Thursday, January 18 – Matthew 15:9
“‘And in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
Have you ever worked hard on something only to figure out it was all for nothing? It is such a frustrating feeling to realize your work was done in vain. While working, we often take precautions to ensure this is not the case like saving a document as we work on it. But this is also an issue we wrestle with in our faith. We ask questions like, How can I live a life that matters? How can I please God? These are good questions, but we will never find the answer in ourselves. In this passage, Jesus called out the sin of the Pharisees, who were teaching their way as the means to be right with God. But their idea of righteousness was all on their terms according to ritual and, in the end, it was all for nothing.
John 14:6 says, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.’” Jesus is the only answer—the only way to God. When we think of worship, we may first think about the routines we are accustomed to, but they are all for nothing if they are not for Christ. But this is good news! We do not need the best singing voice to lift our praise to God or the perfect sermon notes to be changed by God’s Word. We don’t even need a spiritual high to worship. We have the freedom to worship God at all times because we are full of His Spirit and saved by His Son. A life of worship is filled with more meaning and purpose than we can ever manufacture ourselves.
- What would it look like to worship God at all times in your life?
- What are some man-made traditions that come to mind when you think about worship?
- Pray and ask God to help you worship Him in Spirit and in truth.