Easter: FOCUS!

I was in my quiet time this morning (I am going through the book of Mark right now) and something struck me as we enter Easter weekend. Don't get me wrong, our family will partake in traditions and have a blast celebrating- but I want to check my focus this year! 
[I am in Mark 7]

[Mark 7: 6-23 (NIV) is awesome but specifically vs 6-9]
He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’
You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”
And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!" JESUS CHRIST
This is what inspired me as we enter into the Easter Weekend- are we more concerned with "Traditions": the Easter Dress that our families wear, what goes in their baskets for Easter morning, photo op with the bunny, what we are having for brunch, who we are having brunch with, indulging on whatever it is we may have given up for lent, hunting for eggs, dying eggs, etc.. (all fun traditions!)
OR is our primary focus on the commands of God: Are we pumped that people who have never heard the word of God might step into church on Easter and hear truth? Are we praying that the Word of God would penetrate their hearts (Mark 6:52)? Are we inviting families to join us and hear the great news? Are we praying for our pastors and church staff, for energy and protection? Are we stepping out of our comfort zone to tell someone the good news? Are we extending grace and love to a family member who we have a strained relationship with? Are we serving at church so that someone else might feel welcomed and cared for as they enter? .... Those are the commands of God. I don't want to just honor God with my "lips" or my pretty Easter Dress if you will...I want to honor God by loving others and celebrating the beautiful reason for Easter- Jesus Christ Died for ME and YOU and on the third day he rose from the dead to rule and reign at the right hand of God the Father Almighty! The traditions are fun, but let's have our primary focus be in the commands of God this year! Happy Easter! 
("Up From the Grave" Print From Dear Lillie)

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