Psalm of the Day: Psalm 63
Wisdom of the Day: Ecclesiastes 3:9-15
Scripture Reading: Luke 5:33-39
We should observe in these verses that men may disagree on the lesser points of religion, while they agree on its weightier matters. We have this brought out in the alleged difference between the disciples of John the Baptist, and the disciples of Christ. The question was put to our Lord, "John's disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but why do your disciples go on eating and drinking?"
We cannot suppose that there was any essential difference between the doctrines held by these two parties of disciples. The teaching of John the Baptist was doubtless clear and explicit upon all the main points necessary to salvation. The man who could say of Jesus, "Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" was not likely to teach his followers anything contrary to the Gospel. His teaching of course, lacked the fullness and perfection of his divine Master's teaching but it is absurd to suppose that it contradicted it.
Nevertheless there were points of practice on which his disciples differed from those of Christ. We must make up our minds to see differences of this kind among Christians, as long as the world stands. They are one of the many evidences of our fallen condition. About church government, about the manner of conducting public worship, about fasts and feasts, and ceremonials, Christians have never been entirely of one mind, even from the days of the apostles. On all these, points the holiest and ablest servants of God have arrived at different conclusions. Argument, reasoning, persuasion, persecution have all alike proved unable to produce unity.
Let us, however, bless God that there are many points on which all true servants of God are thoroughly agreed. About sin and salvation, about repentance, and faith, and holiness there is a mighty unity among all believers of every name, and nation, and people, and tongue.
Let us understand that the Christian's greatest responsibility is to know and follow the Word of God in all matters. This must be our priority.
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me to have a desire to follow your Word above traditions and opinions.
Action Plan: Examine what things I do out of tradition and reconcile them with the Word of God. Consider baptism, the Lord's Supper, church government, Bible interpretation, Bible study methods...
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.