The more my heart beats in sync with the heart of Christ, the more I dislike religion and the actions of religious people. When I see it in the church, especially in our leaders, it truly grieves my spirit and soul.
Religion and its attitudes bring death. Religion condemns and discourages. Whereas, living and acting out of relationship with Christ brings life. It offers grace and encouragement. Religion causes people’s hearts to run from Christ whereas relationship increasing their desire for intimacy with Christ.
Christ did not come to earth to establish religion. It was already here when He arrived. He came to establish relationship. Religion is far from the heart of the God of Christianity. The truth of this statement is seen in the compassionate and grace-filled actions of Jesus Christ. It is seen in the way Jesus responded to the religious Pharisees. These religious people were blindsided by their position of power, their focus on the law and their focus on leading people to follow their religious rules. The Pharisees were so blind, they did not even recognize the Messiah of whom they studied and taught.
If we are to prevent ourselves from responding to life and others with religious attitudes, we must stay focused on Christ and His glory instead of rules and regulations. When we do this, we will recognize Christ. We will see Him as He lives in and through His disciples. We will be slow to judge and quick to respond to others’ short comings with grace and compassion. We will be guided by the Lord Himself rather than man’s ideas and opinions.
Are you focused on works – whether your own or those of others? Or, are you focused on the glory of God and being transformed into His likeness? Our transformation which is directly related to how we approach others, my friends, flows directly from what we focus on. What result do you desire for yourself – life or death? What do you desire to bring to others in your midst – life or death? Where you set your focus is the key. Is it on rules and regulations or Christ?
I pray that all of us who make up the body of Christ will become more intentional about keeping our eyes on Christ and His glory where grace and truth abound.