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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Jesus, Not Religion"

Date published: 10/27/2014
Galatians 5:6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (NIV) 

      You begin the Christian adventure by a profession of faith in Christ Jesus, but how easy it is to trade a living relationship with Christ for spiritual disciplines, religious activities, and religious teachings. Before you know it, your faith has been minimized to knowledge and activities within the church or organizations and groups in which you participate. But…you do not want to trade a personal relationship with Christ for that which is comfortable and controllable - requiring no faith. Jesus teaches in John 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (NIV) God wants you to hear, embrace, and live out His truths. Hearing God is good, but as His child, you must also act.  In Matthew 12:50, Jesus reminds us that, “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother." (NIV)  Doing God’s will is not just following the Ten Commandments; it is allowing God to transform your heart to one that not only depends on your relationship with Christ, but also thrives on it. John 6:27 describes this type of heart as one who literally feeds on Christ Himself through truth, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval." (NIV)  God wants you to live a life in Him, where your heart leaps at truth, your mind is consumed by His Word, your soul reflects compassion for others, and your spirit is continually refreshed in Him. Your heart begins to lose focus on the things of this world and instead centers on loving God, His righteousness, and His love for you. Paul teaches Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:5, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”(NIV) God wants your heart, spirit, and will, not your religious activities. God wants your heart to beat with His, not to a set of rituals. God wants to pour His life into you out of His grace and love, while you as His child become His perfect vessel to reflect His life in a dark and lost world! 

Ephesians 1:4 “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” (NIV)