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In Vain Do They Worship Me

October 4, 2019


In Vain Do They Worship Me

People love traditions — maybe because it gives them a feeling  of belonging  and being special.      To be doing things as a group  makes people feel that what is being done  has got to be right,  just because so many others are doing it.      Some people will blindly follow a man-made tradition  because the person who started it  seemed important and popular.      It just makes us feel good about ourselves.

The Jews in Jesus’ day  were no different.      Their religious leaders made up tons of traditions,  rules,  and forms of worship  —  and held their traditions  as being of greater weight  and value  than God’s word.      They were actually twisting God’s truths  and making up traditions  that they imposed upon the people.           The people followed the man-made traditions  because they wanted to belong  to the Jewish community  and be pleasing  in God’s sight.      Nobody wanted to be rejected by the religious leaders.

When Jesus preached against the man-made tradition  of hand washing,  the following took place  in Matthew 15:7-20,  as Jesus said,

You hypocrites,  rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you,  saying,


And He called to Himself  the multitude,  and said to them,  “Hear, and understand.      Not what enters into the mouth  defiles the man,  but what proceeds  out of the mouth,  this defiles the man.”

Then the disciples came  and said to Him,  “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended  when they heard this statement?”

But He answered and said,  “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant  shall be rooted up.      Let them alone;  they are blind guides  of the blind.      And if a blind man  guides a blind man,  both will fall into a pit.”

And Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain the parable to us.”

And He said,  “Are you also  still without understanding?      Do you not understand  that everything that goes into the mouth  passes into the stomach,  and is eliminated?      But the things that proceed out of the mouth  come from the heart,  and those defile the man.      For out of the heart  come evil thoughts,  murders,  adulteries,  fornications,  thefts,  false witness,  slanders.      These are the things  which defile the man;  but to eat with unwashed hands  does not defile the man.”

The religious leaders  imposed their hand washing tradition  on the people  with a self-righteous condemnation  for anyone who did not correctly  wash their hands.      They gave the impression  that anyone who did not properly wash their hands  was defying God.      Yet, nowhere in God’s word  is such a tradition commanded.

Today,  people will imagine  that we no longer follow  such man-made traditions.      But, that is not true.      The man-made traditions and twistings  of God’s word  have just taken on  different forms.      These man-made traditions  and teachings  vary greatly  between the different church bodies.      It would take volumes  to point out everything  that is not in agreement  with the pure word of God.

But,  because all sorts of false doctrines  and traditions  are being enforced  as having come from God,  we really need  to open up our Bibles  and let God teach us  from His word.       When we realize that a false doctrine  is being enforced  as being above what God has already stated  in the Bible,  we need to leave that church body  and find a congregation  that presents God’s word  in truth.      God knows all about the situations  that exist today,  and He knows the problems  and temptations we face.

We need to learn  to wholly lean  on God’s word,  so that Jesus  will not have to say of us,  “In vain do they worship Me.”      God is willing  to lead us in His word.      We just need to take the time  to meditate  on all that He sets before us  in the Bible.      Nothing we do physically  makes us more holy or acceptable  in God’s eyes.      All we need  is a repentant faith  that depends on what Jesus has done  for us  on the cross.

In the joy of redemption  in Jesus Christ,  we say,  “Hallelujah!      Lord,  Your grace and salvation  in Christ  give us eternal  life.      Lead us in Your word  to live to Your glory.”



A Christian devotional to glorify the LORD of lords and God of gods


Pray for our country.


This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;
He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.
Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;
Praise is becoming  to the upright.
Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell in Thy house!
They are ever praising Thee.
Psalm 84:4


Just as a father has compassion  on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Psalm 103:13


Oh give thanks to the LORD,  for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.
Psalm 105:3


Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that
I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12






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