Read Matthew 23:23-24 While at a family gathering a few weeks ago, I learned something about myself. I learned that, if I’m not interested in a topic of conversation, I get bored and check out very quickly. If people are talking about things I’m interested in, I’ll talk to someone for hours. But, as soon as the conversation veers into an area I don’t care about, I check out and look for ways to wander off without even realizing it. We all have those certain areas we care more about than others. But, the real question is whether or not those things match up with what God really cares about. Jesus reserved his harshest words for those who claimed to be religious but ignored God’s heart. We often think Jesus told us not to judge, but this is only half the story. We can see from this and many other passages that Jesus Himself judged. He calls out the Pharisees and teachers of the law for being hypocrites. But, notice that Jesus’ beef with them is that they neglected the “more important” things of the law such as justice, mercy, and sacrifice. One of the reasons Christianity has a bad reputation in this day and age is because we often zero in and harp on things that don’t really matter. We start knit-picking everybody apart and sinning in the exact same ways. Christians have been known for condemning others when those people don’t live or believe exactly the way we do. But, when Jesus judged, He majored on the majors. Instead of being obsessed with things that really didn’t matter, Jesus was passionate about what was truly important in God’s eyes: justice, mercy, and sacrifice. Instead of knit-picking at all the little things that aren’t all that important to God, maybe we should show grace in those areas while focusing on what truly matters to God. Reflect What do you think are the “major” things that are truly close to the heart of God? What are some things you really care about that God may not care quite as much about? Pray Spend some time in prayer today talking about the things that are truly close to the heart of God. Ask God to give you the same heart that He has toward others. // TWO-A-DAYS // GO A LITTLE FARTHER WITH YOUR DAILY DEVOTIONS // Go through these questions with your spouse, kids, or friend, or you can even journal about the answers to these questions:
- What was the best part of your day?
- What was the toughest part of your day?
- Where did you mess up today?
- Where did you see God today?