March 31 – Lenten Study Day 26
Lent is the 40-day period before Easter, and it is “a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal when Christians are invited to prepare themselves for the celebration of the Lord’s resurrection.” This Lent, we are doing a 40-day study from the American Bible Society to focus our time in God’s Word and prayer on His renewing power (click HERE for the reading plan). Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
|Lord God, by your Word fill me with a spirit of love and servanthood…
A Warning Against Hypocrisy
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Fill | Marianne Toovey
This is just one of the many times that Jesus warns against following the example of the pharisees. They may look like they’re doing what’s right, but are merely seeking attention. They value the opinion of ‘man’ above all else and work hard toward high status and regard. But the high regard we should be working toward is God’s. And in order to be exalted in His eyes, we must follow Jesus’ example – one of servanthood, allowing ourselves to have a lower rank because we recognize God has the highest seat.
I spent most of my life being driven by popularity and acceptance, striving to make the right friends in order to feel important. But no matter how hard I tried, I never quite made it to the top. The friends I did make and the circles I ran in have actually proven more fulfilling than I ever expected to achieve. Looking back, it’s almost like God was protecting me from the life I thought I wanted, but that would have been as unfulfilling as the pharisees’. I’m right where I need to be to do what God needs me to do, so I can stop trying to climb that ladder and instead open my heart to do His will.
Lord God, by Your Word fill me with a spirit of love and servanthood. Thank You for the people You’ve put in my life to keep me content with where I am, instead of ceaselessly striving toward a higher status. Help me to be receptive of Your will so I can be the servant You called me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.