God’s Hope for Your Heart from Luke 11


“But woe to you Pharisees!  For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God.  These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”  (Luke 11:22)

Sometimes we put ourselves in false dilemmas.  We pit two things against each other that aren’t mutually exclusive at all.

Should I read my Bible or spend time with my family?  Yes.

Should I save for the future or help the poor?  Yes.

Should I have chocolate ice cream or mint chocolate chip?  YES!!!

Jesus doesn’t say there is anything wrong with tithing; He affirms it.  Elsewhere He’ll say the same thing about taking care of parents, honoring the Sabbath and other commands, affirming them each time.  He doesn’t say we must give up these things and concentrate on something else if we want to be faithful.

He says instead, “Don’t replace; combine.”

It’s a simple thought, and sounds like it should be easy to do.  Of course, then life gets in the way.  Bank accounts and busyness, schedules and schoolwork and stepping up at the office, all of these are important things.

But don’t let Jesus’ instructions get lost in the shuffle.

You see, the heart of religion is “What’s the minimum requirement for me to be saved?”  The heart of a real relationship with God is, “How much can I do for the One who did so much for me?”

As you journey with Jesus, don’t pit love and truth against each other, or frame grace and law as enemies.  They each have their place and purpose, and there is no need to reconcile things that aren’t really at odds if understood correctly.

It was never Jesus’ intention to take away from you the privilege and priority of obedience, but rather to empower you to pursue it without fear.  So, pursue it boldly and confidently, and as you do, embrace the hope found in this truth: Jesus sets you free from false dilemmas.

-Pastor Phillip

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