Friday, February 27. Matthew 14:34-15:20.
Which do you think is a real fan? Is it the person who wears the jersey to the Superbowl party, but has never watched a game, or is it the person who knows about all the players, watches every game, but doesn’t own any team bling?
Which do you think is a real friend? Is it the person who gives you a valentine’s day card and some candy, but then gossips about you behind your back, or is it the person who stands up for you and is always there when you need a listening ear, but has never given you a gift?
Of course, the answer is the second person in both questions. Why? In both cases, the first person paid lip service to being a fan or a friend, but the second person had a true heart for it.
Jesus tells us that it is the same with being a follower of God. There are lots of people who go to church on Sunday, say the Lord’s Prayer, and do religious things, and they think that somehow makes them “good people.” Those people tend to keep score of who is “doing it right” and who is “in” and who is “out.” The truth is that following the religious rules does not make a person good or evil. It is the condition of a person’s heart that demonstrates his or her true nature.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not about paying lip service to religious appearances. You can’t fool God. Following Jesus is about allowing God to transform you from the inside out. Let’s spend less time keeping a score card of who pays the best lip service to religious rules, and spend more time in the freedom we have to experience the love of God and share it with everyone.