Are You Willing?

I am amazed at how Christians, or those who claim to follow Jesus, have become very good at reading the Bible, talking about it and declaring they are living by it....but missing the whole thing all together. Jesus called these people religious, hypocrites, Pharisees, white-washed tombs and more. My greatest fear is ever falling into that category....WHY? Because these are the people Jesus despised and they are the very ones who killed Jesus! Religion kills Jesus, kills the Gospel and destroys hope!

Religion is being fooled that your knowledge, your experience and your expertise give you an advantage when it comes to following Jesus. It's about the heart, not what we know and what we say! (If it's about that other stuff, then according to Matthew 4:6 Satan is a very Godly person!) As if the last Bible study you took, the last sermon your heard or the last good deed you did make you a better follower of Jesus and an example for all. In Matthew 6 Jesus spends a lot of time talking about the practices of the religious, and how He does not like those practices! Take a few minutes and check it out.

In my quiet time recently God spoke very clearly to me through Matthew 7:4-5. He reminded me of something that we often forget; even when we have the best of intentions to love people and see them find hope. He tells us not to judge the life of others while our own lives are full of imperfections. But it is the last part that was so profound to me. Verse 5 says that we need to remove the junk in our lives in order to help remove the junk in our friend's lives! That means we don't just point out other people's flaws, we help them to work out those flaws. It means we don't just talk about others getting their lives right, we walk through the process with them. That is HUGE!

The church has become very good at pointing out flaws and sin. But, the church has been very poor at helping people walk through the process of getting their lives in order. The church is very good at condemning flaws, but not recognizing it's own! Until the church, that means the people, start living according to what Jesus spoke in Matthew 7, we will continue to drive people away from Jesus and not to Him.

The Gospel is about hope coming to the hurting, the broken and the lost and helping them get from where they are to the place God intends for them to be.

What in your life, your ministry and your church needs to change in order to live this out with more intention, with more purity and more love?