What Really Matters

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Ask the Lord to help you put aside distractions and wholeheartedly focus on what He has to teach you today.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You pay a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you have neglected the more important matters of the law —justice, mercy, and faith. These things should have been done without neglecting the others. Blind guides! You strain out a gnat, yet gulp down a camel!” —Matthew 23:23-24

Read Matthew 23:23-24 again. Ask yourself:

• These Pharisees tediously counted out a 10 percent tithe of everything they owned—even garden herbs. List the three things they neglected.

The act of tithing was not bad, God actually commanded us to tithe in Leviticus 27:30. The Pharisee’s issue was that they focused intently on the outward aspects of this command while missing out on important things God’s law revealed.

• How do you see this in the church today? Give a specific example in your journal.

Jesus continually pointed out that the Pharisees followed rules, but did not allow God to transform their hearts. They misjudged what was important to God. You can easily place your entire focus on doing things and fail to recognize the heart behind your actions.

• What are “gnats” in your life that hog your focus? What are the “camels” in your life? Explain.

RESPOND

Evaluate your own life and answer these questions in your journal.

• How can you remain focused on what is truly important to God?

• How can you be a person of justice, mercy and faithfulness to those around you?

For further study on what’s important to God read Micah 6:8.

BEHIND THE STORY

Some Pharisees would strain their drinks through cloth to make sure they didn’t swallow a gnat, the smallest unclean animal. The camel is the largest unclean animal.

THE POINT

We must never lose site of the things that matter most to God.


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