“Why are you putting me to the test?…Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” Mark12:13-27 I like shoes! Recently, I purchased a pair of which the color and style were exactly what I had been looking for. I’d finally gotten the first opportunity to wear my new shoes and by the end of the day as I was preparing to spend my usual evening time with God I chose not to change into my slippers as I was accustomed to do. After about two and a half hours I succumbed to the realization that more of my attention was on my new shoes rather than God. I had been sneaking peeks at them as I tried to study the scripture! So I got up and readied myself for bed and that’s when I was reminded that those things that we think are necessary in this life are of no use to God! More importantly, along with our praise, worship, and thanksgiving, when we set aside time to study his Word our full attention belongs to God as well.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion…” Hebrews 3:1-11 Here Paul is speaking about the rebellion of the Israelites who when Moses went up the mountain for forty days and forty nights, had created an image of God which they began to worship. A hardened heart is a heart that doubts, a heart that fears and a heart that ultimately trades the hope and glory in what is unseen for something that gives a temporary satisfaction to meet an immediate physical need whether it be things or people. I believe Paul really wants his hearers to understand that we should not forget that our praise and worship is a very valuable gift from God. What sense does it make if I receive a gift from my sister and I in turn praise my brother for the gift? This is kind of what we do when we go astray and turn our attention towards things and people other than God. Yet because God loves his creation he is faithful to it. So why not give your faith a heartfelt chance and praise God today. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Psalm 31:5, 7-8
Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God…
I will exult and rejoice in your steadfast love,
because you have seen my affliction;
you have taken heed of my adversities,
and have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.