingdom. We are called to honor and respect authorities, not out of fear or obligation, but out of the recognition that God’s grace empowers us to live in a way that brings Him glory. This perspective encourages us to be responsible citizens, seeking to bring positive change and justice to the world, while also recognizing that our true hope and security lie in God’s unconditional love and grace not our nation, a president or any other leader. 

Action Steps 

Bible: What is God showing me?  What am I going to do about it? 

Bless: Serve one person through word, action, or gift today.