Daily Readings and Thought for August 12th. “… BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR FROM ME”


Jesus was asked by “the Pharisees and scribes …”Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” [Mark 7 v.5]   The Pharisees had made quite a ritual of “many other traditions … such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels” [v.4]

Jesus responded by saying, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “‘This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.”  Then Jesus stated, “in vain do they worship me.”  All our worship is “in vain” – if our heart is not involved: while head knowledge is valuable, even essential, in laying a foundation; our “heart” must be close to the one true God and His son, realising that “in him we live and move and have our being” [Acts 17 v. 28]

In the 1st book of Kings we are reading all the detail Solomon put into building the Temple and then his own house – it took him 20 years [1 Kings 9 v.10] but then he “loved many foreign women” [1 Kings 11 v.1} and “when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the LORD” [11 v.4].  His heart was in danger of becoming “far from” God, despite all the outward greatness he had achieved!  Let us ponder the lesson!

Back in our chapter in Mark we see how Jesus told the Pharisees they were “making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down” [v.13].  We must not add to “the word of God.”  Let us read it faithfully every day – our reading charts lead us through all the Old Testament every year – and the New – every 6 months  This is a valuable foundation for keeping our heart close to our Saviour and Lord – and his God becomes more and more real as our God,

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