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Religion or Jesus?
It is not something new for religions to try to rob us of different things in life that God has given for our good. It was happening when Jesus was on earth nearly 2,000 years ago, and it is happening today! So let us learn from Jesus what to think and do when religious traditions forbid things God has given for our good.
"One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and His disciples began to pick some ears of corn, rub them in their hands and eat the grain. Some of the Pharisees asked, `Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?'"
These religious Pharisees were trying to find some fault with Jesus! If they had really known God they would have known that He had made special provision in His laws for the hungry to do this!
To get the best out of life your Maker's instructions, given in the Holy Bible, are much more important than man-made rules!
If you were to get some new gadget and wanted to get the best results from it you would carefully read and follow the instruction book that came with it. How much more important it is for you and me to carefully check the instruction book our Creator has given for us - the Holy Bible. We need to be sure that we are obeying God and not just doing things taught by men in false religion!
If you have not bothered to check the teachings of your religion with the Holy Bible then don't be surprised if it turns out to be powerless to do you any good, and if its leaders let you down! Jesus was quick to tell people that the reason for their mistaken ideas and disappointing religion was that they did not know what God had said in the Bible.
You have only to listen to the news and you find that many religious people today are getting themselves into serious trouble because of the rules made up by religion. For example, some are forbidden by their religion to get married - they must remain celibate! But, God teaches us that "marriage should be honoured by all";
and, to discourage lust, God says, "Each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband."
"On another Sabbath" Jesus met a man "whose right hand was shrivelled. The Pharisees and teachers of the law watched Jesus closely to see if He would heal on the Sabbath." Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath; to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?"
Then Jesus healed the man's hand.
The Pharisees were furious that Jesus was not a slave to their rules and they wondered what they could do to silence Him!
I wonder which teacher is most important to YOU - your Religion or Jesus? Remember, on the last day we will not be judged by our obedience and devotion to some religionbut by the words and teachings of Jesus Christ! 9*.
Don't be like these people in Luke's Gospel chapter 6, verses 1-11 who would rather reject Jesus and His message than question their religion!
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if you have any questions about what I've said.
There will be a different message next week as we continue to browse through Luke's Gospel in the Holy Bible. Why not put Good News Compage on your favourites list?
To read more of Luke's account of the life of Jesus turn to the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible.
Bye for now,
John Nixon, Ballincollig, Co.Cork, Ireland.
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Bible quotations from N.I.V.
1 Luke 6:1-2. 2 Deuteronomy 23:25. 3 Psalm 1. Acts 5:29. 4 Matthew 15:8-9. Acts 17:11. 5 Matthew 22:29. John 5:39-40. 6 Hebrews 13:4. 7 1st Corinthians 7:2-5. 8 Luke 6:6-9. 9 John 12:48.