First I should apologize, I haven't posted a blog in quite sometime. The truth is, I have been distracted by the demands of my everyday life. Sitting down and writing out my true emotions and feelings have been knocked down to the bottom of my list.....I guess. But today I have something important to share with you. Today I just cant bottle up what I have learned in the past two days. Today I am going to talk about Religion.
Religion. Wow. Where do I start? How about how it has started wars? Or how about its the one subject you don't bring up in a group conversation? Why has religion become a wet blanket over our backs? How about, why does the guilt of missing church lurk in our minds on Sunday afternoons? Why are we asked what religion status we identify ourselves with on Facebook? Is that even something that a person looks at while they are creeping on your page? Why does religion build huge churches, but not feed the poor?
See, I always saw religion as a way to identify where I stood in my beliefs. Right? I dont even know what the term religion means exactly. Except that it seems to be a love hate relationship. Well this was until I read from Romans 2.
"Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn't so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you've done." Romans 2: 3-4
"If you sin without knowing what your doing, God takes that into account. But if you sin knowing full well what your doing, that's a different story entirely. Merely hearing Gods law is a waste of your time if you don't do what he commands. Doing, not hearing is what makes the difference with God."
Romans 2: 12-14
Religion Cant Save You
"If your brought up Jewish, don't assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you're an insider to Gods revelation, a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines! I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know Gods revealed word inside and out, feel qualified to guide others, who is going to guide you? I am quite serious. While preaching "Don't steal!" are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you? The same with adultery. The same with idolatry. You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law." Romans 2: 17-22
Lets talk about circumcision (getting to my point...)
"Circumcision, the surgical ritual that marks you as a Jew, is great if you live in accord with Gods law. But if you don't, its worse than not being circumcised at all. The reverse is also true: The uncircumcised who follow God are as good as the circumcised - in fact, better. Better to keep Gods law uncircumcised than break it circumcised. Don't you see: Its not the cut of a knife that makes you a Jew. You become a Jew by who you are. Its the mark of God on your heart, not of a knife on our skin, that makes you a Jew. And recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics." Romans 2: 25-29
Wow. Heres some food for thought:
-Everytime you critize someone, your CONDEMNING yourself.
-God sees right through all of us, and will hold us to what we have done.
-Every refusal and avoidance of Gods commands, just adds fuel to the fire you will have to tame yourself on your judgement day.
-Embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs- without regard to where you are from, or how you were raised. Example: Don't use the excuse of "I wasn't raised religiously, my parents and family aren't religious so I can act out however I want because I have that excuse."
-God pays no attention to what others think or say about you, he cares about where your heart is. Example: God doesnt care if everyone on your facebook can see you are a Christian. He cares if your heart says that. Does it?
-Sinning without knowing what your doing is one thing, but sinning KNOWING full well what your doing...God sees. (yikes)
-Hearing the word of God, going through the motions but still sinning and not doing what God commands is a waste of your time. Example: Going to church every sunday, but then having sexual intercourse with your boyfriend or girlfriend the next day. Why even go to church? Are you going because its the "religious" thing to do? God wants all of your heart and dedication, not just 50% of it.
-We can try to hide things from one another with lies, and masks but God sees right through those.
So here is where the plot thickens. I am just the interpreter. I didn't make up any of the above up. That came straight from the word of God. Now at first glance, this was so incredibly convicting for myself. It was like God sitting down and calling me out. Which was hard. But then I began thinking. Am I attending my own party? In other words, being a follower of Christ am I judging others? Am I committed to idols other than God? Going to church, wearing WWJD, going to girls group doesnt make me a follower of Christ. Committing my heart and living for God every single day is MY religion. In fact, that isn't even religion. It's called a relationship. Religion never gets to the core. Its just a behavior modification like a long list of chores.
"So God said, in effect, "If thats what you want, that's what you get." It wasnt long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filfth, filthy inside and out." Romans 1:24
God is saying, if you want to live in sin, than live in sin! There is no point going to church on Sunday, and then go home to watch pornography afterwards. Stop wasting your time with covering your sin to look like a follower, when the only opinion that truly matters is Gods, whom can see right through it all. I lived a life where I enjoyed living in the dark, I am not going to lie. Drinking, partying, sex, idolatry, all of it. But there did come a point where I came out of this allusion and realized I was filthy. I was covered in sin. Living in a dark tunnel, I searched for a way out. And then I found a light, and I will give you one guess who was there waiting.
Here is the Happy Part:
See when I was Gods enemy, living in sin, he looked down at me and said "I want that woman." When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he yelled out "Father forgive them, they know now not what they do." He took what we all deserved, and put it to an end. Because when he was dangling on the cross, he was thinking of me, and he was thinking of you. There is no sin big enough that Jesus cant forgive. That's why he is so awesome. He was nailed to the cross, so when it came to the day when you realized you were covered in filth, and felt shame, he would look down at you and say "you are forgiven." Now that I know Jesus, I boast in my weakness. The church is not a museum for good people, it is a hospital for the broken. That means I don't have to hide my failures, I don't have to hide my sins.
Religion says do, Jesus says done.