No Substitutions

Tim Savage

32The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” Mark 12
This teacher’s wisdom is such a good reminder for me in this season of task and projects. Jesus tells us which commandments are most important, to love God and to love others, then this other teacher explains that we cannot love God solely by checking things off of our to-do list. We can’t substitute our worship and service to Him just by doing the task of ministry.
Often I justify skipping true worship because of my schedule or the number of things I need to accomplish. I walk purposely through the sanctuary without making time to stop and soak in the Spirit or get on my knees to show my love and adoration for my Heavenly Father. I allow things that aren’t as important to take the place of those things that should never be replaced. Like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, I can consume myself with the business and busyness of the ministry, but instead I need to keep my priorities in order and never substitute task for worship or achievement for love. If I work more on my love for Jesus than anything, then He will provide all that I need. Creativity, solutions, resources, wisdom, rest, health will all be by-products of a right relationship with Him. Sickness, burning out, depression and being overwhelmed stem from me putting things before Him. This is a daily battle, as it’s never an insidious or conscious decision to make other things more important than God, it comes from daily use and service – I have to make it a weekly, daily and hourly decision to keep my eyes focused on Him lest I allow the task to consume me.
Dear Heavenly Father, Forgive me when I’ve allowed the my doings to take the place of my heart. I want to keep You at the center of my life, at the top of any and all lists. In Jesus name, Amen

Devotions for March 05

Deuteronomy 1,2
Mark 12

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