The Journey Thoughts

November 30, 2016

We have some people in the community of believers, who desire to follow the
law, even though they are saved. They observe traditions that were Jewish,
because they want to be closer to the religion of Jesus, yet, the traditions
may become what we live by.  Often times, those who live by them, will
quietly fall into judgment of those who do not live by them, and those who
do not live by traditions, can tend to become judgmental of those who do.
Here is something to think about.  In Romans we find this Scripture: "For
circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a
lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore if an
uncircumcised man keeps the law's requirements, will his uncircumcision not
be counted as circumcision? A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who
fulfills the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the
letter of the law and circumcision. For a person is not a Jew who is one
outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. On
the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of
the heart - by the Spirit, not the letter. That man's praise is not from men
but from God."  Romans 2:25-29   If we live as a believer, but feel we
should incorporate the traditions of the Old Testament, those traditions can
tend to become what we honor, as if we are trying to absolve ourselves from
our sins, by trying to effectively live with Jewish customs. But the Word is
clear that if we keep the law for any reason and still sin, we are the same
as not keeping the law.  Now, if we, who are believers, sit in judgment on
those who observe Jewish traditions, knowing that their observation of days
and traditions are fruitless, and therefore their thinking is futile, then
we too, will be judged by the same standard.  Being a believer is that of
the heart.  While it is true that we can observe the fruit of the believer,
and if there is none, we can try to work with that person, to see why there
is no fruit, no object of their affection for Christ, then to find out what
is happening in their lives.  But we all must be careful about judgment that
is premature, for no one knows the heart of the person but God, and He,
through Christ will be the righteous Judge.  So how do we deal with things
that appear like another believer is living like a Pharisee instead of
under the grace of God?  There is nothing wrong with having a discussion
with that person about the reason behind why they believe like they do.
It's possible that another believer truly wants to walk in the footprints of
Jesus, while fully realizing that observing traditions that are Jewish is
not a benefit to them at all, they just want to do it.  But I must say to
you, if you are one of those who like to live the traditions of the Old
Testament. Be careful that the observations of the traditions do not become
your main focus of faith.  They do not become your own judgment of those who
do not observe any traditions of the Old Testament. Jesus came to fulfill
the law, not to abolish it, but in fulfilling it, He said, "It is finished!"
Now grace is the hope in which we live by, so it doesn't matter what we eat,
what we wear, or what we observe. They are all parts of the world.  But
grace, that great grace, is what we now live by, and when I look back and
observe my own behavior, I am thankful for this grace. I am thankful that
when I stand before Jesus, I will be stripped of all "things" and "deeds"
and my heart will be laid bare before Him. Then He will show me the true
intents of my heart, as I lived, and not as I wanted to live.  For where our
treasures are, is where our hearts are. Let's make sure our treasure is in

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, show me the ways of grace.  Help me live by this great
grace, and not by any letter of the law that distracts my focus on Your
grace.  I pray for a heart that is open to others who need to live by the
law, to help them live better.   Show them Your grace, Oh, God. I would lift
up my friends and family to You today, for Your wonderful outpouring of
grace once again, not because they have obtained a righteousness, but
because we are all in need of You in all parts of our lives.  So, I pray
for: Cherie, the Barrett's, Josh, Carlee, Eric, Peggy, Rheba, Ada, Carol's
family, Mary, Dillon, Tara, Kristena, Kristen, Marcy, Kenny, Carolyn, Gene,
Terry, Angie, Isabel, Ellen, Virginia, William, Don, Dwight, Jim, Vanessa,
Becky, the Markle family, the Young Family, Travis, Max, Rita, Pastor
Berkey, Nancy, June, JT, Eva, Candace, Meredith, Barbara, Mike S., Ramona,
Lorne, Ben, Robby, Kathy, Montella, Charlie, Kim, Nada, Shelly and her mom,
Richard and his dad, Pam and her son, Kelly and her son, Julissa, Abby,
Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy, Ruth, BJ,
Ida, Betty, Briggs Church, Jackie Ann, Tonia, Todd, Liam, Aiden, Alan,
Fisher, Tuly, Michelle, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken, Sandy, Andrea,
Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Joyce, Shelby, Gus, Lisa, Alice,
David, Phyllis, Devon, Marliana, Cynthia, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin,
Shawn, Laurie, Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane, Dan, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet,
Fred, Dotty, James, Scott, April, Craig, Hunter, Asher, Lynette, Patrick,
Kathy, Jennifer, Abe, Trent, Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc,
Macy, Jade, Bob, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan, Matt, Liz,
Matt, Bethany, Jeff, Laura, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tim, Michele.  Lord, as we
enter this season called Christmas, may our thoughts be totally on You, and
not on the things of the world, for I pray for this and these in Jesus name.

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