Digging in Deeper: Mark 7:8-9

“‘Abandoning the command of God, you hold on to human tradition.’ He also said to them, ‘You have a fine way of invalidating God’s command in order to set up your tradition!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We have an innate sense that we’re not enough on our own. We constantly seek out the authority of someone we deem higher than ourselves in order to give cover and justification to what we are doing. Today people tend to seek out the authority of a politician or a political movement to gain the justification they seek. In the past, God was the more likely target for such reaching. At the same time, however, we have an innate desire to be our own authority. We want to do what we want, when we want, how we want, and so on. What we want, though, doesn’t always accord with what we or the culture around us feels like we should do. We need that layer of external authority to give us cover. So, we take that authority, throw it over ourselves like a blanket, and keep doing what we want. The Pharisees were doing this and Jesus didn’t like it.

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 9:26-27

“So I do not run like one who runs aimlessly or box like one beating the air. Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control, so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

No one likes a hypocrite. There’s just something inherently wrong, evil even, about someone who actively seeks to convince those around him to do one thing while personally doing something else. It makes our skin crawl and gets our justice hackles raised higher and faster than just about anything else in the world. Sometimes hypocrites knowingly embrace their hypocrisy because of the personal gains it allows them to enjoy. Sometimes, though, we can fall into hypocrisy without realizing it. For all of its lack of intentionality, though, that can be the most dangerous hypocrisy there is. It’s also what Paul warns against here. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: 1 John 1:6

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

Sometimes you come across something in the Scriptures that, if you think about it very hard, can make you break out in a cold sweat. It doesn’t happen so often as to make you read with armor on, but you’ve still got to watch out for it. This is one of those places. 

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Digging in Deeper: Titus 2:7-8

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

There are calls to Christ-like behavior all over the New Testament.  We see them in all kinds of different contexts.  And most of them seem to offer little more reason for this aim than that it is right and honoring of God.  Sometimes they focus on the benefit such behavior will bring to us.  But there are times I’ve been left wondering: What else is there?  Is there a reason to put so much effort and energy into this beyond the fact that it is right? Read the rest…