Saturday, April 16, 2011

much more than burnt offerings

Mark 12:13-24
Later the leaders sent some Pharisees and supporters of Herod to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested. "Teacher," they said, "we know how honest you are. You are impartial and don't play favorites. You teach the way of God truthfully. Now tell us—is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay them, or shouldn't we?"

Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, "Why are you trying to trap me?"

With Jesus, attitude is everything. He sees right through all three groups and can tell what is really on their hearts. The Pharisees aren't seeking God's wisdom but trying to show Him up. Same with the Sadducees. It was only the last teacher who was interested in truth, and it was him that Jesus commended:

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, "You are not far from the Kingdom of God."

We learn the ways of God and know our Bible, but it is our heart and our willingness to learn that makes the difference with God. I listen to teaching, but am I open to change? Am I open to what God is trying to tell me? All the teaching in the world will not help if I cannot hear it and apply it to my life.

Father, help me be open, allow me to listen to those who see my blind spots and point them out to me. Don't let me allow pride or fear get in the way of confession and apologizing.

... to love Him out of and with all the heart and with all the understanding, with the faculty of quick apprehension and intelligence and keenness of discernment, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

Father, help me to show my love for You in all my actions.

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