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Daily Reading: Mark 12

Scripture Focus: Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation. (Mark 12:38-40)

Devotional Thought: The "common" people in Jesus' day were sick of the religious elite - powerful, corrupt, and greedy. Throwing them out of the temple (Mark 11) was not enough. Jesus needed to explicitly warn the people to "Beware." "The great throng heard [Jesus] gladly," (v. 37), for their spiritual leaders - who were supposed to act as shepherds to lead and care for the sheep - were taking advantage of them. Jesus told them not to be taken in by their long robes, best seats, and long prayers.

We most likely know “religious” people like this – those who claim to be shepherds but are really wolves waiting to devour their flocks. Those who claim to have the answer but are really wanting their congregation to pay for salvation, in order to line their own pockets. Those who are skilled with words and pray beautifully, but do not really know the Lord. Jesus says to beware of them, and we should. We should also beware that we are not like these scribes – merely going through the motions of religion, appearing to have it all together but never getting to the point of the gospel - a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Those who claim to know him but practice lawlessness will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Jesus will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me” (Matt. 7:23).


Prayer: Lord, help us. Help us to see through the deceptiveness of man, and help us to see into our own hearts when we try to be our own gods. Lead us in the way everlasting, and convict us through your Spirit. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 7.14-17

14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. 15 He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. 16 His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.

17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

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