Scriptures for August 30th: Song of Solomon 2:8-13, Psalm 45:1-2,6-9; James 1:17-27; Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.
It is not really clear who James is, or who he is writing this letter to. But what we do know is that this is a very practical letter about what it means to be a Christian. We are being called to remember God’s constancy and God’s generosity. And to model our lives by it, know that we are being judged by how we live out our faith. To not be faithful is like looking in the mirror and forgetting what you look like. You were created to be the object of God’s love.
Mark: We are done with our lesson from John. Now we continue to story of Mark. Jesus is discussing his understanding of God with the Pharisees. The religious leaders of the time are very conscious of appearances, they don’t want anyone to misinterpret who they are. They were obsessed with what it means to be clean. Jesus reminds then and us that faith is not about what we look like on the outside, but who we are on the inside. There are many bad people who live double lives. So our cleansing efforts should always start in our hearts.
Questions: What is your definition of being a religious person? How does your life reflect God? When you know that you have sinned (and we all do), what is your method for getting right with God and asking for forgiveness? When have you talked about faith, but forgot to walk in faith? We can spoil or redeem our lives by our values, is your value system in keeping with Jesus teachings?