Home > Reading > The Daily Lectionary – August 18, 2016


Judges 14:1–19; Acts 6:15–7:16; John 4:27–42

You can act as religious as the next person but the heart betrays one’s real substance. If we say and do those things that are right in our eyes instead of in God’s eyes, as Samson did, then we are defiled despite our good works and religious devotion. Jesus taught that these things come from the heart that defiles us (Matt 15:18).

Samson was religious but followed his own heart, so acted badly. Steven did what was right before God instead of before the religious crowd because his heart was oriented to God instead of self. Jesus could speak with the Samaritan woman in public, a social impropriety, because his heart was set to do his Father’s work instead of obeying religious regulations and customs.

We are not defined by our outward religious acts. It is what is within us that shows who we truly are. When the Spirit of God is within, when we have “the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16), we will set our hearts and minds on “the things of the Spirit” (Rom 8:5), feasting on what God has prepared for us instead of what seems right to us.

Prayer: Help me, O Spirit of God, to do what is right to you. Amen.

Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC.

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