Pause

God’s words challenge you to live a life worthy of imitation.

Step into the challenge of these words today and be reminded that you are called to shine light into darkness, and the light you shine points back to the love of God.

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Listen

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and his disciples, “The legal experts and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. Therefore, you must take care to do everything they say. But don’t do what they do. For they tie together heavy packs that are impossible to carry. They put them on the shoulders of others, but are unwilling to lift a finger to move them.”

Matthew 23:1-4

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Think

Most parents have had moments where they think to themselves (while speaking to their kids), “Do as I say, not as I do.” It is one thing to know all the right things to do, and it is entirely something else to do them – and do them for the right reasons.

Rules are one of those things that can lead you astray. When you become too committed to following all the rules or checking the boxes, you are on autopilot, perhaps not even thinking about why something is right or wrong, faithful or not.

The Pharisees created rule upon rule to keep the Jews from breaking any of the laws, as the Pharisees interpreted them. They became caught up in following rules, so much so that they became a burden, even a weight of expectation and control on others.

Jesus rejected this, even pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Maybe all the rules weigh you down as well. If so, it may be time to examine whether any of them are making it impossible for you to live into Christ’s teaching.

Brian Foreman

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Pray

God, what is mine to carry in order to be faithful to you? Teach me to live and love in ways that point to you, not to a handbook of rules. May I always lead with the love of Christ. Amen.

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Go

You are the light of your community.

You are the salt of the neighborhood.

You carry God’s truth to the places you go.

Be confident that imitating Christ is your call, even imperfectly.

Be bold in lifting others up in a world that seeks to put them down.

Remember your brothers and sisters, and pray for them this day.

Amen.

Brian Foreman

Brian Foreman is the Executive Director of the Center for Church and Community at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. He lives in Raleigh with his family, which includes a new 4-legged member since this summer.

Take My Life and Let it Be

Jim McConnell

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