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It’s All Or Nothing

Isaiah, in verse 29:13, is passing on one of our God’s big complaints: His people are claiming to honor him but their standards are standards that the people have created, not those of God. In Isaiah’s time, the Pharisees created elaborate traditions and rituals that God’s people were required to follow.

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, “…. ~Isaiah 29:13

One example is that of hand washing. No ordinary thing here. The water, the jars, the positions of the hand, how the water cascaded over the fingers were all documented in agonizing detail. Follow them exactly and you were following God. However, those same people could lie, cheat each other, be immoral and as long as they washed their hands correctly, they would be OK with God.

It seems that mankind likes to invent what God would find pleasing. However, humans often miss the mark. God is interested in the contents of our hearts. We may go to church, we may read Scriptures everyday, we may pray. But how is your heart? Are you totally committed to God?

In the world of Olympic sports, we are reminded every few years how hard, how dedicated the athletes must be to compete and win. To the runner or swimmer, they cannot train one hour a week. Many athletes train their entire lives. Yet as people seeking God’s favor and protection, many believe that one hour on a Sunday is all that is necessary. The rest of the week, they are caught up in the rituals of humanity.

From Isaiah’s time, God has been consistent and clear: He wants us full time, 24 by 7, placing our faith and trust in Him. Think of it like a tapestry, a beautiful image woven with faith, prayer and service to God, producing an image of your life, filled with hope and happiness.

TIPS-26Are you “In To Win?”

Check List√

Do you regularly worship?

When you worship, are you in touch with God?

Do you fellowship with others who desire to study and learn from God’s Word?

If you were taken to trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence in your life to convict you?

Do you humbly serve the God that is?

What or who defines your image of God?

Have you replaced any of God’s priorities for your life with human priorities?

Have you sought God’s forgiveness for your shortcomings?

How To Win The Race

In the Gospel of Mark 7:1-8, Jesus comments to the Pharisees quoting verses in Isaiah.  Our Savior tells them “You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” This problem is still with us today.  Traditions and rituals are comfortable.  The danger here is that instead of searching for the will of our God, we search for an accommodating and comfortable faith.  No where in all of God’s Words is humanity given the responsibility to define God.  Our responsibility is to find and fear the God that is.  If you want God in your life every day, you need to place God in your life every day.  If you want God in your life every minute, you need to place God in your life every minute.

The example set by each of us, the way business is conducted, the way one’s word is honored all matter.  Like the Olympic Gold Medal, salvation is the ultimate award but it comes only with an “all or nothing” attitude.

Your tip, therefore, is to be on the lookout for ways to improve your faith walk, to strengthen and train your heart for God.  Be a Gold Medalist!