How glorious it is to discover Jesus Christ and all He has done for us – to accept Him as Lord and Savior. And then how easy is it before too long to become a cultural Christian? By that I mean one who learns to say and do the right thing around others but doesn’t really hunger or long for God’s intimacy and His plan – that plan of Him continually transforming you and that plan of reaching others with His good news.
I can look like a “good Christian” to others but does that mean I am? I can put the right words on paper, and hopefully influence your relationship with God into one of greater intimacy. But, having done that, am I myself drawing closer to the Lord?
I don’t swear any more. I don’t let my mind be filled with garbage. I try to treat people nice most of the time. I could go on and on… but that is what people say that don’t know Jesus that try to justify why they hope they’ll make it into Heaven. So, I won’t say that to you. My personal righteousness is still filthy compared to the Lord’s. I still struggle at times to walk the walk of love that I should. I still hold back the message of God’s love through Jesus Christ with others – because I am so busy going about religious ways. I’m not always engaged in my heart about what is most important to the Lord. My righteousness – God seeing me washed from sin is a gift. It opens the door to all blessing in my life. God wants my efforts to be godly in obedience to His will, but I am so thankful for His grace when I get caught up in doing my own thing or being a “cultural Christian” – one who goes through motions more than embracing His love by faith.
It is by faith – the moment by moment thinking of Him, crying out to and desperately needing His help and wisdom that He has called us to live. It is by faith – thanking Him continually for rescuing us – rescuing me from the pit I was in before knowing Him – this all done out of His love and sacrifice of Jesus – His life for mine, that He has called us to live. It is by faith – embracing His never ending love and help and involvement in our lives and sharing His willingness to help others that He has called us to love. This is real Christianity and nothing else is. Cultural Christianity is not Christianity. It’s religion – mindless religious action. “Forgive me Lord when I go through motions instead of embracing you by faith. It is the only acceptable sacrifice you are looking for and the one I want to offer!
Romans 12:1-2 (Message Bible) So here is what I want you to do, God helping you: take your everyday ordinary life – your sleeping, your eating, your going-to-work, and walking-around-life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you live in it without thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt