November 11, 2019


Devotion for the Week...

My husband's grandparents were devout people and, as was common in their time, were strict about observing a day of rest on Sunday. She would prepare the food for the day ahead of time, often working late on Saturday night to have everything ready. I was amused to learn that sometimes she would set the kitchen clock back a little bit so that when her husband would call out around midnight to say that it was now Sunday, she would reply, "It's still Saturday in the kitchen" and keep working. 😊 It makes me smile whenever I think of it. She followed the rule of not working on Sundays, but she could be a little flexible about it when needed, too.

Over the years there have been plenty of rules for believers, and those rules have sometimes varied wildly depending on denomination or geography. I remember hearing Chuck Swindoll of Insight for Living talk once about an international conference of pastors he attended, where the American pastors were surprised by the German pastors, all of whom drank beer with their meals. The American rules say pastors don't drink beer, but apparently that's not part of the German rules.

Paul wrote to the believers in Colosse, "You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires" (Colossians 2:20-23).

I love that he calls out the rules that are only designed to make people look religious. These man-made rules have nothing to do with the state of a person's heart, but only with how they act. The two can (and should!) be the same, but they aren't always. A person can put on a good show of following all the right rules, while at the same time their heart is far from God. The Pharisees were a perfect example of this. They had an incredibly long list of rules they followed, yet Jesus spoke most harshly to them, calling them hypocrites, white washed tombs and vipers (Matthew 23:1-36).
It's not the rules we follow that matter, it's our relationship with Jesus |
Background quilt is Flower Path
It's not the rules we follow that matter, it's our relationship with Jesus. If our relationship with Him is what it should be, then our actions will naturally reflect that. If it's not, then no adherence to man-made rules will make any difference.


  1. My grandmother was a 'rest on Sunday' person also. But there was no rule about us grandkids getting together and having a great time exploring the farm.

  2. I married into a family that had different rules than I grew up with. Over the years the rules have changed but I have learned to treasure the times when we take a time out from our busy week and enjoy fellowship. I have also learned not to make an issue out of observences. Often we kept quiet if we knew that something we did with our family made my mother in law uncomfortable. We have raised our family now and I am glad to say they walk daily with their faith more than I did when I was raised. So i guess our blended family of historical belief systems worked. At least it taught them to be sensitive to others and to find their faith for themselves.


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