Thursday, January 23, 2014

Man's rules vs. God's commands

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been struggling to get anything out of my devotions for a while so I didn't have anything to write about. I've discovered that I don't care for read-through-your-Bible-in-a-year plans. I feel like I'm trying to just hurry up and read the 4 chapters so I can get it done rather than meditating on what I'm reading. I've discovered a lot of things about myself lately that I find myself doing because I feel that is what a good Christian does, without stopping to think about whether it is even something God Himself requires.
Last night I was reading Mark chapter 7 and Jesus was addressing the Pharisees about the very same thing. They had turned their own made up laws into God's laws. In fact, they were so caught up in their own created laws that they were neglecting to do the very things God actually required. He told them "'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men." Mark 7:6-8  Some how I got the idea that I have to read through my Bible in a year or less. It's unholy not too! But then I realized that no where in the Bible does it tell me how much I am supposed to read at one time. This is a man made rule that I had made into Biblical one.
I found myself viewing my Bible reading as a duty I must get done. Quite frankly it sucked the joy out of it. I think that is one of the fundamental ways we can detect whether we are trying follow one of God's commands or one of our own. Pslam 19:10 tells us that God's word (laws) are "more to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of honeycomb." Psalm 19:8 tells us "the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure enlightening the eyes." Obeying God's word should bring us joy if we are truly obeying him out of love. God doesn't want our duty, He wants adoration. Just like we want our loved ones to show us affection out of love, not because they have to.
So now my goal is to develop a deeper love for God and His word by picking smaller passages to really study and meditate on.  I am tossing the yearly plan aside! This is what works for me. Whatever Bible reading plan you choose, make sure it produces joy in Him. After all, that is what we were made for!
How is your time in God's word going?

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