Are You In or Out?

This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me…  Jesus quoting Isaiah

The Pharisees (remember them, the rule-followers of Jesus’ time) were complaining about Jesus followers not following precisely the traditions of the elders. Again. And Jesus quotes their passage back at them.

Did you ever wonder if they got it?

Jesus commented often to them. We know of a few who “got it.” But one wonders if the words just flew around them like so much noise.

As I read and reread this part of Mark 7 this morning and meditated on the passage, my mind was drawn to churches and religious organizations. And I thought about being “in” and “out” of the group.

How many times during the famous “10 am hour on Sundays” when many are attending church are the walls of the various buildings actually separating people into “in” and “out”?

Do we expect people to say the believe what we believe, how we believe it, and vote like us before they can come in?

As Jesus explained himself a little later, he said it is all about what is inside the person that counts. And I meditated on whether we are busy wondering if the people around us are following all the traditions and rituals that we have put our faith in or if we are concerned to bringing hurting, lost, and searching people into a deeper, life-changing faith?

Then I thought that we, like the Pharisees, are more concerned about whether people believe what we do and act like we do and dress like we do than about what their needs are and how we can help meet them.

And I thought (meditation goes this way–if you’ve never tried it, give it a shot) about how most likely the wrong people are “in church.” The seats should be filled with people who are seeking God–or something they don’t know but that it is really God. And the people now in the seats should be outside introducing people to God and enticing them into a safe place where they can learn and be equipped.

Not to say that worship isn’t great. But is our focus on our worship? Or is our focus on walking with God–24/7?

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2 Responses to “Are You In or Out?”

  1. josephruizjr Says:

    Gary,
    Thanks for consistently sharing. Your post is an important component of my daily devotions. Thank you for the consistent, challenging and authentic sharing.
    Grace and Peace.
    Joe.

    Joseph (Joe) Ruiz
    Strategic Marketing Solutions, LLC
    Cell Number 804.690.4486
    Office Number 804.360.0038
    Twitter @SMSJoe
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    From: Faith Venture
    Reply-To: Faith Venture
    Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at 6:56 AM
    To: Joseph Ruiz
    Subject: [New post] Are You In or Out?

    Gary Mintchell posted: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me… Jesus quoting Isaiah The Pharisees (remember them, the rule-followers of Jesus’ time) were complaining about Jesus followers not following precisely the traditions of the elders. “

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