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ESOCS Devotional 17 February 2023: Beware of Empty Religion

ESOCS Daily Devotional

ESOCS Devotional 17 February 2023


MEMORY VERSE: “Trust ye not in lying words, saying, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, are these.” Jeremiah 7:4

Empty religion is religion without godliness. The major behavior of the people in our text which bothered Jeremiah, and for which he confronted them were false religion, idolatry, and hypocrisy. They followed a worship ritual but maintained a sinful lifestyle. It was religion without a personal commitment to God. It was the practice of the people, after committing sin each time, to run to the temple and carry out religious rituals like sin offering with the false belief that God will not let harm come to His temple and those who are inside it, or those who live inside it or who live near it. 

But Jeremiah rebuked them and their leaders for their empty religion. They also indulged in idolatry and other shameless behaviors. Jeremiah asked them to amend their ways to avoid the judgment of God.

We can easily fall into the same snare of regular church attendance, sharing communion, teaching Sunday school, singing in the choir, and giving prophetic messages – these are empty exercises if they have no godly content, or if we are not doing them for God. Again, the people’s usage of the temple as a refuge is akin to some people who always go to stay in the prayer house for protection instead of amending their ways; protection in the prayer house, becoming a member of associations, sweeping the church, being a chorister, etc. become more important than the substance of faith, holiness and righteous living.

Unfortunately, many Christians today are adamant just like Judah (verse 13), so God punished them the same way He did to Shiloh (vv. 14, 15). We should be careful; we should heed God’s call to amend our ways. Empty religion cannot save unless religion with godly content.

  • Do your activities conform to God’s standard?
  • May the Holy Spirit direct us aright, in Jesus name.

FURTHER READING: Psalm 95:7-11; Proverbs 3:1-8; Jeremiah 39

Read Yesterday’s ESOCS Devotional here

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ESOCS Devotional 17 February 2023

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