Today’s Scripture: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10

Rule after rule. Rigid in their traditions and ordinances, the Pharisees lived with long faces and cold hearts. They were not focused on men’s souls, nor did they hold within their hearts any hope or joy.

So concerned about appearances, all they could find contentment in was bitter criticism. No one was safe from their judgments, not even Jesus. While he showed them how to live as though life were a feast overflowing with God’s goodness, they spent their days as though they were part of a perpetual funeral.

The Lord did not create us to be cynical, skeptical, grumps overtaken with what we “have to do” to be a good Christian. He performed his first miracle at a wedding feast-a time of great excitement and happiness. When our focus is on Him and pleasing Him alone, our lives can be like a joyful feast of God’s goodness.

Believer, consider yourself today. Are you so bent on appearances that you will bypass sharing the gospel with those who do not look acceptable? Maybe you spend each day only focused on upholding the “rules” rather than on reaching the brothers and sisters around you who are hurting. Trying your best to be a good testimony is always important, but when God’s Word becomes nothing more than a to-do list, your joy will be gone, and His light will not shine through you. Will you live your life as a feast or funeral? Each day the choice is yours.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.