Friday, July 23, 2010

~ "Don't eat that..."

Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (Mark 7:18-19)

Imagine the Jews in the time of Christ. For as long as they could remember, they were told what they could not eat! Here comes Jesus and says "go ahead, eat what you want, it's okay". It seems as though a lot of the truths that they clung to were derived from one point of view - that what they did was to purify themselves for the Lord. Jesus' death changed all that!

We are cleansed and purified by his blood. The sacrifices and laws that the Jews abided by would no longer be necessary. The people would be free to eat and worship a living God, who had died and rose from the dead for them!

Jesus defied the law. He healed people on the sabbath, he sat and ate with sinners and tax collectors, he preached the word of God unlike any before him. He opened a door to salvation that cannot be closed by men.

Each of us has the choice to accept what God has offered us or to ignore his word and do as we please. When I listen to the words of my youth as offered for praise and thanksgiving, I am not moved. It's no longer about ritual and laws for me. It's about the grace of God in my life today. It's about praise and honor to the King of Kings! It's not about being "politically correct" (or in this case, religiously correct). The power of the living Christ is in each of us, we just need to tap into it and let it shine! Don't be afraid to lift your hands in worship to our Lord! If the Holy Spirit is moving you to do so, and you are afraid of what others will think of you (or that they'll throw you out of church) - let go of the fear. One of two things will happen: others will begin to lift their hands in praise, or they'll ask you to leave. If they ask you to leave, then apparently it is not where you need to be anyway. We so often let "appearances" determine what we do and don't do. We don't want to be the "odd man out" or the "weirdo" or the "Jesus freak" - we want to have it both ways (like the rich man who wanted to follow Jesus but could not bring himself to sell all his stuff). We worry about what other people think about us when the one we really should be out to impress is Jesus!

Impress him today! Say the words "praise the Lord" and mean it! Refrain from the expression "OMG" (and no, don't try to convince yourself you mean anything other than "Oh, my God" and that you are saying it as a praise to him) and go with something that reflects your emotion..."Good grief" seemed to work for Charlie Brown. Be faithful to his word and to what he asks us to do - spread his word and lead Christian lives. Remember, Christ was humiliated before many for us. Suck it up - dare to be humiliated for his sake!

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