Matthew 15:9 Worthless Worship

They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. Matthew 15:9

Every nation on the earth has thousands of rules to govern how the people are governed. Regardless of how much some may like or dislike rules, people desire them, because they want to always know exactly what they can and cannot do.

As good as some rules may be, they are not able to completely change the heart of a person. People seek to find ways around the rules, or break them anyway, expecting to not get caught.

The Pharisees had come to Jesus about the disciples not following a traditional rule made by man, trying to appear righteous. Jesus said that their worship of God was in vain, because all they were doing was following man-made rules.

Every week people all over the world go to a church to worship God. On the surface it appears that they are being good Christians in worshipping God. However, many are going only because that is what a ‘good’ Christian does.

In the same way many believers, and churches, come up with many rules on what a person must do or not do. There can be rules on dress, appearance, political beliefs, and more governing what they do or don’t do. The heart of the people is in looking good to others, not in pleasing and worshipping God. When the heart is like that, worship is worthless to God and a waste of time.

True worship of God will seek to please God in every area of one’s life in gratefulness for what Jesus has done for the believer. His life becomes one of worship of God, not just following some rules of man. It will never be about pleasing others or looking good, but about worship of God from the heart.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will seek to please God with all of your life; that you will follow God’s ways over man’s; and that you will worship God from your heart with all of your life.

Matthew 15:8-9 Honoring God In Word Only

Lip Service Only

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.'” Matthew 15:8-9

Some Pharisees and teachers of the law complained to Jesus about the disciples not washing their hands. Jesus called them hypocrites and then quoted Isaiah. He pointed out that the people only honored Him with their lips and not with their heart. They only come up with human rules to worship God.

Going to church and singing a worship song is an easy thing to do. Claiming to believe in Jesus is also an easy thing for a person to do. Doing these things can appear on the outside to be honoring God. It can appear the person is a good Christian follower of Jesus.

The reality of it is that doing these things are only outward things and may not always be a part of the heart. For some people, they go to church only because they are forced to (such as children), it is the thing to do (because parents brought them up to do it), or to look good to others. Some have been brought up in a church and so they do not want to leave the church and look bad, but they really don’t want to be there either.

People will come up with all kinds of rules about being a Christian, just to look good. However their heart is not really in it. They mouth the words of worship songs, rather than sing them from the heart. They are quick to point out faults in others, but are slow to compassion and mercy. This is missing who Jesus really is and what He was about.

Living like this is honoring God only with the lips and words. The heart is not a part of it. God is seeking to have your heart, not just your words.

As you say and do things each day, you need to ensure that it measures up to what Jesus said and did. Jesus said and did everything from the heart. His heart was to please His Father–God, not just to look good on this earth.

Everything said and done must honor God from the heart, not just the outward actions. Don’t just go through the routine of looking like a believer in Jesus. Be a believer and follower of Jesus from the heart. Keep your heart close to Jesus.

I pray today that you will focus your heart on Jesus; that you will worship God with all of your heart and life; that you will honor God from your heart; and that you will live true to God in all you say and do.

Isaiah 29:13 Worship By Human Rules

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 29:13

Isaiah was prophesying against the people of the city of Jerusalem. When a person looked at them, it appeared as though they worshipped God. God was looking at the heart and said that they honored Him with their lips, but they were only worshipping Him with manmade rules and not from the heart.

Words are something that is easy for a person to speak. Many people will claim to be a real friend of someone, but when that person is in a real need, none of his friends take the time or effort to meet that need. The talk of being a real friend was only lip-service. There was no real meaning to it.

People work and speak in the same way with God. Look around America and it is very easy to find a lot of people who claim to be a follower of Jesus. Yet, as they claim to be a follower, they do not step foot in church, never witness of who He is, and live a life that does not even begin to resemble that of Jesus.

Many do go to church each Sunday to worship God in the physical body. In their hearts they are not really worshipping God. As they are worshipping God in a song, their mind is on the dinner meal or other activities. They are thinking about the game being played that afternoon or what they need to do at work the next day.

The hearts of many are not focused on God at all. They go to church and sing the songs because that is what you are supposed to do, not because they want to do it. It is all based upon man’s rules on how to worship God, not from the heart.

This occurs because most people want to fit in and not be different.

Take time today to focus your heart and mind on God. Find reasons to worship Him from your heart and not just the mind. Break the rules of man on how to worship God and worship Him in a new way from your heart. And live your life in worship of Him.

I pray today that your heart will match your lips in worship of God; that you will know God in a personal way; that you will not fear man’s rules in worshipping God; and that you will be near God with all of your life.