Making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do. Mark 7:13
What is it about a parade that draws a crowd? There are many reasons people go to a parade but a Mardi Gras parade draws people from all over the world. The glitter, costumes, music, drinking are some of the reasons people come but the main reason people young and old line the streets are the “throws”.
If you have ever gone to a Mardi Gras parade you will get a basket full of plastic cups, beads, coins, stuffed animals, all kinds of different items. All of these throws are your reward for standing on the side of the road waiting on the floats to go by.
The floats are colorful, unique, interesting and full of people throwing gifts. Many of the people riding on the floats are dressed in a costume and some are wearing masks. Their job is to have fun and throw gifts to the crowd.
Your only job is to have a good time with family and friends eating, drinking and hollering ,”Throw me something Mister”. Sounds like a great time doesn’t it?
Now let’s walk into a church, what do you see? Probably a bunch of “clean cut”, well dressed people. Physical masks are really not allowed here but masks are being worn. People put on their best “happy faces”, they are told to be nice or good and most believers do their best to accomplish that command. So as I look at the parade and the church I see at least one thing they have in common, “the mask”.
Jesus taught about this in Mark 7, (summary of His teaching) the traditions and doctrines of men have made the word of God of no effect. Over and over I see Jesus combating this spirit of “religion”. The spirit of, “This is how we have always done it.”
Jesus did it totally different than the Pharisees and Sadducees, He made them so uncomfortable they killed Him and thought they were doing the will of God. Ironically, they were doing the will of God but with the religious leaders it was a heart issue. They worshiped God with words but their heart was far from God.
God longs to give good gifts to His children, and I believe the world is waiting for the body of Christ to start “throwing” the gifts of God. “What gifts from God are you talking about?”, you may ask.
How about the fruit of the Spirit? How does love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control sound?. As a side note, Against such there is no law. Fruit has to be grown before it can be harvested.
Jesus was full of the Spirit and was full of the fruit of the Spirit. Funny thing about the fruit of the Spirit, it is grown for others. The fruit growing through you, is not for you, it is for the people around you. If the body of Christ would start throwing the fruit of the Spirit to a lost and dying world, Satan’s hold on people would be destroyed.
This is my opinion, if Jesus was given the choice of going to church or a Mardi Gras parade and could pick only one, He would go to the parade every time. Why, because He came to seek and save that which is lost.
Jesus was accused many times of “partying” with the sinners. The religious leaders in Jesus’ day did not get it, and I am afraid many today don’t get it. I want to encourage you, go love on people, let them partake of your fruit. It may be the only spiritual meal they have ever eaten.
This is going long and I need to hit send, look for part 2.
Until next time, remember: You overcome Satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony, and by becoming a living sacrifice. Revelation 12:11