Tradition or Intention?

So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. - Matthew 15:6 ESV

What traditions are you holding on to that empty God’s Word of it power?

These traditions of men can be picked up in church, or at home. They can be learned from peers or from teachers. We build them for our kids, and practice them with our parents.

There are truths we hold onto that keep us from walking the the light of the Word of Jesus.

These traditions Jesus speaks of are not simply rituals that we observe or methods of doing things that we hold sacred. They are philosophies and theologies that militate against the work of God in our lives.

Simple question today - are there traditions in your live—in my life—that keep me—us—from the power of God’s Word—Jesus?

OH - and did I mention that tradition is not a synonym for ‘old fashioned.’ There are lots of traditions in my life that are up to date and stylin’.

Do you have a traditional way to worship?

Do you have a tradition you perform before your meals?

Do you have traditions built into the way you hold your meetings?

Do you have traditions around your giving?

Do you have traditions built into your work-a-day life?

One huge danger with traditions is that they take our hearts out of what we are doing. When we simply follow our tradition for religious sort of things, we disengage our hearts.

Look at the situation the Lord is addressing in this passage.

First—realize the Pharisees were not some sort of ‘evil incarnate’ folks whose only aim in life was to undermine Jesus’ ministry. Many, if not most, of them ‘went into the ministry’ with good, noble motives. They may have wanted to please God, or make their parents proud, or—well—you get what I mean—the same reasons many people do what their doing with their lives.

He (our pharisee friend) was taught how to give by the law of Moses, and so he gave:

One tenth of this

One fifth of that

The first gathering of these

The best of those

Then, after years—decades—of giving as prescribed by Moses in the law and then some, his father dies, and his mother is left destitute. He cannot give into her support because everything he has above and beyond his own living is going into the ministry. He gives so automatically that he does not even consider the money his.

There may have been intention and heart engagement when he began giving, but now it is automatically withdrawn from his paycheck and there is no heart behind his action.

And so, by his giving (as prescribed by Moses in the law) he is breaking the commandment to honor his father and mother.

What’s a pharisee to do?

Engage your heart in your giving.

Engage your heart in your worship.

Engage your heart in every action.

This even applies to your work. Is work mundane and tedious? Is it high stress and does it feel like torture?

We have to stop falling through life with our minds turned off and our hearts disengaged. [Tweet This] (Yes, I’m talking to you, Ben, pay attention.)

The Lord walked into every situation with eyes open to what God was doing, and what His own part was in God’s activity. Our work is not what we do to pay our bills. It’s how we spend the life the Lord has given us. Our tithes and offerings are not supposed to be like paying taxes—Oh I have to give, or the Lord will curse me—NO.

Everything we do (man - this sounds hard as I write it) should be rooted in the right now will of God.

That’s what Jesus was going for when He talked about abiding.

Everything, not just the churchy stuff, but the work stuff, the play stuff.

That’s abiding, and it allows the Word of God to have its (His) impact on the world around us.

Is there stuff in your life that has turned from intention to tradition?

How can you (we) re-engage with life and Lord?

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.Encounters With Jesus

Live like it counts!

Ben

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5 thoughts on “Tradition or Intention?

  1. joseph elon lillie

    Oh man Ben! Smack! Bam! Whammo! Where are the traidtions that put me on automatic pilot? They seem so innocuous but like the call of the mermaid they draw me towards the rocks of my own destruction!

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      I hear that! I started out writing a simple pithy (i was hoping) blog post, and ended up convicted and repenting. Thank you Lord for your persistent voice! And thanks Pastor J. for the encouragement and reblog - you're a blessing.

      Reply
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