A Religion of Death

The life of a Christian is a strange and odd pursuit from the perspective of a world that does not know Jesus personally. The idea of “denying ourselves” is completely foreign in a world that proclaims that we deserve more. Even more so, the idea of “taking up our cross and following Jesus” is incomprehensible to a world that seeks to live only for their own desires and passions. Yet, if we are going to lead and love our family as the Bible commands, we must follow Jesus as the Bible commands. But are we?

 

Surprisingly, sacrificial Christ-like love, requires sacrifice. It requires dying to self that we might live to the life that Christ commands. But what exactly does that mean practically? I go to Church. I read my Bible. I pray. I fast (rarely). And follow the commands of the Bible. I have all the bases covered for what is expected of a good Christian. Right?

The problem with much of the modern Christian pursuit of Christ is that it is religious at best and possibly pagan at its worst. Church attendance, reading the Bible, praying, and fasting are wonderful biblical practices. But am I pursuing religious actions or am I pursuing Christ? I can go through all the motions and miss the God that all of the actions are supposed to point to.

 

Dead religious actions are still dead religious actions whether we classify them as pagan or Christian.

 

We go to church, to encounter God. We pray, to talk with God. We read our Bible, to know God. We fast, to pursue God. These precious elements of the Christian faith are given by God for building an intimate relationship with him. But if we are honest, for some, these elements are little more than Christian duties.

 

Religious duties without a pursuit of Christ produces a lifeless faith. When we practice these lifeless duties without a pursuit of God, we teach our family to do the same. Religious actions for the sake of religious actions produces no change within the spirit of man.

 

So, what is expected of us? Christianity is not a sudden urge to do good. It is not the occasional prompt to be faithful with a sudden return to our normal lives. It is not even the methodical daily duties of the Christian elements that allow us to check off a box of moral confirmation that we are in fact a “good Christian.”

 

Paul describes this pursuit,

 

"Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ… Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:8;13-14)

 

Paul had all the religious deeds checked. He did everything a good religious man was expected to do. But he was spiritually dead. What was the difference? Friends, the difference was that in Christ, he did not pursue religious deeds, he pursued Jesus.

 

 

I have to ask myself daily, am I leading my family to pursue religiosity or Jesus?

 

 

What about you?

 

 

Article written by BJ Eason.


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Comments

Donna Watkins
a year ago

Thank you. This was a great message. 🙏🏻