Beyond the Letter of the Law
Jesus tells the people of His day that they are more bound to tradition than they are to the word of God. They have let other people interpret the Word, and have ceased to read it themselves. But he also says that people who ignore righteous treatment of others to obey a law have also missed the mark. Ephesians tells us we need to depend on our faith as our armor. Instead of coming up with our own defenses, we need to rely on scripture, faith, and righteous relationships with God and with other people.
God calls us to be righteous, not just act it out.
God, our judge and our redeemer, You have given us Your law to help us know how to live in fellowship with You. Yet we often ignore Your laws. Or we obey the letter of the law, rather than its Spirit. Like the Pharisees, we are more concerned with the amount of our offering, instead of making an offering from our hearts. We forget that the first commandment is to love and honor You, and the second is to love our neighbors as ourselves. Instead we let our love grow cold to you, to our neighbors, and even to ourselves. Forgive us. Rekindle Your love within us.