What has been done and what is being done in the name of religion has disillusioned a generation of people. The nastiness that religion can cause in people is horrific. Just before a fanatic detonates the explosives strapped to their body, they are heard to say, “God is great.” Well, yes, God is great, but His law is love. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. God promotes life, not carnage.
If all a person has in this lifetime is a rote exercise in religious activity without getting close to God Himself, then what good is it? 1 Cor. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. It is not a religion on its own that fulfills, but a heart-felt relationship with God who gives life and causes us to seek more.
God gave us a risen Lord in Jesus Christ to put our faith in, so that we can have an eternal relationship with God the Father. The resurrection of Christ through faith, gives us the righteousness and freedom we need to become guilt-free and is needed so we could live in God’s presence and be accepted by Him.
Paul said when writing to the Corinthians, and I’m paraphrasing here, “If all we have in Christ is a feel-good religious activity for this life, then we are more pathetic than the religious fanatics throughout the world. 1 Cor. 15:19 If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.
We have a more sure reality than just making it through this life. Because of Christ, we have eternal life. Any sin can be laid on Jesus’ blood-stained cross. No matter what sin anyone has ever committed, it can be forgiven. God does not need our permission to forgive. He forgives anyone who asks for it. Rom. 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Religion on its own does not cleanse us of our sins. Religion cannot restore nor heal a soul to be at peace with God. Religion without Christ cannot save the lost from the eternal destruction that is to come. If all we end up doing in life is try to balance the bad things with good things hopefully done out of our own efforts, then we will get burned out on religion and so will everyone around us. Haggai 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Religion without Christ is boring, insipid, and hard to stick with. Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to help us move forward in God and keep growing from glory to glory. We are not just getting better at being religious, we are being transformed from the inside out and becoming what God intended us to be through Christ. 2 Cor. 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. With intensifying glory, and not some repeated mumbling of religious words. There is life-changing power through Christ and only God can give it to us.
If you are burned out on religion, then ask Jesus to awaken your heart and mind so that you can live in the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength. With that strength, we can move the mountains in life. With the strength Jesus sows within us we can have life and have it more abundantly. When we are in Christ then the Lord’s joy, peace, and love will be healing for our whole body, soul, and mind. Prov. 3:8 This will be healing for your body and strengthening for your bones. Get out of religious activity and come into a relationship with God our Father. In Jesus name.
Dear Jesus, awaken my heart and mind so that I continue to live in your joy. Your joy is my strength. With that strength, help me theclimb mountains and help me to keep up toy sons next week in the Coastal Mountains.