August 29th 2021
Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven;
it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights,
who does not change or cause darkness by turning.
By his own will he brought us into being through the word of truth, so that we should have first place among all his creatures.
Remember this, my dear friends!
Everyone must be quick to listen,
but slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Human anger does not achieve God's righteous purpose.
So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct.
Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.
22 Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word;
instead, put it into practice.
If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are.
They take a good look at themselves and then go away
and at once forget what they look like.
But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free,
and keep on paying attention to it
and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice - you will be blessed by God in what you do.
Do any of you think you are religious?
If you do not control your tongue,
your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself.
What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering
and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.
Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus.
They noticed that some of his disciples were eating their food with hands that were ritually unclean - that is, they had not washed them in the way the Pharisees said people should.
(For the Pharisees, as well as the rest of the Jews,
follow the teaching they received from their ancestors:
they do not eat unless they wash their hands in the proper way;
nor do they eat anything that comes from the market unless they wash it first. And they follow many other rules which they have received, such as the proper way to wash cups, pots, copper bowls, and beds. ) So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Jesus,
"Why is it that your disciples do not follow the teaching handed down by our ancestors,
but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?"
Jesus answered them,
"How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote:
These people, says God, honor me with their words,
but their heart is really far away from me.
It is no use for them to worship me,
because they teach human rules as though they were my laws!
You put aside God's command and obey human teachings."
Then Jesus called the crowd to him once more and said to them,
"Listen to me, all of you, and understand.
There is nothing that goes into you from the outside
which can make you ritually unclean.
Rather, it is what comes out of you that makes you unclean."
For from the inside, from your heart,
come the evil ideas which lead you to do immoral things,
to rob, kill, commit adultery, be greedy, and do all sorts of evil things; deceit, indecency, jealousy, slander, pride, and folly -
all these evil things come from inside you
and make you unclean."