It’s probably not fair to say “America”.
It’s also probably not fair to say “Christianity”.
You obviously can’t blame a country, and it’s getting harder to define the term Christianity in a way that people will tolerate.
Webster defines Christianity this way:
:the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Exactly, Webster. But wrong.
It’s not about religion, folks. Religion is just an activity. You can be religious in your attempts to do a cartwheel, but if you’re over 50 like me, then you should probably pull out the old videos to prove that you could do one–30 + years ago.
The activities that we’re involved in do not make us a Christian–even if those actions are based on the teachings of Jesus.
“These people honor Me with their lips,
but their heart is far from Me.”
In America, if you ask the average person on the street, many will answer “yes” to the question, “Are you a Christian?”, but would then struggle to define what that means.
“I go to church.”
“I believe in God.”
“I’m a good person.”
The commonality of those phrases are a clear indicator of, at the very least, a confusion about a name that many will claim–but know very little about. To know the name of Jesus and even say you believe that He exists, but have no real knowledge of who He really is or His purpose for mankind, means you know Him in name only.
Just as I know Billy Graham. I know who he is, what he teaches, and have read many of his writings. But I don’t really know him. Though I’ve been to one of his crusades, I’ve never met him or talked to him. While I appreciate his life-long ministry, and enjoy reading devotions by him, I do not follow him.
Though you would never marry a stranger (though I personally know someone who did!), your relationship with God through Christ has to be more than just a mental resignation to the belief that He IS. Knowing Him is very different from knowing about Him.
“How can you know someone you can’t see–someone you’ve never met?”
Glad you asked.
I referenced this verse in my previous post, Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone:
“You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
This verse helped me to see very clearly the difference between acknowledging God and actually knowing Him.
He is THERE.
“You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
His desire is that we will KNOW Him, and what we do with that knowledge is displayed by our actions. Will I choose to take the knowledge I have of this
Who WAS and IS and IS TO COME–
accept His will and His way?
Will I choose to,
take what I know,
deny myself (my wants, my will)
I saw this quote on Facebook this morning:
What a great reminder that, while we go to church because we want to learn and grow and fellowship, the real test of our faith is not whether we go to church, but what we do when we leave the church.
Does God have your Sunday morning? Great! You will grow and learn more of what it means to follow Him when you give Him this day.
But what about the other six days? Are they His as well? Following Jesus isn’t about doing religious things–it’s about doing “Jesus things”. Doing every.single.day the things that would honor Him and reflect the light of His presence in your life to those around you
I have to apologize to my friends and family if I’ve left the wrong impression. My faith is not based on works. It is solely based on what Jesus did on the cross for me. My religion is not about what I do–it’s about what He has done. I deserved punishment for sin, but He took my place.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17
This thing we call Christianity is not casual at all. It either changes us or it doesn’t. If there is no change, the question is, “Have you really met Jesus?”, because He is in the life-changing business, my friend!
Love, and Happy Sunday,