Prayer for the day
Search for the LORD and his strength; continually seek his face.
Scripture for the day
Jeremiah is a prophet who has it rough. His prophecies rarely offer much hope, but instead, speak pain, suffering, and disaster for the people of God. This pain, this suffering, and this disaster are all a result of the people leaving the prescribed worship of their God, seeking instead the comfort of other gods, other nations, and other practices. They are fickle people, seeking pleasure wherever they may find it, looking for the favour of the gods, regardless of which god it is.
Their practice of religion then, when they DO turn to God, is worthless in God’s sight, because they refuse to acknowledge the God they serve as the ONLY God they serve. Instead, they acknowledge this God only as a god among gods, who may give some benefit, but to whom only passing allegiance is required.
Rather, God is the only one worthy of worship, and He regularly says so to the people of God, sadly with little effect. The effect of this partial worship is the practice of false or worthless worship. Instead of truly worshipping God, they hand over true worship and settle for worthlessness.
Timothy receives instruction on true religion and worship from his mentor, Paul. Paul teaches Timothy that the true practice of religion has much to do with ritual, it is true, but far more to do with the living out of the ritual, a living out of the state of the heart, in caring for one another. True religion according to Paul is religion that is active, religion acting itself out in the love and care of others, in order that the name of God might be praised in every way.
May we practice God’s good religion truly and with pure heart.