June 11, 2012
Making It Real!
What we choose to do, why we do it, and how it is carried out says something about us and what is most significant to us. Jesus noted those whose RELIGION was hypocrisy. ( Matthew 23:2-3, 13-35) Jesus also noted those whose RELIGION was based on the traditions of men. ( Mark 7:6-8) However, what really marked the practice of some of these was the fact something was wrong relative to RELATIONSHIP. ( John 8:33-47) Even John the Baptist addressed the idea of RELATIONSHIP when many of the Jewish leaders were coming out to him. ( Matthew 3:7-9)
From the prophet Micah we read. . .
"(6) "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? (7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" (8) He has told you, O man, what is good; and WHAT DOES THE LORD REQUIRE OF YOU BUT TO DO JUSTICE, and TO LOVE KINDNESS, and TO WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD?" ( Micah 6:6-8 ESV)
The Law under which God's people were living during the time of Micah was meant to awaken the heart to a faithful RELATIONSHIP with God. However, it seems to have slipped merely into a state in the minds of the nation as simply a collection of external practices; ceremonies and rituals. With such a focus, the Law could be viewed as being able to be obeyed with the hands and the lips, but where was the heart? (note also God's charge through His prophet Amos in Amos 5:21-24.)
There is just no substitute for a humble obedient WALK WITH GOD! The lack of heart behind the offerings under the Old Law made them of no value. The lack of any change in the life made the offerings worth nothing. Through the sacrifices the offerer was to be drawn to God. God desired a RELATIONSHIP.
What has our Christianity (which by the way infers a connection with Christ) become to us? Is it merely "RELIGION" or is it all about a RELATIONSHIP? We may have an appearance of connection with Christ while He actually has no power over our heart. If this is true we have misapplied, misunderstood and misused the Gospel in the same way the Jews misused the Law. We can't expect God to accept mere verbal professions, praises and prayers as substitutes for genuine faith, love, humble obedience and holy living. (remember Romans 12:1-2) If our life is all about RELATIONSHIP with God we will live a RELIGION that is both pure and practical. (note James 1:26-27 and Matthew 25:34-46) May it always be real!
Have a great day BEING A GENUINE CHILD OF GOD!
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