James 1:21-27
21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law-the law that sets you free-and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. 26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are just fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.

Many find it easy and comfortable to maintain the appearance of being committed without a deep and sincere loyalty to God. Religious acts or rituals can help you to understand God, but without a sincere commitment to doing His will, they mean nothing. That is why God instituted circumcision and the sacrificial system in the Old Testament and baptism and the Lord’s Supper in the New. But religious ritual is helpful only if it is carried out with an attitude of love for and obedience to God. If a person’s heart is far from God, ritual will become empty mockery. God doesn’t want your “acts” of religion; He wants your actions of His will. Hosea 6:6 states, “I want you to be merciful; I don’t want your sacrifices. I want you to know God; that’s more important than burnt offerings.” God told the Old Testament people that He did not want their sacrifices, He wanted their heart. Because a heart that loves Him is a heart that will obey Him. The actions that come out of a heart that loves Him will be for Him and not to Him. Pretense of love is not love at all. God desires your sincere love and the relationship that comes out of that love will keep you safe within His love. Don’t just go through the motions of serving Him. Search your heart and read His Word to know Him and you will love Him because of His great love for you!

Have a God Day!

Daily Scripture commentary is written by Christine Zimmerman


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