This day, choose Christ

Capture

My friends, Jesus came to draw us into a RELATIONSHIP and to destroy RELIGION which cannot save us from the dark influence of sin. Only through CHRIST, do we have the power to overcome sin in our helplessness.

So how do we know we are in a religion called Christianity and not in a relationship with Christ?

One word- FEAR.

1 John 4:17-18
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

Are you living or practicing your Christianity out of fear or out of love? For ie. do you feel fearful or guilty when you do not pray / read the bible / evangelise / attend your church service / tithe?

I’m not saying we should not have these practices in our walk with God. But the question is “why do we do what we do?”. We are saved by grace to do good works. We do not do good works to receive grace to be saved.

The good works that we do ought to flow from the grace of God in our lives. And that produces faith and TRUE obedience that has power and not just the form.

How do you and I keep our relationship with God strong? 

Seek to know the truth (through the bible) as it reveals the character, thoughts and plans of God. With the Holy Spirit and the fellowship of the saints, He puts the truth into an encounter to experience His tangible love and know His GRACE. This takes place from glory to glory.

As you grow deeper in His love, what you do won’t be determined (or coerced) by rules or law as you understand the principle and flow with His spirit. What you do will be driven or compelled by His love for you.

Religion is cold. It’s about following rules and presents a false sense of salvation and righteousness. What you do (including the good works or church work) is driven by fear. There is no life in religion but death. More importantly, you won’t find LOVE in religion. And certainly, you won’t experience GRACE in religion.

This day, choose CHRIST. Experience His love and know His grace for you.

Galatians 2:19-21
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

Religion, God & Other Separate Matters

Below is a blog entry from Mr Wang Says So. He provides an excerpt from a book that provokes thought and demands soul searching especially if we are Christians.

I shall quote a conversation between a certain old man and a certain young man, in a novel which I shall not name. What the book title is, and who the author is, is less interesting than the point which the fictional old man makes:

“Four billion people say they believe in God, but few genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich people would give their wealth to the needy.”

Everyone would be frantic to determine which religion was the true one. No one could be comfortable in the thought that they might have picked the wrong religion and blundered into eternal damnation, or bad reincarnation, or some other unthinkable consequence. People would dedicate their lives to converting others to their religions.

“A belief in God would demand one hundred percent obsessive devotion, influencing every waking moment of this brief life on earth. But your four billion so-called believers do not live their lives in that fashion, except for a few. The majority believe in the usefulness of their beliefs—an earthly and practical utility—but they do not believe in the underlying reality.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “If you asked them, they’d say they believe.”

“They say that they believe because pretending to believe is necessary to get the benefits of religion. They tell other people that they believe and they do believer-like things, like praying and reading holy books. But they don’t do the things that a true believer would do, the things a true believer would have to do.

“If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck. Likewise, it is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.”

“Are you saying God doesn’t exist?” I asked, trying to get to the point.

“I’m saying that people claim to believe in God, but most don’t literally believe. They only act as though they believe because there are earthly benefits in doing so. They create a delusion for themselves because it makes them happy.”

“So you think only the atheists believe their own belief?” I asked.

The True Essence of Religion

People who think they are religious but say things they should not say are just fooling themselves. Their “religion” is worth nothing.

Religion that God the Father accepts as pure and without fault is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world’s evil influence.”

James 1:26-27 (New Century Version)

Growing Irreligiously

It’s been almost three months since my move of church.

I must admit that there had been ‘wobbling’ experiences as I detached myself from the ‘comfortable environment’ and ‘safety structures’ of my previous home church.

Spreading out

But like how it is necessary for a butterfly to break out from its cocoon state in strengthening its wings for flight, that is how I would describe this phase.

God-incidentally, that was the prophetic vision He gave to me amid my decison-making.

I know He is preparing me for the challenges that lies ahead. And I need to be close to Him; plugged in with Him to flow with His plans.

In a relationship, not religion

Launching out from where I was has taken my faith in God to another level of trust and reliance in Him towards His will for me.

This transitional phase has somewhat strengthened my relationship with God. I am more secured in who I am as His child based on my relationship with Him and not only because of my involvement in ‘spiritual’ or church-related activities.

“We live by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

This new ground with its uncertainties that He has led me has activated my faith even more where I can further exercise my faith in leaning on His principles, not methods; led by His Spirit, not routines.