37 “I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did.” (John 8:37-39 NIV)
It is ironic that the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus’ day were the most religious of all of the Jewish people and yet Jesus said, “…you do not have room for my word.” That phrase painted a vivid picture for me as I read it this morning. The religious folks of Jesus’ day had their hearts and lives filled with religious rules and regulations. They had taken the 10 Commandments and turned them into 613 laws to be adhered to by every “faithful” Jew. It was not enough to keep the fourth Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” (Exodus 20:8) The Jewish teachers came up with 39 general categories of activities that are not allowed on the Sabbath.
Because the Pharisees and Sadducees had so filled their hearts and lives with an endless “To do” and “Not to do” list, there was no room for anything outside of what they already believed. They had so busied themselves with trying to be “good” that they literally missed God.
In thinking about this Scripture this morning it dawned on me that I have that same tendency in me. It is much easier for me to be a “Pharisee” about my relationship with God than it is to be open to what God is desiring to do in my life. It is easier for me to pull out my “check list” of the things I need to do for God today than it is for me to watch for God’s work, His opportunities, and His insights that take place around me each and every day.
After reading today’s Scripture I want to throw away my spiritual “To do” list, cease striving to be “good,” and give my whole heart and soul to simply knowing Him. I have a feeling that if I will do this today that He will use me to do much more than I would have accomplished through my list.
My prayer today, Lord, is that I will make room for Your Word in my heart and my life today. I don’t want to miss one thing that You desire to go in and through me.