Today’s devotion is based on Mark 7:6-8 Jesus is talking to the Pharisees, “He said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men."
It appears people have been acting like this for a long time. Ancient Israel was no stranger to the idea of keeping up appearances. They went to great lengths to put on outward displays of obedience to God, even stating their case. No matter. Their heart wasn't into it, and they insulted God's knowledge by thinking He wouldn't see through their bogus charade.
The sad thing is, this is our nature, too. This is our cursed pride. Near-sighted and deaf to others' needs, we maintain the sham, deceiving ourselves and more than happy to do it. But Christ has taken all of this to the cross—the pretense, the self-love, the glory-seeking, the game-playing, and false modesty. He's made an end of our sin, once and for all, through His shed blood, death, and glorious resurrection.
Being made new, we are to be, as Martin Luther once said, “little Christs.” Our new heart now looks for opportunities to love and serve others.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Dear Jesus, thank you for making me new. Take my life, and it be consecrated Lord to thee. In Your Name, we pray. Amen.