Thursday, October 31

Far away

Scripture: Job 22, Mark 7-8

Mark 7:6-8 And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far away from me.  7 But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’  8 Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

Observation

This is something Jesus seems to have said more than once to the religious leaders of His day.  He accuses them of hypocrisy and externalism (honoring God outwardly with their lips but inwardly their hearts are far away from God) and substituting human traditions for God’s commands.

Application

This passage calls for some honest self-examination.

Am I a hypocrite?  Do I say one thing and do another?  Am I pretending outwardly to be close to God while inwardly I’m far away?  (The Greek word for hypocrisy was used of actors who play a part, wearing a mask).  

Am I guilty of externalism?  Am I just going through the motions, or is my heart in it?  Do I honor God with my lips while my heart is far away?  What is going on inside me?

Am I substituting my traditions for God’s commands?  If so, where?  Have I reduced my relationship with Jesus to a few external practices?  How do I keep my heart close to God?

Prayer: Lord, I never want to be religious; I want to be close to You.  Please help me see whenever I’m straying, and keep me close.