Song of Solomon 2:8-13 New Living Translation (NLT)
8 Ah, I hear my lover coming!
10 My lover said to me,
Psalm 45:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)
For the choir director: A love song to be sung to the tune “Lilies.” A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.
1 Beautiful words stir my heart.
2 You are the most handsome of all.
Psalm 45:6-9 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Your throne, O God,[a] endures forever and ever.
James 1:17-27 New Living Translation (NLT)
17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.[a] He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.[b] 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.[c]
Listening and Doing
19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger[d] does not produce the righteousness[e] God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.
22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. 23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
Mark 7:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity
7 One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. 2 They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. 3 (The Jews, especially the Pharisees, do not eat until they have poured water over their cupped hands,[a] as required by their ancient traditions. 4 Similarly, they don’t eat anything from the market until they immerse their hands[b] in water. This is but one of many traditions they have clung to—such as their ceremonial washing of cups, pitchers, and kettles.[c])
5 So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”
6 Jesus replied, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,
‘These people honor me with their lips,
8 For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.”
Mark 7:14-15 New Living Translation (NLT)
14 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 15 It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.[a]”
Mark 7:21-23 New Living Translation (NLT)
21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
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