In the passage above, we can see why God hates religious practices that are with no heartfelt personal relationship. According to Jesus in the scripture above, those who practise religion at the cost of a personal relationship with Christ worship God in vain. Another classic example of this issue is the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:40-42). Jesus came to Mary and Martha’s house and both of them showed two very different attitudes to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Martha represents the religious Christian while Mary took the role of the Christian that prioritises her personal relationship with God. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping her, Jesus made her realise that all those things she was doing, although important, were in no way as important as the main thing, which was listening to Him and fellowshipping with Him.
The lesson behind this story is that if Mary had been like Martha – cooking and getting everything ready for Jesus – Jesus would have eaten the food and gone on His way but they would have missed the glorious opportunity to hear the Master speak to them in person. That’s another danger of religiousness – it robs you of the glorious experiences you would have had in a personal relationship with God.
PRAYER: Lord, I receive a new desire in my heart to live up to the standards You have set for us as Christians. I receive grace to live as a true agent of divine change in Jesus’ name. Amen!
BIBLE IN A YEAR: 2 Chronicles 29:1-36; Romans 14:1-23; Psalm 24:1-10; Proverbs 20:12