When is worship vain?
When our preferences are taught as MUSTS!
‘But in vain do they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ -Mark 7:7
Mark 7:14-19 is a challenging text for Seventh-day Adventists in regards to our understanding/assertion that there remain unclean foods we should refrain from eating. The in-depth study of this passage is far to extensive for this blog and so I would like to direct you to this link which will take you to an article by my friend, theological mentor, and a Spencerville Church member Dr. Ekkehardt Mueller in which he helps us to better understand the true purpose and function of Jesus’ words in this passage.
In Mark 8:32 Peter is uncomfortable with what Jesus is teaching, so he pulls him aside and rebukes Jesus…quite a bold move if you ask me…but that moment gives context to verse 34–
“And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” -Mark 8:34
It seems in the context of what verse 32 and that which Peter did not like and what made Peter uncomfortable that to “deny himself” is about denying our pride and our perspectives on what “the Christian life should be.”
We don’t get to define the cross we must bear. Jesus defines it for us and we must be willing to deny ourselves and willingly receive whatever cross each of us must take on. Each of us have to give up something in exchange for our souls…not as an act of “works” but because Jesus knows it is that very thing that if we don’t give it up, it will ultimately become our god…little “g”!
What is that “thing” Jesus wants to remove from your life…which means you must bear the denial of that “thing” so that it won’t become your little “god” impediment to The ONE TRUE GOD?
Tomorrow’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 13 & 14