Bible Reading Blog — February 2, 2016

2 Feb

Today’s Readings — Numbers 7-9 & Mark 7:8-13

We can imagine the pious man saying, “The Bible says, ‘honor your father and mother,’ but I am going to take that which I was to devote to them and give it as a gift to honor God.” This snippet of Mark chapter 7 is the quintessential example of super-spirituality, which is really no spirituality at all.

Yes, there is a place for worshiping God. The Bible abounds with praise. And God should be utmost in our affections and in our priorities. But we best reflect these affections and priorities when we let our passion for God affect our relationships with people. When an act of love, a word of hope or a sense of compassion pervades our daily interactions with others and that love, hope and compassion are rooted in a deep trust in Jesus, God is glorified.

Jesus doesn’t have much use for religious ritual in the gospels, especially the kind that draws attention to one’s self or put the focus on one’s efforts. The gospels are filled, on the other hand, with Jesus’ words about the eternal value of earthly service to our fellow human beings.

I think the reason this is so is that God is God-centered. And the best way we point to God is not by showing everybody how devout we are but by loving them with a love given to us by God. God desires to be made known. He desires to be worshiped. And He spreads a passion for His supremacy through the people He has redeemed, as they pour out their lives with His love. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5).


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