40 DAYS WITH GOD for personal reflection
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Edited by Lena Joseph
Reading for Personal Growth, 40 Days with God Reflection by Matthew Myers
DAY 19 traditions
👇Take Note 👇
Today I may get in trouble with some of you, or perhaps even upset or outrage some of you. I hope this is not the case. I will say what I say here because I believe it is what God would have me to believe from the scriptures I have read today. I have been dwelling on this all day and can not come up with any other meaning. If I am wrong I pray the Lord to forgive me and enlighten me. I say this as a precedent to say I am willing to discuss it civilly with anyone who wants. I am not trying to cast dispersion on any person, church (we are all on the same team after all), or group. It is just what I got from these scriptures.
2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath Day.
2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come, the reality, however, is found in Christ.
2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person goes into great detail about what they have seen, they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.
2:19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
2:20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:
2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?
2:22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.
2:23 Such regulation indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility, and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
Ok, so there is the word. Oh a high level, I take this as, we are no longer bound by the old testament covenant. The strict law of the Jews is no longer in play in our lives. We are to live by Christ’s teachings.
I believe, however, that this meaning runs a bit deeper. I believe he means for us to delve deep into Christ’s teachings and not be constrained by tradition, church dogma and ceremony that has been around forever, human doctrines that have forever been interspersed with God’s word.
Perhaps this is just something I got from the church I currently attend, but I will use it as an example: Where does it say, dress in your finest clothes, adorn your hair with oil and sweet scents, polish your shoes to a bright shine before entering the house of the Lord? I have never seen it. Perhaps it is there, and I have missed it. I have never claimed to be a theologian.
Jesus spoke to people where they were, how they were. It doesn’t say in the Bible that you have to have all your problems resolved and all your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed. It says come. It does not say oh if you miss a Sunday at church your salvation is revoked. These are HUMAN rules that have for far too long been applied to God and his teachings. Throughout the New Testament, you see Jesus teaching and speaking to the people where they are. He spoke by the well, the shore, on the temple steps, in the streets, from the back of a mule/colt. The people he spoke with were the common people of the land as well as the rich and the Pharisees. He healed all who would believe.
For too long, churches have acted as if they were an exclusive country club that only the elite could join. This is simply not the case. Jesus welcomed one and all who would come, repent and accept him. The unwashed, the sinful, the frankly evil ones prior to their encounter with him were all welcomed. Tax collectors who went around killing Christians, prostitutes, beggars, and everything in between – ALL Welcome.
How many out there have been pushed away from God because of the actions of a church. I say a church and not the Church because a church is a building full of men and women. The Church is the assembly of the body of Christ. I myself have been hurt many times by one church or another. I left my faith and went back out into the world many times during my life because of the church I was in at the time. As the writer says in verses 22 and 23, all that stuff is of the world. It will go away as and when the world goes away. While it may appear nice and holy, it is simply man interjecting himself in God’s will. The focus we need to have is on Jesus’ teachings and his word. God has given us the playbook to the real Superbowl. All we need to do is study it and prepare for the victory that has already been one.
Our job here is to lead others to know and love God. To love him with all our heart and soul and to encourage the same in others. So if I tell you, you can’t come in church or whisper about you with others because your overalls are dirty and there is a hole in the knee, would you come to church or want to know God? If, even though it is true, hammer you for being a sinner and tell you everything you are doing wrong according to God’s word, but do not tell you about his grace and mercy and show you the same, would you come then? How about I am a new Christian trying to get myself together but my children become ill or my vehicle breaks down and I miss two or three Sundays or the Wednesday night service? Am I Suddenly now a heathen or pagan and unworthy of salvation? Of course not. (Oh by the way, they need salvation too) So why have our churches been doing this to God’s people for so long. These verses are about not being beholden to human rules. We are not beholden to human rules in heaven. We are only held to God’s view of us which is clean and sparkling white provided we have been saved. So do not let a church drive you from the CHURCH. God loves us all. This includes me, you, them, and those others regardless of their looks, income, or even hygiene. Granted, even I don’t necessarily want to sit next to stinky guy, but guess what. Even he is one of God’s children and should be loved, welcomed, and respected.
THINK ABOUT IT
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