8.31.15 "We Can’t Fool God"

We Can’t Fool God Mark 7: 5-9 (Message Bible)

The Pharisees and religion scholars asked, “Why do your disciples flout the rules, showing up at meals without washing their hands?”

Jesus answered, “Isaiah was right about frauds like you, hit the bull’s-eye in fact:

These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it.

They act like they are worshiping me, but they don’t mean it.  They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy,  ditching God’s command and taking up the latest fads.”

 He went on, “Well, good for you.  You get rid of God’s command so you won’t be inconvenienced in following the religious fashions!”

This is a convicting passage, because Jesus doesn’t sugar coat it here.   He is very clear about what he is saying to the Pharisees and to us!

We can fool ourselves, and others, but we cannot fool God!

Because we Matter to God, Jesus gave his life for us.   He didn’t pretend to love us, he demonstrated his love for us.

In yesterday's message, we listened to Pastor Delton say the phrase:

Family Matters to God, and God Matters to Family.

Then he broke it down into nouns and verbs for us explaining how the Matters of our lives are important to God.   We all have Family Matters we are dealing with either past, present and future.   Our whole lives matter to God, each and every minute of each and everyday.  All that we are concerned about, God is also concerned about and cares about.  We don’t need to pretend to please God or others.

When we start out in our faith assuming we are being honest about our faith in God through Jesus, we commit our lives to him.  We surrender our wills to his.  We grow through reading his Holy word and applying it to our lives.  We grow through having a relationship with the Living God!   If it’s real, his Holy Spirit lives in us and guides us.

The hardest thing to witness is someone falling away from their faith. To see a brother or sister in Christ, turn away from God and those who love them and give up.    We wonder why?   Especially when it seems like they were doing so well.

It is heart breaking and tragic!   How can we help each other?   I’m not sure except to pray for them and plead with them to turn back to God.   When you see someone running towards a cliff you want to stop them; but if they refuse to listen because of pride, or whatever, then what?

God pursues us so far, sending his servants to reach out to us, but after a while he lets us go our own way and we are left to face whatever that wandering life has for us.  Ultimately we face death and eternity without God.

But, because God loves us, he sent Jesus to help change our hearts and our actions from being meaningless traditions to lives full of meaning and purpose.

So today if you are going through something that is too much for you to handle on your own,  don’t go through it alone!

Seek God,   seek his counsel and the counsel of other believers that God has put in your life.   Turn back and run ASAP to God and his plan for you.   Then share your story with others and help those who may be going through similar struggles.

We need God,  We need Jesus, and we need each other!

Dear Lord,

Open our eyes and hearts to your love for us.   Help us to trust you with our lives and all that we are going through.   Help us not to go through this life journey without you!   We lift up those in our lives who have strayed away and are struggling with something really big and cannot see the way through.   We pray that you will intervene before it’s too late.   Protect those who have been hurt by those who have fallen away.  Help us not to give up on you, or ourselves or each other.

Thank you for your love and sacrifice for us.  Help us never to forget that we Matter to God!