Sick of Religion? Week 8: Devotional Day 7
DAY 6 & 7 – Saturday & Sunday
Author’s note: take one day to do these exercises and let the other be a Sabbath for your soul – on that day reflect on all you have learned and how the truths of this lesson show that Jesus might still offend “in the temple” today.
Mark 11:15-19, Psalm 37:3-6, Micah 6:6-8
What’s one practical way you and your LifeGroup can engage in fighting against injustice? Plan a time to engage in practical service together one time in the next three months. For some ideas check here: https://www.chapelhillpc.org/ministries/missions/ways-to-engage/
Even though God had established a system of sacrifice to atone for the sins of his people, throughout history mankind has corrupted the system and acted self-righteously, as did the scribes and Pharisees we have studied this week. From the beginning, God has been interested not just in our obedience, but also in our character. How did you see this in the week’s readings?
According to today’s readings, what is our responsibility in regard to justice? Who is ultimately responsible for the results? The scribes and Pharisees thought that enforcing the law – keeping God’s people from even coming close to breaking it – was their God-given task. Outwardly, these leaders looked like they had their own lives all together, but inwardly their hearts were wicked. What does the psalmist say about our righteousness?
James, the brother of Jesus, wrote that “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27) How does this contrast with the religion of the scribes and Pharisees? How does this verse inform our call to stand up to injustice? How does the phrase “keep oneself unstained from the world” relate to ministering to widows and orphans?
Take some time to consider all that you have studied this week. Spend time journaling, praying, and asking God what your next step is to participate with his work to stand up to injustice. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through the readings. Discuss these things with your group and see what God will do through you!