Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 is a key passage in the book of Deuteronomy. Notice the importance of the people of Israel in following the laws that God has set out for them: they will live if they follow the laws, and in keeping them the people of Israel will be a witness to the surrounding nations that they are a wise and just people, and that the Lord is near to them, nearer than any other god to any other nation. Notice also the importance of teaching the children what the Lord has done.
As Christians we realize that we, like the Israelites of old, fail to keep God’s laws perfectly. We know our need to be forgiven and restored to God. Thanks be to God that He redeems us in Jesus! Let our lives be lives of faith and forgiveness, and let our lives be a witness to all around us and to our children that God does forgive and restore in Jesus.
Lord God, heavenly Father, You have provided the law to Your people in the Old Testament as a way of life, and as a witness to the nations surrounding them, and to their children. Lord, we see how they failed to keep Your laws, and we see how we fall short also. Forgive and restore us in Your Son Jesus, and let our lives be living witnesses of You to others so that they are drawn to You. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Psalm 119:129-136: Today’s Psalm is part of the longest chapter in the Bible. Almost every verse talks about God’s laws, statutes, ordinances, just decrees, righteous judgments, etc. Notice how the psalmist loves what the Lord has given through His Word, and how these words of the Lord instruct him. Do we love the Word of God as much as the psalmist? Do we find life in God’s Word? May the Holy Spirit work in our hearts to lead us closer to Christ and His Word.
Holy Spirit, revealer of God, move in our hearts so that we love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Open our hearts to Your leading, and lead us ever more into Christ. In His Name we pray. Amen.
Ephesians 6:10-20: The Second Reading is a powerful passage to remind us that in our struggle against sin and evil, our struggle is against the sin within us, and also in the sin and evil which surround us. Notice that the Lord does not leave us defenseless, He provides spiritual armor which protects us in this battle. Consider each piece of armor, and notice how the Lord protects you with it. Notice also the importance of prayer, we turn to the Lord in prayer.
Almighty Lord, in the battle of sin and evil in and around us, cover us with the armor You so graciously provide. Keep us safe in You, and keep us firm in our prayers. Thank You that You love us so much that You protect us with Your powerful armor. Empower us with Your Holy Spirit to stand firm against all the forces and powers of evil. Through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, we pray. Amen.
Mark 7:14-23: In the Gospel, we see the concern of spiritual impurity. Many of that day thought that what you ate could make you spiritually impure, but Jesus turns that idea upside down, showing that impurity – sin – comes from within. Read through the list. We see we all fall short of God’s righteous demands. We don’t need to run from the Lord in our sinfulness, but because of Jesus we can turn to Him in repentance and know the joy and peace of forgiveness.
Holy Spirit, as we read this list we see that sin is deeply rooted within us. In the midst of our sin, turn us again to Jesus to receive forgiveness, life, and salvation. Thank You and praise to You that in Jesus we are forgiven and restored to the Father. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.