Are you taking short cuts in your faith? Do you choose what you like and what you don’t like in God’s message? Has something become more important than Jesus in your life?
You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. (Gal. 5:7-9, MSG)
We need to stop once in awhile and see how our faith journey is going. Are we taking too many detours? Are we chasing ease instead of chasing God? Does our faith matter any more? Have our beliefs been watered down?
As for the rumor that I continue to preach the ways of circumcision (as I did in those pre-Damascus Road days), that is absurd. Why would I still be persecuted, then? If I were preaching that old message, no one would be offended if I mentioned the Cross now and then—it would be so watered-down it wouldn’t matter one way or the other. (Gal. 5:11, MSG)
When our faith has lost its flavor,
it is not noticed in our lives.
When our beliefs have been watered down,
faith has lost its true meaning in our lives.
When our faith is only used as an emergency,
Jesus is not our everything.
Watered down beliefs do not matter one way or the other. If Jesus is not your everything, you are missing something essential. Maybe you’ve never even been told what Christian faith really is all about. Maybe your faith is based on rumors, not on first hand experience. Maybe you think Christianity is only about being good and doing good. Maybe you’ve never been told how to live, move, and grow in grace.
“We are an unholy people in need of a holy gospel”Mary DeMuth writes in her new book Everything. “When we come to Jesus, we come unclean, but this dirty state serves as a catalyst for a new life, a hunger for a life that counts. This kind of life, where death reigns in us, produces deep, abiding growth. All you do is this: lay down your life.”
When we start following Christ, we are asked to die to ourselves, surrender our egos. God gives us everything, but he also wants our everything. The resurrection life is not business as usual. It might sound scary. But unless we surrender our egos, we won’t really find ourselves. Unless we allow ourselves to be buried, we won’t ever be bearing fruit. Unless we die with Jesus, we won’t be resurrected into a new life.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” (John 12:24-25, MSG)
We hunger for a life that counts.
We thirst for your presence.
We lay down our lives.
We surrender everything to you.
Pour out grace upon grace,
love upon love,
life upon life.
In Jesus’ name,
P.S. I’ve been selected to be part of Mary DeMuth’s launch team for Everything and I will be blogging through the book before the release date in October, using the book as a spring-board for blog posts. If you are interested in reading yourself the first two chapters before the book is available in the stores, you can get them through this link.
Q4U:Have you had periods of watered down beliefs? How did you find your way back to Jesus?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you embrace Jesus with everything you’ve got.Pin It