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August 5 Devo (part 2)

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  • August 5 Devo (part 2)

    ( continued from Aug 3..... )
    6. Pretense without Compassion

    Jesus had no patience for those unwilling to serve. In Mark 12:38-40, he warned his hearers of the teachers of the law who elicit respect and honor, yet refuse to show mercy to widows. Jesus warned that these teachers do not practice what they preach and should not be listened to (Matthew 23:3-4). When religion is an idol, the worshipper desires to be known for their “success” in their religion.
    7. Deceiving Others and Themselves

    Jesus warned people of the deceptive teaching of the scribes and the Pharisees. In Mark 23:13-15, he accused them of closing the door to the kingdom of God to themselves and others. They saw righteousness as outward obedience to the law rather than internal repentance of the heart. This backward thinking distorted the gospel of grace and promoted a message of legalism and performance. This works-based approach to salvation continues to be preached today. Therefore, it is important to stand guard against false teaching. 8. Following the Details of the Law while Ignoring the Heart of the Law

    Jesus calls out the inverted priorities of the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23:23-24. While they tithed even their spices, they neglected the important matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Rather than measuring out a tenth of every small amount owned, they should have looked out for the needs of others. It is not that tithing was unimportant, but rather that they upended their priorities.
    9. Clean on the Outside and Corrupt on the Inside

    On several occasions, the Pharisees confronted Jesus about his religious practices. He healed on the Sabbath, allowed his disciples to eat without ritually washing, and did not require his disciples to fast. Jesus declared a woe to the Pharisees for their hypocritical nature because they concerned themselves with external cleanliness rather than the corruption of the heart (Matthew 15:11; Matthew 23:25-28). When we focus on outward practices of Christianity, and neglect our spiritual relationship with Christ, we do the equivalent to what the Pharisees did in the First Century
    10. Finding Loopholes in the “Laws”

    The religious elite in Jesus’ time were notorious for elaborating on and finding loopholes in the Mosaic law in order to accomplish selfish gain (Matthew 19:3-9; Matthew 23:16-28; Mark 7:9-13). Jesus called the Pharisees out for placing tradition ahead of God’s word in the practice of Corban. This is the reason why Jesus teaches against swearing in Matthew 5:33-37. Jesus’ greatest desire for his followers is to love God with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbors as themselves. The loopholes existed as an escape to these main laws. These were ways the religious leaders could feel good about not doing what was charitable or challenging.

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