Today’s Reading: Mark 7
Key Verse: Mark 7:20
And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man…”
“Pharisees,” a religious denomination within the religion of Judaism, put great emphasis on tradition, ceremonies, and keeping the letter of the law in a most meticulous way. They had added a multitude of details and interpretations to the Law of Moses. Jesus said to them, “[you are] making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition” (verse13). Jesus then lists some of the evil that comes from within a person (verses 21-23). Jesus came with the message that true faith is inward and produces good fruit on the outside. Paul lists the manifestation of the inner life produced by a daily drawing from Jesus who lives in the believer. This includes love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, You said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). Through reading Your Word, prayer, and this message, I’m abiding in You. Therefore, I expect to produce good fruit today. In Your fruitful Name, Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
My Dad told the story of when he first went to Egypt as a missionary. The year was 1922 when, in a Model T Ford car, several veteran missionaries drove him into the desert where he spotted a tree which had delicious looking fruit on it. “Try it,” they said. He did and it was most bitter. They laughed and informed him that this fruit was called, “Apples of Sodom.” This was one of the many stories I was raised on. Dad would laugh heartily at the memory. Over the years, I’ve tried to tell my family stories (in an interesting way) from the past, as well as my own stories. My great-granddaughter, Aliya Stowell, had just turned 3 when she, her younger brother, her Mom and Dad travelled with me across the Prairie Provinces. As I told her one of my stories she said, “Great Grandpa, I love you very, very much…..but I don’t want to listen to you anymore.” Since then she’s given me permission. However, I make sure to make the stories more interesting.