Devotions for June 14, 2017

MATTHEW 5:21-24

Teaching about Anger
21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’[a] 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,[b] you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,[c] you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,[d] you are in danger of the fires of hell.[e]

23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice[f] at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

ISAIAH 1:13-17

Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts;
the incense of your offerings disgusts me!
As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath
and your special days for fasting—
they are all sinful and false.
I want no more of your pious meetings.
14 I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals.
They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them!
15 When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look.
Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen,
for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.
16 Wash yourselves and be clean!
Get your sins out of my sight.
Give up your evil ways.
17 Learn to do good.
Seek justice.
Help the oppressed.
Defend the cause of orphans.
Fight for the rights of widows.

LIVING RECONCILED, WORSHIPING PURELY

Jesus emphasizes how it’s our hearts that lead us to sin or to worship. In addition, both Testaments agree: God does not delight in surface-level worship.

PERSONAL REFLECTION

Q: Why is being reconciled to those you have wronged (or vice-versa) so important to God? What does this tell you about His character and worshiping Him?

Q: Do you see reconciliation and loving others as part of your daily worship? Are you seeking the peace with those you have wronged?

Q: How would a humble Body of Christ affect how the world understands and accepts the Good News of Jesus?

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