Tuesday, July 06, 2010

2010 – July 6 – Give the Rules a Rest!

Study from God’s Word Is 28: 1 – 15; Is 29: 13; Is 28: 16 – 29; Is 1 – 14; Is 29: 1 – 8; Is 33: 1; Is 29: 9 - 21 … Passage for Reflection: Isaiah 28: 10 – 12; … Is. 29: 13 … NIV 10 For it is: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there." 11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues God will speak to this people, 12 to whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose"—but they would not listen. … 29: 13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.

My Journal for Today: Wow! Isaiah’s challenge and charge must’ve been so ultimately frustrating. Seeing God’s people falling away from God’s way; and then when they did get into religion, as with today’s highlight passages, the religious leaders imposed their own rules on the people, setting in motion a stark, legalistic system that drove the people even further away from the one, true God. And poor Isaiah could see where it all was headed and that was to the captivity of God’s people by hoards of Gentiles, which would ultimately lead to the Babylonian captivity.

And Dr. Smith, my devotional author, leads me today us see that religious rules/regulations, in Isaiah’s time or now, are never the answer for unrighteousness; and we still see that on the scene today, thousands of years after Isaiah. In fact, Jesus, when He came on the scene, which had been prophesied by Isaiah, preached much the same message as had the Prophets before Him … that mankind will never find rest and repose in rules and regulations.

Our only freedom … our only peace … can be found in complete and utter surrender to the One Who has come to free us from ourselves. But legalistic systems of religion, devised or imposed by man, can never lead one to the peace offered when one gives Himself over completely to God by their faith in the Messiah. So, when we’re wrapped up in our religious rituals, and the dos and don’ts of life, we need to beware that these systems are not taking us away from our Savior rather than drawing us to Him. And that’s what will happen if we let legalism supersede our deep and abiding relationship with Christ.

Come to Jesus, my friend. Rest in Him; and Him alone. We must avoid rule-ism and getting wrapped up in what we must do or don’t do. My only MUST is to do what Jesus commanded me to do in Luke 9: 23 … to deny myself … and follow Him! And when I do that, I will find rest. Our Lord promised it (see Matt. 11: 28-30); and that’s all I need to find rest/repose. So, if you seek it, as I do, let’s find it in Christ.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I come to You for my rest. Amen

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